Ramble on dear! My, what a nightmare of a merry-go-round you are on! I wish I had some useful advice for you, but it seems like you are in a real bind. With the Ilex, did you put a layer of petroleum jelly on top? That's supposed to keep it from sticking to itself. I suppose you've tried the nitroglycerine and nifedipine creams?
Good luck on Thursday!