Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 2008 -- The Month of Living Crappily

Hi! Remember me? I used to blog here.

Then some stuff happened, and some other stuff happened, and some of it I could talk about because it happened to me, but other parts of it I couldn't talk about because they happened to someone else, and in the World According to Betsy Bird, you only have free rein to blog about it if it's your stuff. If it's someone else's, maybe not.

No one's dying, and no one's getting divorced. No one's been arrested, and no one's run away from home (although I've considered it). All I can say is that the words "New Post" at the top of my Blogger screen tonight might as well have been "Welcome Home." I've missed this space.

So if you'll indulge me, I'd like to write about what I can, a sort of "Since I've Been Gone" for the blogiverse.

1. I kept running ... for awhile.

As some of you may recall, not long ago me and my great whites began a Couch to 5K running program, with a goal of running an actual, real-live, finish-line race the end of June. Last week, a miracle occurred. I actually ran 3/4 of a mile, walked a half-mile, then ran another 3/4 of a mile. Celestial sounds poured forth from the heavens. Birds sang along. Rainbows appeared.

And then I got bronchitis.

Not to be a wimp, I decided to keep running anyway. This was a bad idea. By last Friday night, as the Memorial Day weekend began to suggest itself, I was really sick.

But I didn't take my bed. Are you kidding? I'm the mom. Instead ...

2. I packed Billy off for a trip to the beach with some friends.

How nice, you're thinking. Well, yeah.

Except for finding out 48 hours before he left that he and his friends would be staying in a place by themselves. "Don't worry," the host mother told me. "We'll be just down the beach."

Oh, and there was also the part about how, since they were renting a place FOR THE TEENAGE KIDS, MANY OF WHOM HAD JUST TWO DAYS BEFORE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL, TO STAY WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION, we would need to contribute $150.

Billy's one of these kids who's never given us a reason not to trust him. Sometimes those are the hardest kind. In the lengthy time we had to weigh all our options and thoughtfully consider the pros and cons of letting him go on this trip, which of course had been planned for weeks -- in other words, 30 minutes -- we decided he'd earned the right to go.

Let the worrying begin.

Before we knew it, the phone rang. It was Billy, who'd insisted it was a really, really great idea to take his new, 140,000-mile Volvo, seeing as how he needed to come back earlier than the other kids they day after Memorial Day.

"Mom," he began. "We stopped at KFC, and when we got back in the car, the check engine light came on, and now it's driving sluggish, so we went to an auto parts place, because we thought they'd know how to fix it, but they don't, and now I need to know what to do."


"Call Daddy," I said. There's a time and a place to take a feminist stand but this wasn't it.

Daddy concluded that Billy and his friends should join the other cars and leave his car. Which meant that we got to spend the first day of the Memorial Day weekend driving to a little town, which didn't have much more than a KFC and an auto parts store, to figure out why the check engine light was on.

Which it wasn't.

Meanwhile, I coughed. I coughed so much that

3. I spent Memorial Day at a Doc-in-the-Box.

Previously in this forum I have taken a stand against Z-pak abuse. Like a child raised in an alcoholic home who grows up to abstain, I was raised by people who toss back antibiotics like some folks eat M & Ms.

But there's a time and a place for everything. After a weekend of fever and coughing up stuff the same shade as this year's most fashionable paint colors (one of these days thousands of Americans will wake up and realize they painted their living room walls the color of infection), I would have robbed a pharmacy for some antibiotics.

But we don't have a gun. So instead, I went to a so-called "urgent" treatment center.

Apparently "urgent" means different things to different people. To me, it meant get there and back before the Law & Order Memorial Day Marathon ended. To the 137-year-old doctor on duty that day, it meant treat me before the end of the month.

In theory I think doctors should wait for the results of a blood test before doling out antibiotics. In practice, when the blood is drawn by a nurse who apparently hasn't seen a vein since Christmas, and when it takes two hours to get the results back, during which the nurse and the doctor and some other folks sit around and eat pizza while I wait alone in an examining room where the paper won't stay on the table, I think we should see if the Mafia would be interested in pursuing a new line of business.

Eventually, and with considerable help from me ("Well let's see, what could we try?" "I've done well on Zithromax in the past." "Say ... now there's an idea."), the doctor "treated" me and went back to his pizza.

Did I mention he never listened to my chest? Isn't that Bronchitis 101? Maybe that's why I'm still sick.

But I have to get well, because

4. I scheduled my shoulder surgery for next Thursday, June 5.

I still haven't 100% committed to a surgeon. As you may recall, I had issues with the first surgeon. So last week I went to see Shoulder Guy.

I liked Shoulder Guy. Yes, he had on cowboy boots, which seemed a little "I'm so cool that I wear cowboy boots in a seven-story medical office building 10 miles from the closest horse," but he was nice, and he explained lots of things, and best of all was he said that actually what needs fixing is not my rotator cuff but my cartilage. This may not sound important, but apparently cartilage heals a lot faster, which means my shoulder won't hurt as much or as long, and my summer won't suck nearly as much as it was sounding like it might a couple of weeks ago. Besides, Shoulder Guy has had his own shoulder cartilage fixed. He didn't do it himself, of course, and I didn't feel comfortable asking who did. But it certainly didn't sour him on the procedure. "I LOVE doing these," Shoulder Guy said.

Of course, I love doing crosswords. That doesn't mean I'm any good at them.

Stay tuned ...


Mr Lady said...

Thank god. I thought you'd been abducted by aliens or something.

Jenni said...

WOW, you have had a doozy! I hope June brings peace and no new cars!

And can I just say what a fabulous writer you are?

MommyTime said...

Heeyyyy!! You're back. So glad to hear from you. Funny how some months can just kick you while you're down. In a not-funny-at-all kind of way, I mean. I hope you are comfortable with the surgeon. Please keep us updated!