Cotton in a Wheelchair

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I caught the virus from hell this past week. Let me tell you -- sitting in the Urgent Care lobby makes for interesting people watching.

More than once I had the thought, Don't sit next to me... don't sit next to me... (I know -- not very charitable.) Like the time the loud, cigarette-scented husband returned to find his wife still sitting in the lobby and asked, irritated, "You're still here?!" He was all amped up and insensitive and generating drama. Go away.

Then there was the 18 year-old slacker boyfriend who couldn't put down his cell phone and barely acknowledged his girlfriend when she was ready to leave. He had an angry, disinterested look about him and I had this sudden thought: What if one of my girls dates him someday? Followed by the thought, I hate him and I will do everything to destroy him and his relationship with my daughter. Go figure. Must have been the virus talking.

There was also the Springer-Family-Audition-Rejects (husband, wife, mother-in-law with baby) who came but left quickly because the husband decided that whatever medical service they required was not worth the hour wait. Hatred and self-loathing oozed from these people. (God help them...) All weekend I coughed up thick, putrid globs of green sludge -- and that was the color and consistency of their aura (if there is such a thing).

Seriously, the whole time I'm at Urgent Care I'm thinking, My God, I am fortunate -- and Michael is wonderful.

But there were bright spots (besides the eye-opening perspective). Like the nectarine Michael bought for me. (My God, I am fortunate -- and Michael is wonderful...) I hadn't eaten one in a long time and I brought it with me to Urgent Care. It was really juicy and delicious, exactly what I needed.

The staff was also very nice. Several times they apologized for the wait (which I didn't think was too bad) and asked those of us waiting in the lobby if we needed anything. One nurse in particular walked in, very attractive and sincere, with a head full of thick, beautiful long hair (straight from General Hospital) and said in the most pleasant, cheery voice, "Hello, everyone? I would just like to say we are terribly sorry you have to wait so long today. Please let us know if there is anything we can get for you... like a glass of water... or pillows?" No one responded, but it was nice of her to ask. She shrugged, then smiled and left.

Then there was the kind-looking and very tall man (around 60) who asked for a wheelchair for his mother. He received a rather over-sized chair and chuckled, mentioning that it would probably "swallow her up." I didn't think more of it until he returned and inside the giant wheelchair was a tiny tuft of cotton that was his mother. She must have been a hundred. I smiled at her and she smiled back.

Eventually they called me in and my doc was also nice. For Samantha's sake, I remembered to look at his shoes -- brown loafers. Earlier in the week I had taken Samantha to her doctor (a 50-ish Russian woman who always -- always! -- wears expensive high heels in the office), and Samantha had liked her shoes. (Imagine that -- a pediatrician... wearing high heels... voluntarily! It blows my mind.) But Samantha loves it since she, too, will someday be a high-heel-wearing doctor. (She's crazy about shoes and will compliment strangers who are wearing a nice pair.) Later that week when Michael took her back to the doctor, the first thing Samantha said to me when she returned was that she liked the doctor's shoes and that they had little squares on them.

While I was a little surprised that a virus (and only a virus) could cause so much trouble to my body, the doctor prescribed a couple of decent cough medicines for me -- one containing codeine which I haven't taken (but I bought anyway -- just in case), and one that does a nice job of breaking up the sludge.

All week, Michael took care of us. His reward? You guessed it -- the virus from hell. Early Sunday morning, when we were both feeling rotten, I woke up early and went to the living room to sit on the couch for a change of pace. Around 5:30, Michael joined me. It was dark outside. The only light came from a street lamp across the street that shown through our sliding glass doors. It was very quiet. The cats snuggled between our legs.

"We've been together a long time now -- almost 20 years," he said.

"Oh yea... in October it'll be 20."

"You're the only person I want to be with."

"You, too."

And so we sat there, aching and miserable, and shared a really nice moment. Go figure. And even though we're still not fully recovered, and we still walk around with our eyes half closed, and we're still coughing up globs of green sludge, we're pretty damned fortunate. One day I may be the little tuft of cotton in the wheelchair, and I have no doubt that if he's able, Michael will be the one walking behind it.



Bookdiva March 17, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

: (

Sorry you've all been sick.

We are both indeed lucky to have such amazing husbands. And kids. It's good to remember that sometimes.

Dating Trooper March 17, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

That sounds like a pretty nice urgent care all considered. And you are lucky, even when you don't feel like it. Glad you are on the mend --- I hear corned beef and cabbage is good for a cough:)

Michele March 18, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

Very sweet ... well not the virus part, just the last paragraph, being together for 20 years part : )

Rima March 20, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

I've only been at Urgent Care once. I thought I had appendicitis, but it turned out to be a bad case of Taco Bell.

Twenty years! That is awesome, as is Michael.

I hope you are all better by now.

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