Saved By A Fly
Yesterday was one of those days when you tell yourself nothing else can go wrong. This too shall pass; only something else gets worse. My wife had a doctor’s appointment at 4:45 PM, and Lab was scheduled for 3:00 PM. This appointment was made on a computer over three months ago, but we decided not to change it. At least it was not a fasting lab; modern health care! I was easygoing at one time; health care is turning us all into high blood pressure patients. Rose did not have to starve herself. It would’ve been a different story if she had fasted for it. A 50-mile drive with a Hungry Mother Bear in the seat next to you could be a trip to write a story about.
We usually have to go early for fasting. We never have that much time to kill; going anywhere is a significant undertaking because she has two oxygen tanks in her walker. I have to always use my walker with four wheels; if I have a long day somewhere, I use an electric wheelchair to unload. Usually, our appointments are early in the morning because she has fasting lab and prefers that time. Well, yesterday we had a whole day to kill. We got there a half hour early. She had to wait to see the doctor a lot longer than usual.
We leave the windows cracked open on our Van in case of a quick temperature change from a passing thunderstorm that can make a windshield blow right out. The windows were cracked open very slightly, yes. Just enough for hoards of flies to come in; thank the Lord they were not huge Blue Bottle flies. Fall is approaching, and the flies are all looking for a new home for the winter. My wife started killing flies as soon as she got in the van; after she went into the doctor’s office, I smashed their little bodies awhile longer.
I drove to the local market and got my trusty small walker out to get in the store. Then used their electric scooters with a big basket on the front. The basket was running over on four sides; I was there for about an hour. I headed back up to the hospital/clinic. I sat there for about an hour, killing more pesky, slow-moving, dirty-footed flies.
I started getting worried. Something has to be wrong with her. They were going to keep her in the hospital! I go into a hurry-up panic mode, getting my walker unloaded; I almost fell over backward, starting to realize that no hurry-up is left in me. At my fastest pace, I started for the front door to the clinic, only about a hundred yards away. Several people offered assistance, but I said I will be just fine. People are sure good when they see an old geezer on the verge of falling down.
I get to the front desk and ask the nurse, “is my wife Rose Marie still in the doctor’s office?” She gives me a puzzled look, ‘more instant panic’ “yes, I guess so.” As I started down the hall. We met head-on as she turned the corner coming out. I was very relieved until she said, “I’m ready to go out to the casino for a while.” An Indian Casino is 8 miles out of town.
I knew she meant it; I cannot stand to have an 83-year-old woman pouting, having tantrums, and making my life miserable now and for days to come. I said, “okay but only for a little while.” “I refuse to drive after dark, staring into blazing blue, bright, arc welder headlights. Our days get shorter and faster until December 21, which means we’ll be coming home earlier every day for quite a while.
When we got out to the casino. I should have just stayed in the van and called for her to come out when she thought the time was right, although it never is. By that hour, I was so worn down and knackered out, almost to the crashing point. My arms screamed at me; steering that van around in all the parking lots is hard work. I got the wheelchair unloaded and rode into the casino in style. I donated my tightwad share; after an hour, I told her I would go load up. I could not believe my eyes; she was outside before I had the electric wheelchair loaded. It might be a new chapter. I certainly hope so.
We headed home and pulled up in front of our apartment just as it was getting dark. She asks, “what needs to go in the house.” “I said only the milk and the other cold stuff. Leave the potatoes until morning.” So she brought in the potatoes; I brought in the rest after plugging in the charger on my chair; at this time, it was dark. I barely got into the apartment from being weak, sapped out, and drained. We better start planning our outings better, I tell her.
At bedtime, I needed pain relief terrible bad. I was at 9.99 on the 1 to 10 pain scale. My neurology doctor tripled my dose of Gabapentin for neuropathic pain. I took the increased Gabapentin as he told me, but I was feeling so bad I also took a Tylenol PM. My right arm didn’t even want to move; I could barely get into bed at 11:30 PM.
The last thing I recall is praying for my cousin down in Tulsa. He is in the hospital for tests, having a bad time with his lungs, and having a lot of heart trouble. He worked on many of the big pipeline jobs. I believe he was over in the Gulf Region in Oman when the term was coined, “that guy is big enough to eat hay.” Well, my cousin Lynn, actually my brother, grew up together. He is like “Big John,” the guy who would stay down in the mine to keep the thing from caving in on everyone else. He could use a prayer or two from anyone else who is into saying prayers from time to time.
I wish there had been monitors on me last night. It was a lost night; I usually remember some dreams, something. Did I have an out-of-body trip to another galaxy? Was it only one? Were there more ravishing young damsels of noble birth on some distant star? Time and distance mean nothing to us in out-of-body mode. Maybe I was looking for a ship from Venus to return and pick me up. That night was, but it wasn’t?
I woke to what I thought was a hearing aid buzzing; maybe I forgot to remove it in my condition at bedtime. It was a fly. He kept up his same song and dance routine until I opened my eyes. I did not want to open them. I finally did after 12 hours in bed! I sat on the edge of the bed for a long time, trying to piece together the night that had just ended. That fly might have saved my life. Later on, out in the kitchen, I killed a fly, then it dawned on me that it might have been the fly from the bedroom. Tonight, no Tylenol PM please.