The street where I live...

The street where I live...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tonsils, Moose, Payphones and A-holes

So O fell seriously ill a couple of weeks ago.

Two evenings before I was to go back to work for the season O started to throw up.  I do not have particularly throw uppy kids, so I took note.  Also, I cleaned up.  A lot.

By the next morning she was still puking and was visibly ailing.  She seemed to be getting sicker by the second, so I called my town doctor and got an appointment.

Here is yet another thing about twins: when one is very sick the other will grow the same amount of annoying in an attempt to steal away some of the attention.  So Z decided, as I was struggling to get them ready for town, that she needed to pee.  I put her on the toilet and she sat there.  FOR AN HOUR.  She did not pee, but whenever I would try to get her to stand she would howl that she needed to pee.  Finally I lost it and pulled her off the loo to screaming protests.  Meanwhile, O was turning grey and I was making great, wailing statements like: "I am going to kill myself if you don't shut up and you don't get better!"

We made it to town, saw the doc, and got our diagnosis.  Severe tonsillitis.  I was given a prescription and headed to the drug store to have it filled.  At the drug store the lady informed me that it would be a minimum of 90 minutes before I could have the meds.  Ugh.  I would have to kill an hour and a half dragging a sick kid and an annoying kid all over town.  I also needed to call J to tell him what was going on, and I wanted to call work to put off my start date as I knew O was going to need me for the next few days.  I went off in search of a payphone.  As we live in a town with no cell access, I am one of the few people in the first world with no cell phone.

I went to the three locations where I know there to be pay telephones, and every single phone, I learned, has recently been removed.  So now I am dragging sicky and annoying-y all over a town that only believes in cell phones.  And I don't have one.  So I get a brilliant idea.  I will check into a hotel.  That way I can use the phone, put my baby down for an hour, then go get the prescription filled, then come back and spend the night in town monitoring my baby.

The first place I go claims to only have their luxury suite available for 300 bucks a night.  I ask if she will come down in cost.  She offers to come down by about 10 bucks.  I explain that my kid is sick, and I need to use a phone.  She tells me there are payphones in the three places I have just looked.  I go to another place and the man says he will check to see if he has any rooms and leaves me there waiting.  After 20 minutes he hasn't come back to the desk. O starts to dry heave, so I get her out of there before she yarks on the lobby carpet.

I give up on the hotel idea and take the girls to Dairy Queen.  I give O some Gravol and Tylenol and then watch her puke into a bag of fries.  I take the girls to Safeway so we can use the loo, and O pukes all over the floor.  I go to the drug store (Shopper's, for the record) and hope that the prescription is ready early.  IT IS!  But the lady says our extended coverage has been denied due to "discrepancy in surname".  Huh?  J has one surname, I have another, and the girls have another still, but we have never had this affect our coverage.  I ask to use the phone so I can call to clear up the problem: "Sorry, we don't have a phone for public use."  I explain that I have a very sick child, no cell, no payphones in town, and I live an hour away.  She is not moved by my plight.

I get the kids in the car and drive home.  When I get home I call our medical plan and find out the lady who would not let me use the phone keyed in the wrong number for our card.  It was entirely her fault that I had to pay the full amount.  I can send in for reimbursement, but I will do so with that woman's nasty face held firmly in my mind.

O gets sicker and sicker over the next few days, and then gets better.  And then Z throws up.  So on my first day off of the season I head back in to see the doctor.  Unlike her sister, Z does not have tonsillitis!  She just randomly puked, nothing to worry about.  With light hearts we grocery shop and then head out of town.

I turn on to the long highway that climbs up the mountain and takes us home.  A few minutes later I notice the "Service Engine Soon" light has not only come on, but is also flashing at me with horrible urgency.  I immediately begin to weigh the pros and cons of turning back or going on.  My mechanic is at home, so if I turn back...where will I take the car?  Am I wrecking the engine by trying to push on?  I hit the next big hill and watch the speedometer drop from 100 to 20kph in about 30 seconds.  Oh joy.  I now estimate that I am eqi-distance from the town I just left and the ski hill that is about 20 minutes outside of our town.  There will be someone at the ski hill as it is summer digs to miners and there are houses around its perimeter.  I will go there.

Just as I decide to keep pushing for the ski hill I take another glance down at the sinister flashing light.  Then I look back up.  To my horror, in the few seconds it took me to look down  and then back up a cow moose and a calf have wandered on to the road and are standing about 15 feet straight ahead of me.  I drive a very small car that would be obliterated by a moose collision.  I stand on the brake.  Literally.  I am standing while driving.  Tires squeal causing the moose to look back just in time to see me and then dash off the road.  It's hoof is inches from the hood of the car as it jumps away.  The calf, disoriented, runs along beside us for about 45 seconds as I try to get going again. We somehow avoid the impact that would've caused the death of all of us - moose and humans.

Shaking, I press on.

Damn.  I'd forgotten about that one big, steep incline right before the ski hill.  A large truck is behind me as I slow down, down, down.  I pull to the shoulder that hovers precariously above a perilous drop to let the truck by, but I don't dare stop as I would never get going again on this hill.  The truck blows by me without bothering to see why I am going 10K up the hill and not stopping on a death drop shoulder.

I make it to the ski hill, croak to a stop, and am lent a phone by a nice guy who turns out to be a friend of friends.  A couple of hours, a tow truck and a rescue in a borrowed van by J later, we are home.

The next day we find out the car problem was a loose wire - small repair but my mechanic is amazed I made it as far as I did with a vehicle that was basically driving with no connection to the ignition.

Aside from madly rehearsing two new shows that open in week, life is kind of back to normal again now.

So that was my past two weeks.  Thanks for tuning in.

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