Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Exactly What We Weren't Expecting, Part II

Continued from yesterday...

“I see you guys are having another sleepless night which I’m sure you are used to with a five-month-old!  Congratulations on that new baby girl!” The now-confused ER doctor wrinkled his brow at the couple’s strange reaction to his kind sentiments.

“Ohhhhhh!” Me and Bob smiled at each other then at the doctor and I tossed the breathing-in-a-paper-bag idea aside…no splashy headlines tomorrow after all, whew!

After a quick exam, a cranky gallbladder was diagnosed as the problem and pain meds and an ultrasound were in order.  But first, the nurse had another question,

“What would you rate your pain?”

I’m always flustered by this question.  The nurse wanted me to assess it on a scale of 1-10 but again, it’s rather tricky: even when I’m in the throes of child-birth, I don’t feel I could commandeer a “10” rating.  That seems like it should be reserved for people that earn purple hearts in the military or are being wheeled off an ambulance gurney after getting shot.  I can almost imagine if I were ever to rate my pain at a “10”,  these people would storm into my room, shouting, “We have real pain!  How DARE you say you have a level-ten pain, you silly girl!!”  

So I hover around the number seven, which seems safe but still extreme enough to hopefully warrant some happiness-inducing-meds that would keep the pain at bay.

“Um…I’m at an seven.”  I finally decided but when the nurse gave me an evil eye, I reconsidered.  Nevermind, I’m not worthy!  I’m a level two…no, a level one!  I’ll clear out of this room for the purple-heart people that have real issues!

But I stuck with “7” and the nurse threw together an I.V., poked me with a needle and in came the pain meds.  It was like an I.V. of liquid gold being pumped into a man on his last dollar.  The only thought going through my blissfully melting brain at that moment was, Thank you God for the brilliant minds of science that have created this drug for our enjoyment.  

I was so exhausted that I slept right through them rolling me to a different wing of the hospital, performing an ultrasound on my belly (now that is pretty tired!) and returning me to the ER room where I noticed in a sleepy fog that my husband was no longer there (duty called from home!).  I’m quite sure someone could have rolled me into the parking lot in the freezing cold, transferred me to their trunk and kidnapped me for a ransom (they would have been rather disappointed with that one: "Would you take the ransom in "I owe yous" or from our stock-pile of diapers?") and I wold have gone right on sleeping.

It was a few hours...or perhaps days or years later when I awoke to the doctor gently shaking me.  “Now that you have been up all night with this ordeal," he said, "would you like me to write an excuse for you to get out of work today?”

I suppressed a belly laugh, “Sir, I’m quite sure my children won’t accept any excuse for me not showing up to work today and there isn’t a single person I could afford to fill in for me!  But thank you anyway.”  I called my husband and assured him he wasn't going to get rid of me so easily so please come back and get me, then I limped out to the waiting room to wait for him.

When I got home and walked in the door, I was tackled by a gang of footsie-pajama-wearing-midgets and a crying baby that had been boycotting her bottle.  I wondered if I would remember anything that would happen that day as I was still deliriously tired; but, as I soaked up messy kisses and was bombarded with questions (“Why do you have those band-aids on, Mommy?  Can you get out my Star Wars toys?  Can I have some special-sugar-cereal?  Can Nana live with us forever?”), I couldn’t think of an excuse in the whole world, even one signed by a doctor, to not show up for a job that I truly love!

There's no place like home.

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