Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Because a siren would not been nearly so loud, that’s why.

I trotted over and opened the back door of the truck and she was in full song, doubled over, clutching her stomach, bawling her eyes out. I got her and started walking her to the entrance with Reba, both of us trying to get her to settle down some. To no avail.

Inside, past the security guard (where I had to turn in my pocket knives) and on to the triage counter. The necessity of answering questions made some of the tears and moaning stop, and she was given a cup to pee in. That done, more paperwork, go have a seat.

And get to hear all about the wild ride.

It seems that Reba’s dad was at home because he had meetings here in town all day Friday, and so he was home early and when Oldest came in screaming he volunteered to drive them to the hospital.

In Reba’s words, “Terry, I’ll never ever say anything about the way you drive ever again.”

I am actually a very good driver, but oftentimes Reba is reading a book when she’s riding along with me, or is looking out the window. So, she’s not paying any attention to stuff, until I do something she wasn’t expecting, and she thinks I’m the one not paying attention, because she got startled. Whatever. I don’t let it bother me, because I have ridden with her driving, and I never read.

For a reason.

Since I value being able to engage in connubial exercises of a carnal nature, however, I have NEVER said a word about her skills as a driver. And I won’t now. Other than to say that I always prefer to drive, if at all possible.

In any event, I have also ridden with her dad before, too. Apparently, driving skills are passed down genetically.

On the trip Friday, it seems that he did indeed neglect to take an alternative route. Well, a paved alternate route. Reba said when he saw the sea of taillights in front of him, he took to the inside shoulder--not the emergency lane, but the median, and was driving as he usually does, but with more vigor, and more nervous twitchiness, and less judgment.

Driving in the grass around here is a big danger, mainly because there is so much junk hidden over there, and there are all sorts of unseen ditches and hummocks that can do some major damage. So, you have him, driving like a maniac down the median, every bounce and jolt sending Oldest into further screaming paroxysms, further inciting Pops to put the pedal to the metal. They finally had to get back on the road, and came to a dead stop. After a while, some old woman came wandering by who had gotten out of someone else’s car and tapped on their window. Reba’s dad rolled it down a bit, and the woman started screaming, “THE WHOLE INTERSTATE’S BLOCKED! WE’RE GOING TO BE HERE ALL NIGHT!”


They finally got through, and didn’t get a ticket for driving on the median like so many other received, because one of the tow truck drivers was kind enough to call ahead to the cops to let them go because they were on the way to the hospital. From there to the hospital was also quite a trying ride, as well, although at least the pavement was smoother than the shoulder.

Back now in the emergency room, Ashley had finally calmed down a bit, and had quit the crying and screaming, although she was still moaning a bit. We had to go fill out some more paperwork, then sit some more.

Finally, around 7:00 she got called back to an exam room, where we waited. She had finally calmed down enough to just sit and talk, which was good, because I finally found out what all the hubbub was the result of. “Coach Dumbass (not his real name) said that if your appendix bursts, you die.”

Well, no FRIGGIN’ WONDER she had been so upset!

I have just about gotten to the point where I’m going to have to sit down and give her The Talk.

No, not THAT one, the other one. I am loathe to do it, because she has enough problems with respecting authority as it is, but it is the speech that goes something like this: “Just because someone gets a job in a public school, doesn’t necessarily mean they are smart enough to tie their shoes and chew gum.”

I know there are a lot of good, hard-working, smart, conscientious physical education teachers out there--if you’re one, this is not directed at you. But rather, it is directed at the morons who can’t do anything else in life except instruct pimply-faced adolescents on the rules of badminton. If you’re going to dispense medical advice, make sure it’s RIGHT, you dimwitted pile of crap! There is a big difference between “potentially fatal if left untreated” and “deadly, no matter what you do.” Anyway, she’s probably beginning to figure out that she’s smarter than some of the folks called upon to instruct her, and as I said, given her propensity to backtalk, that’s probably not a good thing to know. Because no matter how bright she is, she still has to obey the rules, so even the thickest brick in the hod can still make school life hard for her. You know, some people really get a charge out of being in charge, even if it’s just a bunch of kids.

And, to make it even worse, come to find out all of the kids she insists on hanging around with and calling her “friends” had been pumping her full of horror stories all afternoon about the terrible diseases she might have--and again, all of them fatal.

The Other Talk we have so many times with her that I have stopped counting--“Don’t make friends with people who enjoy torturing you emotionally.” She might be bright, but she also is a little too susceptible to allowing herself to be caught up in wild ideas, and it gets the better of her. As in this instance.

The doctor finally came in and took her history, which was as confusing and illogical as one might imagine given all of the misinformation she had been fed, as well as her own conflation of symptoms and reactions. At the first mention of pain in the lower right quadrant, the doctor’s eyes brightened and said, “OOOh, it might be your appendix!” but her enthusiasm dimmed as soon as she took the rest of the history, and was confronted by conflicting levels and locations and onsets of pain, as well as all the unrelated symptoms Oldest had begun to exhibit. So, the best thing to do was get some blood and schedule her for a CT scan.

Send Pop on back to the house. Wait. Wait. Go to the restroom. Wait. Talk. Made the trek to the imaging department, where she got injected with stuff and got to ride the scanner, while Mom and I sat there impassively with big lead aprons on.

Waited another three hours. During which time Oldest decided to go to sleep.

Finally along about 11:30, the lab results and the CT scan had finally been returned.

NEXT, “Well, whaddya know!”

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