I'm not sure who coined the phrase 'when life gives you lemons, make lemonade', but said person was misinformed. Jameson's Amazing Med School Adventure, as I'd taken to calling our time on the island, was taking it's toll on the family. The only interest I had in lemonade was the kind mixed with vodka in a tall glass of ice... and possibly delivered poolside by a steamy Cuban.
I was off alcohol because of pain medication for my foot. It was still draped in a moon boot and now smelled like a middle school boys locker room because island temps never dropped below 80 degrees. I'd convinced myself the moon boot time was like a detox. I couldn't drink chardonnay and there was no Krispy Kreme on the island. Maybe if I did the Hollywood Cleanse once I got the boot off I'd be Team Aniston thin (Team Jolie was a tad much).
Jameson was studying for his Block Exams which meant Grey and I would be lucky to even SEE him before exams were over. I always used this time to clean our pint-sized condo and catch up on work, usually in that order since clutter-free living was my mantra. This time, however, Grey asked me to get souvenir t-shirts for his friends who'd be on the island the next day on a cruise ship. I reasoned since I shouldn't be on my foot to clean, the least I could do was drive into Maho to hit the souvenir shop across from the pharmacy.
I locked the apartment door, the outer door and hobbled down 2 flights of stairs to our island hooptie. I stalled before getting in the car. 3 weeks before a coconut had fallen from a tree and cracked our windshield. We'd been to the Nissan dealership, a garage, a windshield shop, the junkyard and even called some woman named "Sara the Car Chic" to see about a replacement. Not happening anytime soon. Lemonade? I think not. I made sure the Gorilla tape was secure on the spiderwebs before getting in.
The drive into Maho was uneventful. When I drove through the intersection where Grey and I had seen the dead guy in the middle of the road, I didn't shudder. Not at all. I parked my car in the covered parking and hobbled through the shaded entrance out on to the tiled walk. This stretch of the island was specially designed with vacuums that sucked money right out of your wallet.
Hobbling into the Lord & Hunter shop, I did a double-take. In front of me was a woman, probably close to my mom's age, wearing a boot just like mine and carrying the Coach Legacy Tote in citrus. I barely noticed the tote. Barely. She smiled at me and said, "We must have the same designer."
I laughed with her and asked how much longer she had in the boot. 2 weeks. I asked if she was vacationing. No. She had, along with her best friend, brought her son (and 3 of his "closest" friends) to the island to tour AUC and look for housing. With the little footing I had, I tackled her, stowed the tote and started beating her head with the polished conch shell with SXM in gold calligraphy. Well, in my mind I tackled her and beat some sense into her. Instead I said, "Wow! My husband is a student. Small world."
"He's a student?"
"I know, we're old. I get it. I get that look a lot."
"No, sweetie, I wasn't thinking you were old. I was thinking I wanted to pick your brain. We're staying at the Sonesta. You should come over for drinks by the pool."
Annnnnnnnd.... cue thoughts of the hottie Cuban delivering me vodka lemonades. Gawd. Block week couldn't end soon enough.
Before thoughts about my mysterious Cuban went 50 Shades, I heard the distinct sounds of early-20's guys walking into the shop. Just as I was about to turn, one of the future Nobel Prize winners shouted at my back, "Yo, Cam! Your mom's in here."
I looked at the door just as Cam and his other friend walked through the entrance to Lord & Hunter.
"Douche. That's not my mom," Cam said while shoving his friend and walking around me. He looked right at his mom, the woman in the matching moon boot, and spit back, "This is my mom. You're tossed!"
The guys laughed, Cam's mom smiled and gave me a small shrug and then Cam's "tossed" friend continued to dig his grave, "Oh shit, man. She looks just like your mom. Sorry, ma'am." I have been called a lot of things, but "ma'am" is by far the worst.
I hobbled out of Lord & Hunter empty handed, made it back to my hooptie and proceeded to hit my head against the steering wheel over and over and over. I had a hole in my windshield, couldn't go to the pool because of my foot, couldn't run because of my foot and couldn't drink alcohol because of my foot. Who was I kidding with the running stuff? Well, I could 'run' to the store to buy some Chardonnay. That seemed like a reality I could get on board with. I drove out of the covered parking and cruised on home. Lemonade? Bah!
Monday, December 3, 2012
Sitting in the waiting room of the emergency department at Toronto General is a lot getting your license renewed at the DMV. You sign-in, take a number from the red machine and wait for your turn with people who smell like stale smoke and gym socks. My number flashed on the screen above the registration window and I shuffled up.
I’d gone almost 3 weeks on my “sprained” foot hobbling around in a flip flop and loosely tied Nike's. Today I’d powered through 6 hours of meetings while visiting my client. One physician had taken pity on me and suggested I head down to E-merg. I was so excited to be out of the grime and slime of the waiting area I even smiled at the clerk when she told me I was “lucky” to be going straight back to “Fast Track”. Once Security (read as guy wearing a gun behind bullet proof glass) opened the doors to let me in, I just needed to follow the blue arrows back to the pink room marked “Fast Track” and wait for my name to be called. Simple.
Security dude opened the doors and I shuffled in making sure I stopped at the Purell station. I had no idea what was wrong with the guy sitting next to me in the waiting room, but if it was possible to prevent bacterial meningitis with hand sanitizer, I’d win that battle before going another 4 feet.
I rounded the corner to enter the epicenter of Toronto General Emergency Department. Pausing to search for the blue arrows, I wished Jameson was with me. And that I’d been outfitted in a HazMat suit. I Purell’d again and saw the arrows on the floor to the left on the main nurse’s station. I could also see a Karen Carpenter look-alike on a gurney in the hallway beside the arrows with arms flying around and blood smeared on her face and gown. I’d just entered the Twilight Zone.
Shuffling along past Karen, I followed the arrows to the “Fast Track” section. This room was filled with the same yahoo’s I’d just been surrounded by in the main waiting area. Fast Track my ass! Purell.
Mental checklist: before going to emergency again, review signs of congestive heart failure for faster service.
I made it to the back of the room, the only available seat, and sat down. Checking out my surroundings and doing a mental inventory of the grossness in the 10 by 12 I realized I should have taken a Xanax. Rather than fester on what I could be coming down with by breathing the same air, I took my Kindle out of my purse and started reading my latest Laurie London.
2 minutes passed before noticing Dorothy’s mom from ‘The Golden Girls’ was reading over my shoulder. She smelled like vomit. Turning my head to the right, I saw puke on her shirt and in her hair. She smiled. How do you smile while wearing vomit like a fashion accessory? I was so worried about offending the ED physician I’d changed my socks before coming. I closed the cover of my Kindle and shifted in my seat to turn away from Sophia Petrillo. Bad move. Neighbor to my left was oblivious to the green snot sliding down the front of his face. I immediately realized time spent in this “Fast Track” room meant I’d have to burn my clothes.
After suffering through 3 odoriferous hours, a man screaming about a stolen cat, some hipster chiclet crying that she needed a wheel chair because she was too weak from the X-rays, a dude in green boxers & handcuffs (which he boasted were recreational) and at least 5 cases of the stomach flu, my name was called and I headed back to a room. Purell.
A tech had me walk to X-ray and then immediately told me my foot was broken. He then explained he was going on break as soon as I was done, but he just wanted me to know in case somebody “loses” me. WHAT? Are people lost in the ED often at Toronto General? Dammit. I needed to leave so I could throwback a chardonnay and a Xannie. I walked back to my room alone because X-ray tech guy had someone bringing him a Subway. Purell. After plopping my ass up on the gurney and elevating my foot, I Skpyed Jameson.
ItsKelz: ja, broken foot, xray tech = asshat with sub
Ja.Me.Son: WIFE! What? Your foot is broken? I told you not to walk on it. Didn’t I tell you not to walk on it? Asshat???? Explain.
ItsKelz: waiting 4 doc, i’m on my fon, xray dude chose jared n sub sandies instead of helping me
Ja.Me.Son: ASSHAT! Call me after you speak to the MD.
The physician made it in to see me, politely explained that I had a fractured 5th metatarsal and slapped a temporary cast on my foot while schooling me on the importance of using crutches and not putting any weight on my foot until I’d seen an Ortho. I grabbed my crutches, Purell'd and raced for the EXIT sign. Karen Carpenter was still on the gurney - only now the blood was dry. Eww. I called Jameson while riding in the cab back to the Marriott and, after explaining in finite detail what was done and said, I asked if he understood the patient population of an urban emergency department. He did. Hmm… can you install a DeCon shower in a home?