A very productive sick day.


My wife continued to wake up vomiting. In the morning I take my time getting up, I know I have the morning off to drive in, but we didn’t pack the night before since I was focused on her illness.

I lay in bed and count the tasks I have to resolve today.

  1. Pack
  2. Drive
  3. Get the dogs from the kennel
  4. get the last week of mail
  5. get our other car from the dealership and pay the deductable.

I have to do all this essentially by myself.

Packing

Goes well, we had access to a washer and dryer, so almost all of our laundry is clean prior to our exit. I have a modest (although sugary punch of a) breakfast, share a sausage kolache with my MIL. I ease my wife out of the bedroom where I put on and tie her shoes.

We hug family.

We get in the car and go.

The Drive

I prepped by grabbing a few gallon storage bags for the possibility of a sick accident. I also stash a towel and wet wipes for possible cleanup.

Thankfully those are never needed, although she holds the plastic zip bag open for comfort.

The country road is an amazing drive. Were it not for my bride in sickness, I would have very much enjoyed the oppertunity to drive back with the top down as I had frequented the local Walmart the day before. I consider how if anything were to happen to her, I’d keep this car, this precious of hers, as a momento and “drive it into the ground” so to speak.

She’s sleeping, her head occasionally popping up for an motor noise of a passing truck or an unfortunatelay resonant series of bumps. I try to change speed to break the vibration mode. She only complained about the wave once.

A fuel and snack stop marks halfway just as we reach the Interstate. She optimistally takes a Gatorade and some candy, but barely touches the first.

The Interstate is largely boring, although the amount of “hot heads” as I end up calling them is enough to keep her awake.

We’re home sooner than it feels like we should be, but we’re in one piece and she’s held herself together. She crawls in bed, and tries to nap while I go off.

Retrieving the dogs from the kennel

Normally, this is what we have the big, comfortable SUV to manage. I can get all three dogs in the backseat, and mostly keep them from trying to come up front by holding my elbow over the arm rest.

I have a Mini Cooper Convertable as my only vehicle for the moment. My wife had non-verbally expressed distress about letting the dogs in her car, but honestly she wasn’t in any state to put up a strong defensive argument.

I grab the mail. We have so much junk waiting for us, a few letters are jammed in the back of the box, four packages in total via USPS.

I take note that maintenance by one entrance to the community restricts return via the normal, convenient route.

I pay for the boarding, and my three pups are brought enthusiastically into my arms. The staff help me wrangle them so I can get them in, which I load into the car, the two littles in the back, picking them up and setting them in the backseat with the top down. The big gets to take “shotgun” for the first time in years, and I thank the staff member as I roll the top up and head for the back entrance.

Whining and excitement are almost unbearable in the small quarters.

As I approach the rear entrance to the community, a bevy of police vehicles are swarming a contruction supply depot (those little portable offices on job sites), and I swear I saw a shotgun in hand.

Will I remember try and find out if that got reported locally?

The dogs run to the backdoor and I get them out of their harnesses and collars for some home time relaxation with their momma.

The repaired car

I grab a Lyft into town, 20-ish dollars. The driver is a nice guy, from Cuba he says, and speaks almost no English. I nod with a smile and when he asks if I speak Spanish I smile and say “no, little French” ¯\(ツ)/¯ I think about the revenue share of gig apps, and I tip him $8, more than 30%. The app assures me the driver gets 100% of the tip, and I mark him five stars, he already has a perfect rating.

After I’m checked in with the repair center, a woman in her 60’s walks in, and I remark to her “my wife has that exact hoodie”. She seems happy, and points out how uniq it is, and perfect for the day. A rainbow skeleton, complete with pink skull on the hood. She says she picked it up at a thrift store some time ago. As she’s checked in herself, I find a 13 year old photo of my wife in hers, but the woman walks away, finding a comfortable seat by the complimentary espresso bar.

I text my wife, asking how she’s doing. She’s thrown up what little she had to drink in the car.

The rep at the dealership compliments my Zelda shield patch on my hat. I point out “it’s velcro”, having just sewn a bunch of patches on things the last three weeks. We chit chat and I pay the deductable.

I grab a chicken sandwich from the neighboring golden arches.

I drive back home, avoiding the exit Siri really wants me to break the law to cross three lanes and smash through plastic bollards. I already know that entrance is closed to maintenance on the street lights.

Your one job: to not vomit.

Thankfully the contents of her bucket are light and only a slight green tinge. Maybe the bile reflux is lessening.

We talk about the possibility of going to the ER. I say that it can be her decision, I’ll support her, but I really do hate the idea of seeing her tortured by both being a “hard stick” for setting an IV and the fact that being dehydrated means it’s even worse.

I convince her to try one generic Dramamine with a tiny amount of water. If it comes up, so what? We’ll hop in the car and get to the ER like planned. She agrees, and I suggest we pass the time by restarting Parks and Rec (which we hopped into season 3, following her last incident, picking up where she left off from the hospital cable TV). An hour passes and it stays down. She adds that her headache is still strong. I get her a generic Tylenol and two ibuprofen (a trick my endodontist taught me). Another hour, still it’s all stayed down, and now she’s actively drinking her Gatorade, half a bottle. She says she can’t tell if she feels “better” yet. But I think I can see her demeanor improve already.

She wants to “take a nap” at 8:40pm before she takes her nightly pills. I tuck her in.

I eat three child sized bowls of ice cream, polishing off the “grasshopper” tub while watching the Climate Town and Matt Parker collab videos on Chicago’s miserable deal to sell city parking meters to bankers for a 75 year lease.

I set up her C-Pap machine, and ask if she wants it. No, and I understand, considering the story of Apollo 9 in the old HBO series From the Earth to the Moon. TL;DR no fun to worry about throwing up with a helmet/mask on.

I catch her mother up with details, and I write this up in the dark, listening to my beautiful wife snore peacefully.