Happy Wednesday! I’m hot. It’s really hot in Vermont. Hot in Vermont is a pain because Vermont seems to have a law against air conditioning. I am trying to embrace my inner Norman Rockwell and find the New England summer heat charming instead of annoying. My friend Jacob and I discovered that I am much less crabby if I have a diet coke with extra ice, so that is the drink of the day, therefore, this blogisode is brought to you by Diet Coke, just for the taste of it. More about Diet Coke in just a moment, as it plays a role in our story.
I am also posting a picture of the view from behind the theater at The Weston Playhouse,
which is the view as I write and also the view from rehearsal. Pretty nice view, huh?, and yes, we all fantasized about jumping in the water throughout our hot and sticky music rehearsal. Maybe some people did go swimming, but I didn’t because there is probably (most absolutely) a shark lurking in that river. Or a snake. Or a snapping turtle. Any way you slice it I’d rather be hot which makes me NOT very Norman Rockwell.
Here we go…where did we leave off? I think we had Brynn offering to spend Monday night, Hannah at the apartment, the kids in bed, me making frantic phone calls to recruit help and Rob just finding out that he had to sleep in the ER because there was not a bed in the ICU. Caught up? Let’s go on with the show.
The curtain rises in Crazy town, the late night Lenox Hill Emergency Room. Rob was still suffering through enormous amounts of pain and the doctors felt it was important to keep him well monitored, so they kept him in the ER rather than move him to a regular hospital bed.
Let me explain the layout of the ER at Lenox Hill. I will refrain from using a hand map, which you know I enjoy, because it is easier and faster to just picture the hospital on the tv show MASH. Minus the tent. Add numerous hand sanitizers. Basically, just think beds everywhere and Hot Lips Houlihan as the nurse.
There was a wide array of ailments in the ER on that Sunday night. We had a Chinese-speaking woman who was moaning and repeatedly vomiting. We had a Jamaican woman with a thick and beautiful accent right next to Rob who was having dizzy spells and leaving the same message on her daughter’s voice mail every 10 minutes: “Angela. It is your Mother. I am in the hospital. I need you to answer your phone. Call me right away” We had an elderly man across from Rob who was suffering from chest pains, accompanied by a young woman who appeared to be his daughter.
Late in the evening, Hot Lips Houlihan looked at me and said, “We’ll be taking your Dad down for a lower….” as soon as she got to the word Dad, I stopped listening and her voice became the voice of the adults in the Peanuts cartoons, because I was totally confused. She continued talking “Muah, muah, muah, muah-wah” while my brain raced to make sense of it. My Dad? My Dad is in Cincinnati, Ohio watching Bill O’Reilly or Animal Planet. Then it dawned on me. Oh! She meant that old guy across the way with the chest pains. So I clarified.
“Oh no, he’s not my Dad (pointing to the elderly-chest-pain-guy). I’m with him (pointing to the young, handsome and in pain, Rob Meffe).
She looked at me. She looked at the old guy. She looked at Rob. Then she said, “I know (pointing to Rob). Your Dad. We’re taking him down for a….” Her voice went back to the “Muah muah” Peanuts speak as I stood, totally baffled.
Wait. She thinks Rob is my Dad? No. That can’t be right. I interrupted Hot Lips and clarified again.
“Wait. You think he’s my Dad?” She nodded yes as she typed on some medical-looking-monitor-kind-of-thingy (that is the official name of it). I asked again. “You think that guy, right there, in that bed is my Dad?” She looked up and nodded. Looking at me and looking at him. I couldn’t help it, I laughed. “He’s not my Dad, he’s my spouse!”
She shrugged and said, “Sorry. I thought it was your Dad. We’re taking him down for a lower…muah….muah…muah….” I had to wonder, how could she think that? I am actually 6 months OLDER than Rob.
So I asked, just because I knew that either way this was a great story for later and I had to get it exactly right, “Wait, wait, wait….Did you think he was my Dad because he looks so old, or because I look so young?” Rob, knowing I was up to no good, groaned from his gurney.
Her reply was chipper. “Because you look so young!”
Fantastic! I decide that Rob should hear my good news. “Rob, did you hear that, she thought I was your DAUGHTER because I look so young!”
Rob, in a ball on the bed with his eyes shut, started to laugh and moan. “Stop. Dear God, I’m never going to hear the end of this.”
Naturally, I go on and on just for comedic effect, all because Rob is smiling for the first time in hours. “Did you hear her? I look young enough to be your daughter!” Remembering that I had been stung earlier by the “Are you here to have a baby?” comment, I stop in my tracks with delight. “Oh my God, Rob, at Lenox Hill Hospital, I’m a pregnant teenager!”
But of course I have to out myself to Hot Lips, because she is clearly blind (or more likely, very distracted). “Just to be clear, I’m 43.” She seemed impressed. It was a tiny bright spot in a really crap day. Forgive my gloating.
After many hours, Rob and I decided it was crazy for me to sit in a chair and try to sleep in the ER. Hot Lips was keeping a good eye on my Dad as he was trying to muscle down a half gallon of resolution fluid for whatever test he was getting (ummmm…..I think it was a Cat Scan??) after a dose of anti nausea medicine. It was miserable. The test was scheduled for 3 am. I left with a kiss and a promise that I would be back as soon as I dropped Charlotte off at school in the morning. I drove home around midnight, sent Hannah back to her apartment in a cab (she was coming back at 7:30am–that saint of a girl) and I tried to sleep, my cell phone right next to my head. As I drifted off for the hour of sleep that I eventually got, I wondered if the Jamaican Woman’s daughter had ever turned on her phone.
To read the next blogisode, go here: http://www.sharonwheatley.com/2011/07/14/dont-f-with-the-pancreas-blogisode-eight/