Monday, July 5, 2010
The Threshold of Hell
When I was a kid, my grandmother would come unglued if anyone set a pair of shoes on the table. Never mind the fact that she was a neat freak and that shoes on the table are just disgusting. It was because she was superstitious. I looked up the "shoes on the table" superstition and it was said that a death was coming. She said it was like the kiss of death. So my childhood version was a little different but either way it was a bad thing. You could rip your pants(bad luck for the day) under a ladder all the while breaking mirrors on your head and you would still be better off than setting a pair of shoes on the table. At least, that was what I was taught. I personally don't think much about superstitions but they do roll around in my head from time to time. I know its stupid. I'm not an illiterate person. And yet, there are a few things that I will never escape. This would be one of them. And after the story that I tell you, I think that you will agree that the curse is alive and well. I was also very hesitant of posting that picture with this post. I wonder if there is a curse for cyberspace. We shall find out.
Last Sunday, we had to drop DJ off at Northwestern University. They have a summer program for gifted children and DJ was going to be studying Advanced Trigonometry. He is staying there for three weeks so we basically had to pack him for college. Which worked out pretty well because we used the stuff that we have gathered for Anna. All went well, we set up his room, toured the campus, praised him, and then left. We had to be quick about it because the next morning Donna, Anna, and I had to leave for EIU to register Anna. It was going to be a fun girl's trip. Ahhhhhh, if only we knew.
I got up Monday morning and finished gathering the last things that I needed for our fun little trip. I knew that there was going to be a lot of walking so I packed a good pair of gym shoes on the bottom of my bag and then set everything on top of it. I ran downstairs and set the bag on the table and finished getting the house ready to leave. About fifteen minutes later, I remembered the shoes on the table. I walked over, set the bag on the floor, and thought about what my Grandmother would have said to me if she was alive. In the back of my head, I heard a little voice say,"Well now you have done it!" I smiled knowing that I'm a woman of the 21st century and those things don't exist. I grabbed my stuff, said good bye to the dog and locked the door.
It took the curse ten minutes to catch me. I drove over to the bank to make a deposit. I was all smiles thinking about how it isn't often that us girls get to have alone time. I was looking forward to our time together. Wonderful thoughts filled my head as I pulled up to an open lane at the bank. I sent my transaction to the teller and my phone rang. I smiled as I picked up the phone. I was happy.
My Mother-In-Law Donna was breathless and frantic on the other end. She kept asking me where I was. I told her and asked just as frantically what was wrong. She has very thin skin. She had put her jeans on very quickly and had a skin tear. The problem was not only did she tear the skin open, she ripped the varicose vein under it wide open. It was a major vein. She was pumping blood everywhere and it wouldn't stop. I think of the shoes on the table. I couldn't help it, that was the first thing that jumped into my head. Not saving her life just how I had caused this by setting the damn shoes on the table. Luckily, Anna had spent the night with her. I told her to go get Anna and have her help. This is the point that I need to tell you that Anna does not do well in stressful situation. She has what I like to call a flip out when things get bad. But they would just have to find a way to get through this. Donna calls for Anna to help her. I get off the phone really quickly and call Den. He works 20 minutes away and could get to them before I could. Den and I both go speeding over there. By the time that we both get there, the bleeding is under control and Anna is only having a small panic attack. We load Donna into my car and take her to the emergency room. And why didn't she just call 911. She didn't want to be any trouble. Just shake your head because I told her to call. I can't say too much though!
As far as emergency room visits go, this one was great. We were in and out in an hour. They said that she had done the hard part and they wrapped her leg in an ace bandage. She also got the ok to go on the trip. She just needed to keep it elevated as much as possible. Most people would cancel the trip but not us, we are troopers. Come Hell or high water, Anna girl was getting registered. Hell was next.
We go back to Donna's and grab a wheelchair that she had kept that was her mother's. Her veins bulge the more she stands so I said she wasn't going without it. I used my mom voice when I told her that. We make her a bed in the back of the car, throw the wheelchair and all of our stuff in the trunk and are off like a flash.
Den called just to check on us and said his mother was the crazy hemophiliac in the back seat. We all laughed and we were happy that we were on our way and that the worst was behind us. If only we knew that it was a precursor to Hell.
I can honestly say that it wasn't such a great drive. Since we were late, we hit a lot of traffic in Chicago. Anna hates semis and since I'm too cheap for an I-Pass, we had to pull over to pay the tolls. And then crazy woman in the back seat kept telling me that her GPS was wrong and that I should listen to her instead of it. So she is trying to figure out where we were from on her back just looking up and out the windows. Anna is complaining and whimpering that I'm getting to close to the trucks and I'm weaving through intense traffic to pay the f***ing tolls. All the while, dear Donna is yelling out that I'm going the wrong way. Needless to say, the GPS was right. Looking back this was the easy part of the trip.
We arrive at the hotel. My nerves were a little shot but all and all we had a good laugh at the trouble that Donna caused. We went out to dinner and talked about how this was going to be a story that we told for years. Dinner was great and since we still had a bit of light, we drove around and looked at the little town that Anna would call home for the next four years. My heart was a little heavy as we drove back. I was losing my little girl. If only I had the time to ponder that thought.
So would this be round two or twenty seven? We get back to the room and Cindy(my SIL) calls Donna to tell her that her husband has hand, foot, and mouth disease. Again my flipping shoes pop into my head. Setting a pair of shoes on the table could not cause this random bad luck. I go back to listening to Donna talk to Cindy and wonder wasn't that disease eradicated with the black plague? Hmmmm, this is a bit odd even for me.
And I have saved the best for last! We get up the next morning. Donna was up before us and was ready. She decided that she was going to explore the hotel while we got ready. Remember how I had told you that I was trying to find cheaper pills on the Internet for all of my many problems. Well before I left I packed my pill case with all of the new pills that I had gotten. Mind you, all of them were vitamins and minerals. I have only one prescription and that is for my thyroid.
Back to the story, I pop my pills and start to get ready. I feel my face get hot and swollen not to long after I take the pills. And this is the point where I have no recollection save one. I'm just going to tell you what Anna told me. My skin turned bright red and I became one burning welt. I went to the couch and laid down. I told Anna that I was having an allergic reaction and she pulled out the pills that I keep in my purse for DJ and gave me a Benadryl. That would be the point where my eyes rolled in the back of my head, my arms twisted oddly against my chest, and I started bouncing my head off of the arm rest. Yup just for shits and giggles, I had a seizure. And because I'm special, I had a one of the worst asthma attacks that I have ever had in my life and my airways closed up. Isn't your body supposed to help itself under extreme distress? Not me, when things get bad I like to smother myself.
And this is the point where you can say poor Anna! Donna was still off wondering and Anna was on her own yet again to save another life. She called 911 and as she put it "slapped the crap out of me."
Right about now is the "save one" thing that I spoke about earlier. It was the strangest damn thing but my eyeballs tried to jump out of my head. Think it can't get worse, my eyeballs were trying to leave because Anna had to give me mouth to mouth. Yes people, I made out with my daughter. It gives me the willies just thinking about it. So if you ever receive CPR, it feels like someone is trying to blow up your head and your eyeballs don't appreciate it at all. I'm pretty sure that they bulged open. But the good news is I wasn't dead enough for the kiss of life and shoved her away. We are just all kinds of fun!
Somewhere after all the kissing, Donna came back and walked into our little mess. Which made the two of them argue. Don't ask. Donna called 911 too and they made her stand in the hall. Sounds to me like Donna got a time out!
The EMTs rushed in quickly and gave me a breathing treatment to open my lungs at about the same time the Benadryl kicked in. My oxygen level was at 83% so I wasn't doing so great. All I can really remember was the nice man holding my hand saying to me, "Come on honey, stay with us."
I came around pretty quickly and because I'm too tough for the hospital, I signed a release saying that I refused treatment. And you are more than welcome to shake your head in disgust at me! As far as catastrophes go, this one was a breeze for me. The wonderful EMTs left and I looked at my sobbing daughter and my very pale mother-in-law and said while rubbing my hands together, "Get your shit and let's go. We have gone through to much not to get her registered!" I've never seen two more shocked people in my life. But they obeyed!
Poor Anna had to register for classes after having gone through all of that and I had to push Donna around in a wheelchair. Only the weak would give up at this point!
We managed to get her registered and leave the college without incident. I'm not counting the time I ran Donna into the wall because I had 2 Benadryls pulsing threw my veins.
Well good buddy, I even put the hammer down and flew home(after the drugs wore off,I think). I decided that a ticket would have been like Christmas morning compared to what we had just been through and took a chance. I made it (surprisingly) with no problems home. I think Donna kissed the ground after we dropped her off.
Anna recounted the story to Den and sobbed all over him when we got in the door. He agreed with her that both Donna and I were trying to drive her insane and that she didn't think she should go away to school because who would keep us alive. He patted her head and after a while said, "Come on, I'll take you to McDonalds for a soft serve cone. That will make it better." (He used to do that a lot when she was very small.) They three of us drove over to McDonalds and placed our order. The guy came on the speaker and said, "Oh sorry, the soft serve machine is broken."
I turned to Den and in my most loving voice yelled, "Would you please just fucking bring us home before someone explodes!"
Yup my life really is this messed up! You can't make this crap up. And guess what, the transmission went out on the Focus!
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