Moral of the Story: Heed Check Appendix Light

If we had paid any attention to the check engine light before we left, the car probably wouldn’t have stalled out.

Likewise, if Dave had heeded his check appendix light, he wouldn’t still be sitting in that lousy hospital bed and I might not consider vacation to be a four letter word.

Every day on the way to the hospital I pass the place where we were married.   Out front there’s this green guy with waving tentacles and fangs that hollers at me as I go by.  He’s all IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH this and FOR BETTER OR WORSE that.  And to think that 13 calm years of marriage had me thinking I was in for some wine sipping and sunset-ward sailing.

Other guys may say a quick goodbye to their appendix and head for the door.

Dave is not like other guys.  Today is his 11th day in the hospital, which by my calculations makes this the Worst Vacation Ever.

Turns out, if we had heeded that check appendix light when it burst in Colorado, the road to recovery would have been a whole lot smoother.  And this vacation would be more about rinsing sand from our nether regions and less about white blood cell counts and red jello.

Not that it’s all hospital gowns and stalled out engines (did I mention the car died? I think that was the same day Kira started throwing up. Or maybe it was just after my mother was diagnosed with Lyme disease, but before my father learned he was in the cast for another week. Funny how things blur together in these hazy summer days.)

Still, if you squint just so it’s almost like there is some good old fashioned vacationing going on out there —

There’s been broccoli picking in Grandma’s garden.

And a full moon over the bay.

My lucky sailor gals have a Grandma willing to take them on a boat-bound sleepover tied to the dock when loftier plans get foiled by hospital stays.

And then there’s mugs like this one.

I suppose it technically belongs to my sister, but it’s currently working overtime melting my aching heart, which despite nagging setbacks still harbors dreams of sailing off into the sunset with that guy I made those vows to.

Yeah, yeah, I’m still in.  For better or worse.  In sickness and health.

Ahhh, Vacation

There’s nothing like it.

The crisp scent of ammonia in the morning.

The precious squeak of white shoes on linoleum.

The fluorescent lights and the beeping machines.  Nothing says vacation like the emergency room.

And this year, instead of wasting time with pedestrian trappings like sand castles or sailboats we simply unloaded the suitcases and the children and were on our way.

If you remember Jack Nickolson in Something’s Gotta Give,

then you’ve got a pretty good idea of how our first few nights at the beach went down.

We loaded up for the big road trip as planned, last Tuesday. The only addition to the car load of snacks, bathing suits and t-shirts was a bottle of ibuprofen for Dave’s unusual fever and stomach pain.  Funny thing; his appendix, which burst somewhere between Iowa and Wisconsin, didn’t slow him down a bit.  He sill managed a week’s worth of driving, basketball, jump rope and kickball games on the road out east.

The CT Scan tech asked me if he had a high tolerance for pain.   I think he just hates the idea of missing a game.

Understandably, Dave didn’t sleep well the night of the surgery, but it was not the beeping machines or the nurses in and out of his room demanding vitals that he blamed.  No, it was the screams of “STOP HIM HE’S GOING TO JUMP!” and “SOMEONE CALL THE ER, HE’S JUMPING!” that kept him up.

Turns out that one of the druggies from detox decided he’d had enough of the cafeteria food and thought he’d sail off into the sunset instead.  Hard to blame him considering the tantalizing view from the hospital windows.

Don’t get any ideas, dear husband.  My only wish is that you mend well and come back to me and then, I promise, we will sail off into the sunset together.