25 February 2009

Dad, Can I Borrow the Car?

Mulletman, as most of you know already, is a tall, thin, athletic guy. He runs, he lifts weights, he eats moderately, and he takes his vitamins. He doesn't smoke and, other than some allergies and some struggles with muscle tension, he's extremely healthy. Nonetheless, his 17+ year job as a cardiac nurse has required 12-hour shifts (3x weekly) on his feet on a hard terrazo floor. Consequently, he had developed some nasty and painful vericose veins; Nasty enough that our insurance finally agreed to pay for him to have them surgically removed. After many fits and starts and delays, the surgery was finally scheduled for this past Monday.

Also scheduled for that day, rather inconveniently, was the biggest snowstorm of the season. The snow wouldn't have been a big deal (hey, we're Mainahs!) except that GrammaJ was supposed to babysit and she lives across town and has no car, necessitating a cross-town adventure to transport her, AND Mulletman's surgery was being performed at the Big Hospital where he works - an hour away in good weather.

But everything will be fine because we can borrow the folks' car. We own 2 vehicles: One is a minivan that doesn't perform all that well on slick roads and the other is a Subaru. The Sub is great in the snow, but it's a stick-shift and I am having hip and ankle problems that make clutching a miserable occupation. The plan? Park both of our cars and borrow Gram & Gramp's wonderful, spectacular 2008 Subaru Forrester with all wheel drive. It still has less than 10,000 miles on it and has heated leather seats. Oh yeah!

So we got up early and Mulletman started to snowblow and shovel our VERY long driveway. Keep in mind he had nothing to eat and only a sip of apple juice because he was scheduled for surgery. I got the girls up and rolling and made sure everything was ready for GrammaJ. As soon as he a path cleared, I borrowed the fabulous new Subaru and headed out across town to get my mom. The Sub handled beautifully. I had no trouble at all.

Unfortunately, someone else did. As I was cruising along admiring the ease with which I could pass all those cars in the snowbanks, a lady in a 4 wheel drive SUV came down a steeeeeeeeep side street and tried to stop. The good news is, she succeeded. The bad news is, it took the passenger side of the folks' vehicle to help her do so.

Yep...she crashed the Subaru. I was thankful for the slick road because it allowed my car to spin away from her and greatly lessened the impact and damage. If she had hit me that hard on a dry road I'd probably be dictating this from the hospital!

Neither of us were injured and the vehicles were still functional, so she called 911 and we did the police report, etc. All of which took time.

And once the police gave us leave to go I did what any sensible person woiuld do after an accident, I went on across town to pick up my mom. Which took MORE time, not to mention the fact that there were 3 distraught people back at home waiting to see what had happened to me and to the car. Mulletman called me on the cell phone (also the folks'; We don't have a cell phone) and reamed me out. It was LATE and why wasn't I HOME? and what did I think I was DOING? And we needed to go NOW if he was going to be on TIME!!!!

Remember that doghouse video? Well, there's a doghouse for wives too, just in case you didn't know. And I was SO in it! Not for getting in an accident, but for not coming home immediately thereafter. I might add here, that my in-laws were going to be home all day so we didn't NEED my mom to babysit.

I call it I-Was-In-An-Accident-Mush-Brain.

Anyhoo, I got Mom, we got home without further incident and Mulletman, all stormy and muttery jumped into the driver's seat. I ran in to pee (furthering his frustration, but saving me from some!) and then ran back out to sit behind him. We were afraid to open the passenger door lest it not close again!

It was a VERY quiet and VERY tense drive to the hospital!

And this is where I need to share something really special with you. While I was not exactly filled with joy sitting in the doghouse, I WAS filled with a measure of peace. Mm and I have been married for 26 years now. My marriage insecurities are gone. I KNEW that before we went into the hospital I would apologize for making a poor decision and he would forgive me. And I KNEW he would apologize for being an angry jerk and I would forgive him. And thus it came to pass! All was reasonably well before we got out of the car. And all good will was completely restored before his surgery.

However, it was a looooooong day. He had an ultrasound before the surgery and the surgery was scheduled later than we had thought and we were both tired and headachy from the stressful morning. And everything seemed to take FOR.EV.ER.

The care at the hospital was absolutely stellar - no complaints there, but oh-my-word does it get BORING!!! Watch CNN, pace, wander, visit the cafeteria, sit, wander, pace, read. I would have read a whole lot more, but there was a dearth of magazines in the vascular department! One Redbook, 2 Surfer (in Maine? In Winter?), one Prevention and one Time from the 90's.

Bored, bored, BORED!

And, the curse of "screwing up" seemed to be following me. My first hospital flub (I am so ashamed to admit this) was when I accidentally threw my trash into the cans/bottles recycling bin. I, the recycling queen, was mortified, especially since the opening was too small for me to fish the trash back out!

Then, the surgeon came to talk to me. Mulletman's surgery went perfectly. The nurses would come get me in a little while to hang with him while he recovered. Good, I'd use the extra few moments to call home and report in. I went to my coat pocket to retrieve the folks' cell phone.

No cell phone.

I checked the other pocket.

No cell phone.

I took a deep breath, sat down and methodically went through my coat and purse.

No cell phone.

More deep breaths. OK. I was NOT going to cry. The coats had fallen on the floor in the pre-op room. Maybe the phone was in there under the bed or chair. When the nurse came to get me I told her my dilemma. Soon she and I and 3 other concerned and helpful hospital staff were scouring the whole pre-op unit.

No cell phone.

That's alright. It could be in with Mulletman's stuff in his bag of clothes. The nurse scurried off to get his clothes for me.

No cell phone.

Now I was on the edge... Not only had I crashed their new car, but I had lost their cell phone too. Could somebody just shoot me and put them out of their misery??!!

Then one of the nurses got the idea to try to call the phone and see if we could hear it ring anywhere in the unit. It was sweet (and hilarious) to see all these nice people in scrubs scrambling all over trying to help me. While they were looking so diligently, I suddenly had a brain storm. I'd been in the cafeteria a dozen couple times. Maybe I had dropped it there.

Mulletman was still pretty well out of it, so I trotted down to the cafeteria to see if anyone had turned it in. The cashier gave me a weird look and asked, "Does it play When the Saints go Marching IN? Because I've heard that tune coming from somewhere ALOT in this past hour or so!"

Sure enough, that was the one. The cell phone had been recovered!

Sadly, Mulletman's recovery wasn't going as well. He had a really bad headache and he was nauseous. He spent a looooong (boring) time nibbling crackers and applying a cold washcloth and taking ibuprofen, etc.

I was feeling badly for him, of course, but in the back of mind I was wondering about something else - my keys. Not the keys to the folks' smashed up car, but my regular keys that were ALWAYS in my right hand coat pocket. Because they weren't there. Did I take them out and leave them at home? Or were they really missing?

Stress, obsess, worry, pray! Finally, he was taking so long getting up to speed, that I deserted him for another cafeteria run. Apparently I was famous at this point because several folks asked me if my day was going better. I responded by asking them if there had been any keys in the drawer where they'd stashed the cell phone.

No keys.

OK...I was just going to assume they were at home and let it go. (Hahahahahaha! Yeah, right.)

OH well, it's time to wind up this long tale of woe. Mulletman dressed and I got the car and - lo and behold -there were the missing keys on the passenger seat! Halleluiah! :-D

Big sigh of relief.

Now it was Mm's turn to sit in back. Good thing he brought an emesis bag with him because, well, Eeeeeeeeewwwww! But he felt better...

So...a long drive home in the dark. Happily, the storm was over and the roads were clear.

I took him in and got him settled, then took GrammaJ home, then called Funsocksgirl to report in and then did the accident report with the folks and then put the girls to bed and then collapsed!

Epilogue: No one is angry with me and I'm enjoying life outside the doghouse very much. The other lady's insurance is paying for all the repairs on the car and for the folks to rent a car while theirs is in the shop. Mulletman is feeling great and doing great.

The stress aggravated my own joint problems and I've been laying low the last couple of days.

Somewhere in the midst of all this I developed a wonderful new story idea...


Tammy said...

Oh wow...I got all tired and headachy just reading what you all had to go through that day! Talk about a long, stressful time...and to think it was your parents' really nice vehicle...ouch in more ways than one!
So glad you're out of the doghouse, the repairs are being paid for, and Mulletman is doing so well now...
And that you may even have a new story idea out of it all!

Barbara said...

Yikes! What a day. Glad to hear MM is doing well. I am sure he will be tap dancing in no time at all.. VERY dismayed at the thought of you being in an accident with the in-laws car...You have a very good attitude though, after all the "little" trials you went through. May God grant you joy!

anno said...

Sounds like you've been going through a rough patch. Be careful, friend; be easy on yourself, and be cautious, too. Glad to hear you are out of the doghouse. T

here are rumors that winter is passing, that spring may be soon at hand. I am hoping...

Susan said...

What an ordeal, Groovy. We borrowed my mothers car once and had an accident. I felt so very badly about that, in fact all these years later!!!! Having to call her and tell her was one of the worst things in my life.
Glad all is well now for you.

Anonymous said...

What a stressful day. I am so glad you weren't hurt in that accident and that Mulletman's surgery went well. Sounds like you need a big rest!

Lauri said...

What a stressful day but so glad you were not hurt and MM is recovering.

Dawn said...

Oh, my word! I now understand more clearly your last comment to me - and do so appreciate the kind words as well!

Wow, it could have been so much worse - thank you, Lord!

The cell phone amused me the most.

Rule #1 for me - never go anywhere without a book if there is even a remote chance that there might be even a few minutes of waiting involved!

Spring in on the way!

Unknown said...

Oh God love your heart Groovy! (Imagine that being said with my southern accent.) What an exhausting day! I wish I had been there at the hospital to give you some hugs! Praise the Lord it was NOT your fault, the accident that is. I know your family loves you because you seem to be one special Child of God!

Damselfly said...

Wow, what a day! Enough for two or three days, if you ask me. I'm glad you and MM are OK.