Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Rick's Really Bad Week

First things first. My Latest Pet Peeve: People sticking flyers under my windshield wiper. Oh, and another thing. I can't stand jag offs that cut me off in their big honking Cadillac Escalades. My car may cost and weigh about 1/5 of what your penis extension does, but get my Serbo-Celtic-Germanic ire up and I shall call upon my dead ancestors to smote thee and ding thy door sorely. So there.

Which brings us to...

"The Story of Rick's Really Bad Week"*
As told by me, his doting wife, who should be writing employee evaluations
*Details may be augmented or completely inaccurate.

Rick's really bad week began this past Wednesday, when I left for Houston. The restaurant is installing a new POS system, and for the past couple of weeks he's been attending these intensive "training sessions," where most of the actual training on the software is replaced with heated arguments between management and accounting on what the software should be able to do. Wednesday Rick trained from 9-3 and then managed the closing shift from 3-12. That's a really long day. He had a bunch of those, accumulating about 60 hours in 6 days. Keep in mind that before and after work he was diligently completing version 2.0 of our website: Bigger, Better, Faster, More Good Looking.


He was getting his driver's license. A little background. We've lived in Cleveland now for about two years. When we moved here I had to get my car registered for Ohio, which you can't do without an Ohio driver's license. So I got mine immediately, and it was such a pain in the behind to get I warned Rick, "Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time before your license expires, or you'll be sorry -- sorry --- orry --- ry --ry --ry" [ghostly echoing]. Two years pass and Rick's PA license expires despite my persistent nagging. After chatting with one of the Cleveland police officers, who moonlights as security at the restaurant, about the complete illegality of Rick's driving situation and the enormous fines that would be assessed if he were ever pulled over, he decided to get a new license. Of course, the state of Ohio has a short 60-day grace period when you can turn in your old state license for a new one. After the 60 days, you have to take the written exam. If you wait until your out-of-state license expires, you have to take the written exam and the driving test.

Mind you, you can't take your written exam and your driving exam at the same place or on the same day. Which means in the interim, you've probably already guessed, Rick was issued a Learner's Permit. "Well, you know, you really should practice driving before the big test. Just make sure you have an licensed driver in the car with you at all times." Tee hee. I found it all very humorous. I'm sure Rick didn't especially since I was out of town and he had to get to work somehow.

Rick's week improved dramatically when I came home on Friday. The manager in Houston had taken me to a great liquor emporium where I found Rick's favorite beer. He used to get this all of the time when he worked in Vale, but you can't buy it in Ohio. That may soon change with the new OH beer law. I also brought home a local favorite. Rick was quite pleased with both purchases. For myself I bought a bottle of local cabernet sauvignon. Did you know there were vineyards in Texas? Actually there are quite a few. My wine's from Lubbock, which is also famous for this guy. Rick's and my joyful Friday reunion, however, was tainted by an off drawer count at the restaurant. Exactly $100. Gone. Forever. Goodness know where it went.

Saturday had a bright spot. Rick passed his driving test. I am so proud of him. [SNIFF!] He's growing up so fast. And Sunday we had a lovely evening out with friends at Mallorca. Mmmm...paella. The evening made a U-turn towards Craptown around 11:30, when Rick started having trouble breathing. He's had problems with allergies for a long time, aggravated by our now three cats, but had been treating his symptoms with over-the-counter pills and inhalers. His breathing became more and more labored until I convinced him to go to the emergency room around 4:30 am.

Now I've been to the hospital plenty of times, but I have never been to an emergency ward. Very creepy. This particular hospital was undergoing renovations so I dropped Rick off and went on to park the car. To get to the ER, you had to walk down a winding, poorly lit corridor, which seemed designed by Muller-Lyer, Architects. A recently stomach-pumped drunk asked me for a cigarette, as I scooted, disoriented, to my wheezing husband. The ER was atypical from stories I've heard (or seen on TV). There were no mass car crash victims, no severed limbs, no pools of blood being squeegeed off the floor by orderlies. We only waited about 10 minutes to be attended by a triage nurse who quickly admitted Rick. I stayed behind to complete his registration. They asked me tough questions like "What is the patient's social security number," and, "What is the patient's mother's maiden name?" I didn't realize they were shooting episodes for the New Newlywed Game. I joke. I really do know the answers to these questions, Folks. Remember it was really early in the morning, and I was funcitoning with no sleep.

When I was reunited with Rick, I found him breathing much easier with the assistance of a nebulizer. They also hooked him up to oxygen, since the levels in his bloodstream had dipped a bit from all of his shallow breathing. He was certainly doing much better than the lady on the other side of his curtain. She was having a heart attack. The doctors were talking about catheterizing blood vessels and accidental death waivers. The worst part about her situation was that the woman had gone to see her GP a week ago complaining about the pain, and she told her she was fine and to stop worrying about it. This is why you get a second opinion.

After some poking and prodding and a barrage of questions from a resident, the doctor came in and declared that Rick had an asthma attack. The most likely cause were allergens (the cats) and that we would either have to get rid of the allergens (the kitties???) or go see an allergist for further diagnosis/treatment options. OK, THIS is why you get a second opinion. Rick's making a follow-up appointment with an asthma clinic today. He wasn't taking any maintenance medication for his allergies (other than OTC), so hopefully the allergist will give him some treatment options that don't involve chucking our furry children out of our home. In the meantime, the ER doctor put him on a round of steroids and some prescription inhalers which seem to be working well.

And that's the end of "Rick's Really Bad Week". Let's hope he doesn't have another one anytime soon.

A couple random notes from me:

I got my hair cut while I was in Ottawa. It's short. Not "Best Man at My Brother's Wedding" short, but short nonetheless. I'll get some pix up on the website soon.

Just got a flu shot and my arm is really sore. But I have a lollipop and you don't. Nanny-nanny-fru-fru.

No comments: