Did I mention how many insects we have in the house? Apparently living in the country is a constant indoor entomology exhibit - something you just kind of put up with, especially in an old house. On an unrelated note, Jim pulled a muscle in the back of his leg while jogging the other day. It wasn’t a big deal - he could still function. We thought it would heal up on it’s own over time so he didn’t worry about it too much. But it seemed to get slightly worse every day over the period of about a week. He spent yesterday in bed (with plans to go to the doctor) because the pain was in the back of his leg really bad. Sounds logical, right?
So this morning at the creak of dawn I woke up to what I thought was an earthquake with full bed-rattling action, and what sounded like the shrieks of the damned. I literally have not bolted out of bed so fast since I heard the first plane hit the tower outside my window on 9/11 while still living in Manhattan. As soon as I realized the screams were not a flock of pterodactyls waking up in the woods outside (I swear I saw one out there the other day).
I pulled the layer of centipedes that had spent the night on my face off of my face and, instead of witnessing The Rapture (which I expected), I noticed instead Jim doing a full-blown Regan MacNeil impersonation. In my twilight, coffee-less blur, I tried to find out what was wrong. His extremities were numb and he couldn’t move his hands, or parts of his face (insane!) and the pain was so bad all he could do was thrash around and yell. I immediately called 911 because I thought he was having a heart attack! Within minutes, the ambulance shows up and I’m out in the lawn running around going downright Paul Lynde-shouty-crackers. The EMT workers wheeled Jim out on the lawn over the bumpy grass (he had toned-down his Linda Blair bit and was now channeling a drooling, droopy-headed Geri Jewell) with me running shrieking behind them, my toupee flapping against the back of my head in the country breeze. Oh what a glorious morning it was.
You see, we haven’t met most of our neighbors yet, and an ambulance at your residence at the crack of dawn tends to jar people out of bed. Neighbors in pajamas and slippers and curlers were coming out to see twitching Jim in a wheelchair, being led by a screaming me, stone-faced EMT workers in tow. “Hi, nice to meet you! We’re the new gay couple that moved in next door!” No welcome muffin baskets? Oh lord, what a scene. We get to the emergency room and it turns out he’s fine, technically. He has Sciatica - a weirdly pinched nerve (severe) cause by an injury (running). Early morning attacks of it are actually common. Tons of painkillers and re-checkups and advice about how to let Sciatica heal is what he gets, unless it comes back.
So with Jim fully numbed and morphined and briefed and checked-out… I literally poured him into another wheelchair (we had to make two trips from the doctor area to check out, twice because while I was dealing with the check-out lady, a drug-addled Jim decided to literally crawl out of the chair and start inch-worming, Helen Keller-style, back to the ER bed). On the second trip out, Jim looked at the check-out ladies and as he wheeled by and said “I’mm ssuurry ffuurr myy Cuuurrt-knee Luvvv impersin-naa-shunnn…” I wheeled him out into the sun and parked him on the sidewalk (being sure to set the chair’s brakes) and went to get the car. As I pulled up I saw him sitting in the chair there, almost asleep but smiling. He looked like one of those children burn victims you always see wearing Disney caps sitting in wheelchairs at charity fundraisers.
What was weird, is that as Jim was being checked out and tested by all the doctors, in the bed next to us were two filthy guys in camouflage jumpsuits. One of them had accidentally shot the other one Cheney-style with some sort of rifle, and the doctors where picking all of the little pellets out of his face while they both sat there smiling and telling hunting stories. You could see the X-ray of the guy’s head on the chart next to him, and it had all these while bullet fragment dots all over his skull. They had been turkey hunting. There was also a teenage kid in the bed across from us wearing a Radio Shack employee uniform, hooked up to an oxygen machine. The emergency room also had free coffee.