Sunday, March 14, 2010

It started innocently enough

Being an electrical engineer is very dangerous work. I know what you're thinking, "Oh, puhlease. You're not one of those power electrical engineers who designs electrical distribution systems and gets his hands blown off by 20,000 volt high tension wires. You're a power management architect for things that top out at 130W. That's less than one fifth the power of the amplifier under Max's seat in your new truck. And Max is in no danger of getting his butt blown off."

It would be harder for me to know what you were thinking if you didn't move your lips when you thought. But, then again, it would be nice if turkeys didn't stare up at the sky and drown themselves when it rained. Or if women didn't decide to ignore their husbands once they had children. There are a lot of things that would be nice but aren't going to happen.

So, I am at peace with your lips moving.

I was on my way home from work Wednesday, and when I slung my laptop should strap over my shoulder, a horrible, horrible pain shot through my shoulder blade. Yes, such are the travails of the veritable power management architect - ergonomic injuries from working at a compooter all day. The old tendinitis is acting up.

I loaded up on ibuprofen and tossed and turned all night. It turns out to be hard to sleep if any movement at all causes pain to shoot through your back.

Thursday wasn't any better, though I found that sitting upright was a lot less painful than lying down. It was also 4H meeting night, which means not a lot of time for dinner between 4H and when I get to go out wif da boyz to Fat Camp. While we were chowing down at Arby's, my throat started to hurt. A lot. And so did my ear. The Mrs. noticed that I wasn't my cheery self, so to comfort me, said said, "If you are at all sick when you get home from Fat Camp, you're sleeping in the basement."

That's love, folks. I hope it's not too mushy for you.

When I got home from Fat Camp, my throat still hurt. So did my shoulder. You really can't drink enough beer to kill that kind of pain and still drive home. So, I did what anyone in my position would do - I popped a vicodin that I had left over from the last time I had great pain and went to sleep in the basement guest room.

Ahhh, there's nothing quite like that first vicodin. Yes, you build up a tolerance really quickly, so each one is less and less enjoyable, but that first one - the joy is almost indescribable. It's like the first time you flip on the air conditioned seat cooling in your new truck, only warmer.

So I'm peacefully sleeping in the basement, full of beer and vicodin, and suddenly I am startled awake by the door being flung open. It's dark, I'm not in my normal bed, I don't have my glasses, and I've got a prescription narcotic in my system. In short, I have no f'ing idea what is going on. All I know is that there is a very animated woman in my room lecturing me about something.

All I can see is the clock. 3:44am. I have this conversation with someone standing somewhere behind me, the whole time I'm trying to figure out what is going on:
The Mrs.: "MaxieC has a really croupy-sounding cough!"

Me, CherkyB: "Uhhhhh...there's not much I can do about that."

The Mrs.: "It's starting to interfere with his breathing!"

Me, CherkyB: "It's 3 o'clock in the morning. What can I do about it?"

The Mrs.: "I want to take him to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK...and...?"

The Mrs.: "I think he needs to go to the hospital!"

Me, CherkyB: "And...?"

The Mrs.: "I'm going to take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK. Take him to the ER."

The Mrs.: "Fine! I will then! I'll take him to the ER!"

Me, CherkyB: "OK."
Then the door slammed, and I was alone again. The chance of MaxieC dying of a cough in the 10 minutes it takes to drive to the hospital at 3:44am was pretty low, I decided. I went back to sleep.

I heard them return about 1.5 hours later. No one came to wake me up, so I assumed MaxieC was still amongst the living.

When my alarm went off, I took a shower then went upstairs to get some clothes. There was MaxieC lying in bed next to The Mrs. He was awake. I asked him how he was, and he said he was OK.

This woke up The Mrs., who told me, quite proudly I might add, that MaxieC did in fact have the croup, but that he would be just fine because they gave him cough syrup with prednisone at the hospital, thus staving off the sub-1% chance of dying from the croup and bringing us maybe $1000 closer to the deductible limit on the high-deductible health insurance we have.

I wanted to say to MaxieC, "If you are at all sick when you get back from the hospital, you're sleeping in the basement," but The Mrs. looked sleepy and cranky.

Sometimes, when you come across a big pot of crazy, it's best not to stir.


ellie said...

poor maxie. poor sister. poor freddy. poor cherky!

fat moother said...

I wish Vicodin had that effect on my back. I take one with 3 aspirin - doesn't help much...... ovedbleg

Anonymous said...

Somebody has to ask....New truck??