Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blindsided by a Monday

August 25, 2009

I should have just stayed in bed yesterday.

I knew when I woke up in a Nyquil-induced fog that the day was not going to be one of my finest. Alas, I had much to do and places to be, so I jumped right in to that Monday.

I never saw it coming.

I dropped the kids at school and headed to Tuscaloosa to be with my Mom while my Dad had hip replacement surgery. I stopped off at Wal-Mart in Fayette to buy Dayquil and cough drops once I realized that I couldn't breathe. (Note: If I am putting a cough drop in my mouth, please KNOW that I am sick. I hate the furry teeth effect that eating a cough drop creates.)

I made it to Tuscaloosa and followed the directions that my pastor had texted me about how to get to where my Mom was waiting. He instructed me to park in a parking deck. As I approached the deck, I noticed that it had a sign that instructed drivers of large trucks and vans NOT to park there. As a big honkin' SUV driver, I was alarmed. I am pretty clautrophobic in parking decks that I know my SUV will fit in, so I really didn't want to attempt to get into one that I might get stuck in.

I cruised around the surface lots around the hospital trying to find a spot. I didn't really care how far I had to walk, as long as I could park legally, I was going to be happy. I drove around and around until I found another parking deck, one with much larger overhead clearance, I was thrilled to see.

I pulled into the deck. I observed one sign for valet parking, another for outpatient surgery patient parking only, and another for parking and exit. "Parking and exit is clearly what I need...especially the parking part," thought Girl Genius. I drove that way. I observed about 10 parking places, all occupied. Then I saw the exit gates and the ramp to go up. Except that the ramp was a one-way exit. The road I was on was one-way. I had no choice but to pay and leave. Grrrrrrreat!

I pulled up to the gate and opened my wallet. All I had was a $20 bill. I looked at the machine. "$1 to exit. Accepts all bills, no change given." Do WHAT? So I checked for quarters....nope, none. I was not about to lose $20 for nothing. I backed up out of the gate and prayed/panicked. I had no way out.

About that time, another SUV pulled up. I hopped out with my $20 bill and asked the little gray-haired ladies if they had change for $20. The driver looked and didn't have it. Her passenger pulled out two $1 bills and handed one to me and one to her driver. I profusely thanked them and told them they were my guardian angels for the day.

I got out of that deck and drove around the hospital, down the street, across an intersection, and half a mile across another lot and finally found a spot to park in. Forgetting my bottle of water and my box of tissues that has been my constant companion for the last 6 days, I began my trek to the hospital. I saw a scrub-clad woman get out of an SUV identical to mine. I followed her to a covered shelter just as a shuttle bus pulled up. I shyly/shakily inquired if I could ride. The driver nodded and I gratefully climbed aboard.

The driver asked where I was headed. I admitted that I had no clue. The nurse offered to take me to the surgical waiting area, which was a HUGE relief. The driver made a special stop off his route to get me to where I needed to go. I counted my blessings that God had sent some good-hearted people my way to get me out of the messes I had gotten myself into already.

My Daddy came through the surgery fine. He was in good spirits as I left shortly before 1:00 p.m. so that I could get back in time to pick up the kids from school. I made the 13 minute hike from his room to my car (!) and headed homeward. About 10 minutes into the 1 hour and 15 minute trip, my cell phone rang. It was the school nurse calling to let me know that Luke was sick. I quickly realized that all the people who would normally pick Luke up were in (1.) Tuscaloosa or (2.) Birmingham. I told her that I would get there as quickly as I could.

Admittedly, I am a speed limit abiding driver 99% of the time. But, when I know that I have a sick child who is counting on me to be there for him and I am waaay too far away for my own comfort, I am going to push the limits to be there quickly. Once I got through the really curvy parts of the drive (and away from the 10 log trucks that conveniently showed up just in time to slow me down), I started driving more speedily. I wasn't giving Dale Jr. (sorry, only Nascar driver I know of) a run for his money at 60-65 mph, but I was going faster than the posted 55 mph.

Next thing I knew, I met a motorcycle. He switched on red and blue lights and made a u-turn and pulled in behind me. I shook my head in disbelief as I pulled off the road. As I handed over my license and registration to the officer, I told him my plight of a Daddy who'd just had surgery and a sick child at school, all the while thinking about how very FAKE my story sounded. He looked at my license for a moment.

He looked me in the eye and said firmly, "Slow it down, Mrs. Robinson. I don't want to catch you speeding again. Consider this your warning." I thanked him, assured him that I would do better, and invoked God's blessings on him. As I pulled back into the road, I saw the state seal of Alabama on the front of his motorcycle. A STATE TROOPER!?! I didn't realize State Troopers drove motorcycles. I guess I can cross being pulled over by a chopper trooper off my bucket list now. (Note: When my Mom drove home yesterday afternoon, she saw 5 chopper troopers and one driving a Dodge Charger. Three chopper troopers had cars pulled over.)

I drove the speed limit the rest of the way, half crying hysterically over the unbelievably frustrating day I'd had and half thanking God for taking care of every ugly situation that I had gotten into all day long. I was so ready to get home and crawl in a hole and pretend that day had never happened.

I got to the school and found that Luke had gone back to his classroom. I chatted with the nurse a couple of minutes before Luke showed back up in her office. He'd had an accident--A BAD, BAD (gag-inducing) accident. Fortunately, the office had a spare pack of new underwear, so I got him changed, waited for Emma, and went home.

Jason called later and offered to take the family out for dinner after the ugly day I had experienced. I told him that there was no way I was leaving the house after all that. I'd had all the Monday I cared to have.

Today is not Monday, thanks be to God! My Daddy is doing well and expects to be up walking today. I want to thank those of you who prayed for him yesterday and those of you who let me vent via Twitter and Facebook about my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Y'all rock!

10 delightful comments:

Wendy said...

You did have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I'm guessing that Belgium is somehow behind it all.

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Wow, you deserve a really good Tuesday! Glad your dad is doing better!

Jill said...

Bless your heart! I HATE parking at hospitals - I always go the wrong way and end up going in circles. Praise God your dad is ok and poor little Luke. I hope you start feeling better soon!

Wade's World said...

You deserve an award for going through all that. I would have at least ordered a pizza for dinner!

Gina said...

That is a bad day! I hate parking decks too...every time I have to go to the doctor, I allow an extra 30 minutes to spend driving around and around the parking deck, waiting on a space to open up.

Poor Luke! Hope he's feeling better!

Busy Mom in NJ said...

Oh my word!! That was a horrible day!! So glad to here that your Dad is improving. Hope the rest of your week is better!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have worn you PJs. That is one of those days you have to look back at and see how God was still in control and stays with us through the storms.

Love you

Rachel said...

I don't know what to say besides BLESS YOU!

Rachel said...

Yuck - I'm so sorry! Why does it seem like everything has to go wrong when you already feel sick?!?! Yeesh.

I hate cough drops too. The only time I use them is when I can't quit coughing at night. In fact, Ali knows them as "Mommy's Medicine that helps Daddy get some sleep."

I hope today was a complete turnaround, and tomorrow is even better!

Marie said...

Hello Lianne - what a horrid day that was. I'm so thankful you made it through and that the good Lord sent his angels to help you along. Some day you might be able to laugh about it! I hope you took a rain check for the dinner out, because you definitely deserve a break.