My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

(Insert Curse Word Here)

Well, well, well. You know how when things are kind of generally sucky and you ask yourself, “Could it get any worse?” The answer is inevitably “Yes.” Like, “Could there be anything worse than a movie with Robin Williams in it?” The answer is, “Yes, a movie with Jim Carey in it.” So, Red had a cold. And a bad cough. It was not improving so I took her to the doctor yesterday.

And she has RSV (a potentially dangerous upper respiratory infection, for the uninitiated). AND an ear infection. Fantastic. Not only that, but she needs a nebulizer, a contraption with a face mask that blows a mist of medicine in her face. It attaches to a little air compressor no bigger than an iron. The very nice nurse brought the box into the room and gave me instructions on how to set it up. Apparently, the company that sells these things (the key word here is: sell. We’ll get to that in a moment.), usually comes to your home to show you how to set it up. But, since I live so fucking far away, they kindly demonstrated it in the room: Hose into plastic thingy, pour medicine in resevoir, insert thingy into nebulizer, nebulizer into face mask. Other end of hose hooks up to compressor. On/off button. Plug into wall. Not all that difficult. But, for some reason both the nice nurse and the nice nurse practitioner were ASTOUNDED by my grasp of this and kept asking, “Are you sure you can do this at home? Because you can always come in and do it here.” Like I’m going to make 3 90-minute roundtrips for something this simple. I mean, are other people really that incompetent? Perhaps so, since the world operates at the lowest common denominator, hence all the over-protective laws that get passed to protect people from themselves or children from their stupid parents.

Anywho. I’ve already blocked out the “sell” word mentioned above and I ask, “Do I need to bring the compressor back? Am I renting it?” I’m thinking like someone who once rented a breast pump and now owns one. “No,” she says, as if to reassure me, “This is yours. You’re buying it.” Hmm. Well, the obvious question pops into my brain and for a second or two I hesitate to ask it for fear of the answer and then, well, I’m a grown-up. I should know what I’m getting into. “How much is it?” I mutter. “Oh, $250, I think," she cheerily replies. Two hundred and what the fuck?! Oh, a very merry Christmas to me! It’s a damn air compressor. I almost asked if I couldn’t just hook the fucking thing up to my breast pump, which also is just a fucking air compressor. And I got it for less than $250!! And, fortunately for my family, I’d already done the majority of my Christmas shopping online and couldn’t really return anything. Now, my hope is that this is the pre-insurance cost and that my insurance will foot a good portion of the bill but I’m not so hopeful since my current insurance package is much crappier than my previous one. The only saving grace is a wondrous invention called a Medical Reimbursement Account, which I have not used up yet even after my husband got a crown in October.

These better not be the best days of my life. Since I don’t believe in God, and therefore cannot sue him, I’ll just have to suck it up. Yay me!

So, for those of you out there without children thinking, “You know, maybe it’s not such a great idea to have one of those things after all. Think I’ll stick to cats,” I will tell you this: during Red’s morning nebulizing treatment, in which, for once, she didn’t scream through, I looked at her large blue eyes (the rest of her adorable face being swallowed up by the ridiculous dinosaur-shaped mask), and they looked back at me and crinkled up in a smile. Like we were having a special little moment together. I fell in love with her all over again. Babies have a strange power. You love them at a basic level. You care for them and tend to their constant needs. But, you also suddenly find yourself loving them again and again at unexpected times, love like waves rolling in at high tide. Watch your feet, here comes another one! The waves crash onto you and build up, one on top of the other until you think you can’t stand it, you can’t possibly love this creature anymore than you already do; not possible. But, then you get hit in the face with another one. Poor little sick Red. She just rules so hard.

Otherwise, the day was one long car ride – into the city to the doctor’s (45 minutes), back home to drop off Red (45 minutes), to work (20 minutes; see next paragraph), to the pharmacy to drop off prescriptions, to Target (15 fucking minutes in completely stopped traffic due to repair crews who hadn’t removed yesterday’s orange cones diverting Rt 1 traffic from 3 lanes to 2. Assholes) for birthday party and Xmas supplies, back to pharmacy for expensive medications (15 minutes), back to work to pretend I’d get a thing done in this wasted day, back down into the city to pick up Dusty from preschool (30 minutes), and home again (45 minutes). Insert many curse words here. Thank god for my CD player and Belle and Sebastian, Paul McCartney and the rest who serenaded me throughout my long-ass day.

As I’m driving to work (the first time), I get stuck behind a big eared old codger in his American Buick covered in American bumper stickers (as well as the requisite Bush/Cheney sticker) who is going 10 miles under the fucking American speed limit which makes me wish I was an American gun owner so I could cull the American codger herd a bit. He pulls into – what else – the “assisted living” home near the college where I work and I mull over the term “assisted living.” I prefer “old age home” or “nursing home,” frankly. Assisted living sounds like what *I* need. Assisted living = having a maid and a nanny and a cook. Or at the very least, a damn dishwasher. I need some assistance here! Can someone please give me some assistance? How am I driving? How am I living? Sigh.

Tomorrow, if Red doesn’t require hospitalization, Dusty’s birthday party with friends will be held. I’ve already made the cupcakes (from a mix, I’m embarrassed to say) and, now that Red is down for a nap, I’ll begin some generalized cleaning and string some festive lights. Get us in the celebratory mood, dontcha know.


10:56 a.m. ::
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