I made a quick trip to see my new best friend---the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. My Popeye’s elbow didn’t go down with the round of antibiotics---the one that came with a guarantee I’d get diarrhea. (It was not a fun week.) She repeatedly called me ‘sweetie’ and I didn’t even care because she kept a running dialogue going on what she was doing and her voice is like liquid sunshine. She took out a large hypodermic needle and drew 11 C.C. of thick grayish-red pus out of my bursa and put 7 C.C. of steroids back in it. My elbow looked smaller for a half day but now you can’t tell she even touched it except for the black and blue marks I didn’t have before. I’ve got such a busy couple of weeks coming up that I’m not sure when I can get back in but I suppose I should try. She mentioned they might have to schedule me with a specialist for minor surgery if the procedure she did doesn’t work. She also said the stuff she drew out usually looks different than mine did. Good grief, I hate being “special” when we’re talking random medical crap!
On the way home from the doctor’s office I took myself out to the Breakfast Only Café where I love the food and they offer the best opportunities for eavesdropping on my end of town. I hit the jackpot and got to hear a smug, twenty-something girl talk about the baby she’s expecting. She’s doing a home birth with a mid-wife. “I don’t see why I need a hospital or drugs. Women have been having babies for thousands of years.” If I had been her dining companion I would have said, “Hey, Chickie-poo, women have been dying in childbirth for thousands of years, too!” But her companion was a good little listener and she didn’t even laugh out loud like I did when the mother-to-be said her friends with babies tell her she needs to buy a rocking chair but she thinks rockers are “too unstable to trust.” She’s not afraid of having a baby without drugs but she’s scared of rocking chairs? That still cracks me up.
She also said the baby will absolutely not sleep in the room with her and her husband like her friends with babies did in the first few weeks. Her companion said, “You can use a baby monitor” to which Ms. Mother-to-Be cut her off with, “Not in my house! I’m a light sleeper and I need my sleep.” She’s not going to raise a spoiled child! Yadda, yadda, yadda. One of her friends, she said, even had her baby hooked up to an alarm and the parents took turns sleeping on a futon in the baby’s room. “That’s just crazy,” she said and I’m thinking, Hey wait minute! There must have been a medical need for that alarm. Usually, when I eavesdrop I have no trouble acted disinterested and involved in my own little writing world but this time I was tempted to jump over the pony wall and give her the aunt Jean/Socrates treatment. Would you listen to me, the childless woman who used to say I won’t babysit anyone who can’t say, “My stomach hurts and I need to go the hospital.”
The next day I went downtown with two of my Gathering Girls friends and a bus load of others from the senior hall to the culinary college’s fancy-schmancy restaurant. It’s the 3rd year I’ve signed up and it was just as fun this time as the others. I ordered the “Salvadoran Style Pork and Cheese Pupusa Chismol, rice, platanos maduros, salsa roja, corn relish, curtido and lime crema” not knowing what half those words meant. I still don’t but it was wonderful. It came with a small salad that included steamed sweet potato slices, baby spinach and quinoa with a white salsa plus a three ounce sized bowl of pureed black bean soup and a bread basket to die for. If I were a panda bear I would have used the bread to anoint myself. If you’ve watched a panda cam you’ll know all about how they roll around on the enrichment treats they love better than sex. And for dessert I got a yummy, dark chocolate fix---a wedge of heaven topped with raspberry sauce and chocolate ‘candy paper squares’ and served with a dab of chocolate ice cream and a chocolate whoopie pie with raspberry filling. The five star style service makes you feel great but for half the cost you’d pay at a ritzy restaurant.
The culinary college outings always come with a mystery tour and this year our senior hall director took us to a 75,000 square feet warehouse called ‘The Store’ that is run by a mega church. They get shipments from World Mission of school supplies, hygiene products, diapers, cleaning supplies and overstock goods that could be anything from chairs to vacuums to boots. All brand new. The church opens the warehouse to people on a fixed income including college students, charity groups and school teachers who all pay a $50 fee for a year’s membership and members can go to ‘The Store’ twice a month and take whatever they need for free. Our tour guide told us a lot of stories about how they’d pray over a large shipment of say pillows and the next day someone would come in who was setting up a shelter. What a HUGE and curious place it was! ©