When my office started working remotely, a colleague started sending us weekly emails to keep us connected. Usually asking us an engaging question that conjures a quick response. Last weeks was a doozy. She asked us to send in a brief summary of a situation that’s been made difficult by the pandemic. No sugar coating. No filters. She called it “Truth telling Tuesday”. Below was my response.
Subject: Your timing is impeccable
When I saw this come across my email yesterday, I wasn’t sure what truth to tell. The Petrov household has had its fair share of trials and tribulations during the pandemic, but once the moment passes, they all seem a bit insignificant. We move on. Checking for scars, collecting our new “triggers.” And we as parents start mentally preparing for the next, inevitable, $hit show.
My dear, sweet Nikola, sensing my dilemma of not knowing what to write about, wanted to help. So, at 7pm, during our first reading of “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus”, he looked at me, and I swear, it was like a telepathic exchange. With his eyes, he employed the widely Meme’d idiom “hold my beer”. And that’s when things went South. Which, in turn, forced us North – To Maine Med ER.
The scream crying came fast and strong. An ear ache was the instigator. The medicinal properties of children’s Tylenol were no match for the ailment. And thus, a trip to urgent care was required. Looking at the clock and knowing that time was not on our side, I scooped up Nikola, and ran as fast as an out of shape woman carrying a 35-pound wailing toddler can. No time to change out of slippers. A sacrifice was made.
A frantic phone call to the urgent care imploring them to please wait for us was to no avail. We arrived at 8:02 to a dark and locked building. An additional phone call to his pediatrician and a turn of the heal. We were off for the 45-minute ride to Portland. The ER nurses and doctors made quick work of our visit. For which I am eternally grateful.
A prescription for an antibiotic would be the cure. And all I’d need to do, because of the hospital pandemic rules, would be to exit the building, go back to the garage, get myself and cranky toddler back in my car, drive to the main entrance, find parking, get out, get my child out, walk in that entrance, sign in, a left and then a right, and alas our pharmaceutical refuge awaits.
We purchased the healing, bubblegum smelling concoction, without insurance. My new insurance card wouldn’t work. Because, well, Its 2020. A quick late evening jaunt in a foggy, super shady Portland neighborhood to return to our car. And an end to the adventure was in sight. I could smell it. But first, I thought it best to give Nikola his first dose of medicine before we started home. He looked at me and said “I feel good, mama” I assured him we should take it anyway. Just to be safe. And then he puked everywhere…. And then that was what I smelled.
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