**MOVING DAY IS DRAWING NEAR! I'll be re-posting some of the highlights of our New England experience until the world stops spinning and I get rid of this stress-induced rash! See you in Minnesota!!
.........so I'm drinking my free Icee (that the teenage mini golf workers offered as compensation) and I'm driving left-footed in an unfamiliar area to a hospital I've never visited guided by the verbal directions of my knights in dented armor. Every depression of the gas or brake is accompanied by a gingerly whispered "ow ow (expletive)" because my broken right foot doesn't completely trust my left foot and it tries to take over. Yes, I know, I see the parallel.
I find the hospital. Where is Emergency? Where is Emergency? Following the signs...... Per usual, Liam is asking asking asking questions; "Mom, look in your rearview mirror! Am I starting to get hair in my armpit?" I hold it together and say "Why don't you help me look for the emergency room instead of asking me questions that are unrelated to my foot?"
"I know," he says. "I'm very questiony."
And here's where I crack myself up: I find the emergency room and see a parking lot right in front - but, no, I will park in the parking ramp. We should leave those spots for people who have real emergencies. Not people like me. I'm fine. Look at me - I'm driving myself to the emergency room. If you can drive yourself to the emergency room, you surely don't deserve the emergency room. But wait..........I can't walk. Ok turn around.
We park right in front (but it went against my better judgement) and Liam makes up for his previous behavior by gingerly taking my arm and helping me to the door. Ok dragging me. Way too fast (ouch ouch). But at least he's carrying my purse. He sees a nurse waiting with a patient at the curb and stops to tell her our story. "Excuse me. This is my mom and she broke her ankle when she fell off a bridge playing mini golf. Can you tell me how to get to the emergency room?" We're actually standing in the door of the ER at the time but I don't want to rain on his parade. In fact, we keep triggering and re-triggering the sliding doors as he gets "directions". But again, he's trying to be helpful so I'm going with it.
The sliding doors part again and I enter dramatically down the center with this exaggerated THUMPstep......THUMPstep........THUMPstep. It looks like something I made up for a high school play. Like I'm "Emergency Room Patient #2." They attend to us quickly and start asking questions; many of which can be answered with "No - we just moved here" or "I don't know - we just moved here." After which Liam always adds ".......which is why we may not look familiar to you."
And we finally get to the question HOW DID THE INJURY OCCUR? And with impeccable dignity I answer I FELL OFF A TINY BRIDGE PLAYING PUTT PUTT GOLF. The nurse keeps her eyes on her computer screen and continues to type........but I can see the contortions of her face............she is trying not to laugh. She's trying to be professional and knows it would be wrong to mock the sick people. She's typing typing and not looking at me and she's twisting her mouth away from a smile and all the while her eyes are saying "omigod I've gotta run to the breakroom quick and tell someone." And watching her trying to keep it together strikes me as funny. And I start to laugh. Which is all she needs and she doubles over and lets out a big belly laugh. A guffaw. And we laugh together like we're at a party together. And then she turns back to her computer and primly says "oops. I just put "golf." I have to add the "putt putt." " And she laughs again.
We pull ourselves together and she puts me in a wheelchair. Liam, of course, asks if he can drive. And she says yes! What?! NO!! She's never had to abandon her full cart of groceries in the aisle because somebody simply CANNOT keep his hands off the cart, pushing it into displays of olive oil and repeatedly scraping the achilles tendons of innocent people! Over and over again! So the nurse pushes me instead and Liam runs serpentine in FRONT of the wheelchair - sometimes stopping abruptly - while I wave my arms in front attempting to sweep him out of the way. I just can't win.
X-ray time. The technician asks if there's a possibility I may be pregnant. Liam quickly says "No. She already had me." The technician looks at me and I say "It's true."
Diagnosis: sprained ankle, foot fracture, driving with left foot very very bad.
Prescription: a fiberglass splint, crutches and a cab.
But then, a flurry of timely text messages alerts one of our new neighbors to my predicament. And she's like "what's your name again? You can't take a cab! I'll come get you!" And bless her heart, this woman that I've known for less than 2 weeks picks us up, drives us home, teaches me to use crutches, sets me up on the couch, gets me dinner AND takes Liam. And then she does it again the next day.
Is there a word bigger than 'thank you?' Because all I can say is 'thank you' - and it just feels lame coming out of my mouth. The word is trivial in comparison to the goodness showered upon me. And I smile at the realization that the huge hole left by the absence of my Minneapolis friends and neighbors does not have to remain empty forever.