A Tale of Two Lovers Attempting to Bridge the Great Divide
I thought I had the system beat. Two hours plus to get through customs and immigration. I left the house 10 minutes after his plane landed. 15 minutes into the journey and my phone rings, "Where are you? I'm out! " F ****! was the first thing out of my sweet southern mouth. How did I get this so wrong ??? And what's this ??? They've changed the location of International Arrivals ??? And nobody bothered to clue me in, much less get my permission?? No, this was NOT starting out as the wildly romantic scene I had envisioned: me all softly lit and golden, bags dropping as we melt into a hungry embrace, and then the KISS. Yes, you know, the first kiss after soooo many long months of waiting ....
Ok back to reality folks: after circling the airport twice to figure out his location, I manage to see my beloved frantically waving me down by a traffic cone. I also saw the portly police officer determinedly waving his arms at me and blowing hard on his whistle. I surmised that under the threat of incarceration and hard time, I was NOT to stop and pick up my beloved at his unlawful spot in the road. So, I cheated. I slowed down long enough for Soub to toss his bag in the back and jump in the front seat, then hit the V-8 and headed straight for home. All the romantic gooey stuff would have to wait.
Because this is not a Harlequin Romance. But a real life with kids coming home from school and jobs demanding daily attendance and exes from hell making the possibility of getting away for a few days more complicated than rocket science. Our time together are moments stolen late in the night or early in the morning; a day off here or there to squeeze in a quick trip to Old Towne Spring or the Museum of Natural Science to catch a Led Zepp laser show in the planetarium (now THAT was cool !!). Soub has done remarkably well at carving a place for himself amidst the doldrums of family life: taking care of numerous small chores that single moms like me loathe to tackle on their own. But I knew something was amiss when he picked me up from work last Thursday night .... he looked grim and a bit green around the gills. He handed me the keys to the car and asked me to drive. One cool hand to his forehead and motherly instinct kicked in: this man was BURNING UP with fever.
Now what to do when you are traveling in a foreign country and you need to seek medical attention in a place that has no free health care ??? We started at the cheapest option - a walk-in clinic at the local pharmacy. The nurse practitioner, let's be nice here, was .... inept. A quick test for strep throat came back negative, and she declared he had the MAN FLU. A prescription for Tamiflu and $250 later, he was at home in bed moaning with a super sore throat, and I was back at work trying to juggle it all.
Day 5 and things have gone from bad to worse: he hasn't eaten solids since last Thursday. He's refusing liquids which is making me quite cross, and it is obvious that the MAN FLU he hasn't. Now it is an unscheduled day off from work to take Soub to the next option: a walk-in emergency care facility. I dithered between the Hospital ER or a private ER clinic ... I figured our odds for faster service would be best at the private ER, though I gambled on whether his traveler's insurance would cover this expensive option.
In the end it was a decent choice. No one else was waiting. He was seen by a nurse AND a doctor. Strep throat was the immediate diagnosis once the doctor took a look at his swollen throat. The doctor explained that the quick strip test for strep was only 60% accurate. Our mistake. Pour Soub feels like he has swallowed a ball of broken glass not to mention the 102+ temps he has been having between bouts of me forcing him to take ibuprofen! My children were NEVER this difficult. Are we having sleep and sex filled romantic nights? Nooooo! He's agitated, in pain, can't sleep and routinely tosses out piteous moans. (Oh excuse me, it's noises of manly suffering ....) It's almost more than a girl can bear!
Here we are on the cusp of our 'vacation' - a four day trip to the hill country, and he's refusing to even swallow the ibuprofen!! He's on antibiotics and insists that he'll be FINE day after tomorrow when we are scheduled to leave ...... Hmmmm. I'm still debating whether to cancel the bed and breakfast reservations .... my 24 hour window of opportunity to get my deposit back is quickly closing. He's lying here beside me trying to read this as I write and making obscene suggestions (Tell them you've had me chained to a shackle in the middle of the floor, and that you are using me for your own pleasure ) .... Riiiiighhhttt. (Oh, now he's threatening legal action for libel...)
I can't win. I'm tired and feeling quite cranky. Currently he's on the phone chatting up Amanda in his ever-so-plummy British accent, attempting to sort out his insurance and flirting shamelessly ...
When did life get to be so complicated, I ask?