So this is the third day without electric power for many hundreds of thousands of us Connecticut-uns. For Susie, along with no electric power, she's also spent the past 24 hours mostly in the Emergency Room suite at Middlesex Hospital, right here in Middletown. A man behind me at the McDonald's on Washington Street just read out loud that the CT River will crest today at 15.7 feet. This is the first time, for the past three days, that I've ever set foot in a McDonald's since my kids were young. It's a great place to Wi-Fi myself onto the World Wide Web, write Bob's blog, test-market comedy routines I'm working up to try out at an amateur night at a comedy club in New Haven, drink Newman's Own McCafe coffee, have an Asian Chicken salad for dinner last night, and have a cheese, bacon, and sausage on a muffin breakfast this morning.
Oh, I almost forgot, in my blogging off about McDonalds, Susie's back in the ER. I took her there at 3:30 a.m. this morning. Just minutes before then, she called me on my cell phone on the back porch, where I've been sleeping in my sleeping bag, on a green sleeping mat, for the past two months since I got back from my California and Boulder adventure trip, visiting my kids and grandson, Liam, and began taking care of the beautiful woman who's been taking care of me for the past almost 43 years.
"Bob, please come upstairs right away. I think I have to go back to the hospital." Russell, Jamie's cat, was sitting inside the back porch door, waiting patiently for me. When I went to the porch at 1:30 a.m. to go to sleep, Russell was eating food from his white porcelain bowl in the kitchen, underneath the counter where the phone is located. I called to him to see if he wanted to join me on the porch, but he was more interested in eating than sleeping next to me on the mat on the porch. So when I went to get Susie, there was Russell, a loyal, infinitely patient sentry, in the back hall. Russell followed me up the stairs to the master bedroom, where I found Susie in great abdominal pain.
"Shall I call an ambulance?" "No, I've been up for an hour and a half and thought about calling an ambulance, and hoped the pain would just go away and let me get back to sleep. I just want this to end." I told her it was going to be alright, although secretly I've been worrying at times about how much one of God's creatures, even one as pain-tolerant as Susie, can take without losing it. "It'll take longer to get me to the hospital if we call and ambulance now than if you just drive me."
After sitting with Susie for 2 hours in one of the smaller examining rooms on the periphery of the large rectangular ER Central Command Center, while the night nurse, Billy, took her history, again, drew another blood sample, and finally found a vein to begin a Sodium Chloride drip so she stops dehydrating, I asked Billy how long it would be before the Asian doctor would get to Susie. "The blood results have to come back from the lab first, and we're really busy, so it'll be a while. Yeah, go to McDonalds to get your coffee and check your email and everything. If you want some coffee here, it's right over there," pointing to the far side of rectangular Central Command. "Thanks but I actually like the Newman's Own coffee McDonald's sells now, and it's only $1 plus 9 cents tax no matter if you get the small, the medium, or the large. Dollar nine, no matter which!" I've also been trying out a comedy thing about the coffee on various marketing groups, like the 6 teenagers (3 boys, 3 girls) last night at midnight when I went back to the McDonald's to check the email one time more before bedtime on the Dutcher Back Porch Campground. One of the kids actually wondered if I had a camera crew hidden somewhere in the McDonalds and whether we were going to be on TV. So I'm beginning to think I may be developing a funny routine about how by the way do you decide to get the small, the medium, or the large coffee, if they're all a dollar nine? You'd think everybody would say go for the large but what if you've got a little shoulder thing going like Susie does and the large might hurt your shoulder when you're lifting and carrying it to the car?
I better get back to the ER to see what's going on. Billy told me the Asian doctor probably wouldn't go for my comedy schtick so I made a mental note of that important fact for when I get back to the ER.