Sometimes it’s not a stranger who needs saving. Here’s how my Saturday has gone:
I, napping in bed, am awoken by a phone call from my husband, who left early in the morning to go bike riding.
“I don’t feel so good. I think you need to come pick me up.”
“Okay. Where are you?”
“I’m on the trail by Forest Lane and that church.”
“What church? Do you mean Watermark? That’s not by Forest Lane.”
“OKAY, BUDDY. I’LL BE RIGHT THERE.”
I rush around grabbing ice water and (thankfully) wearing appropriate clothes. I run out the back door to the garage when I get another call from Alex.
“I’M COMING!” I yell.
“Hi Beth, this is Dani and I’m here with Alex. He’s not doing so well. We think he needs to go to the hospital. My friend is going to meet you up by the road so you know where we are.”
“Okay. I’ll be there in three minutes” I said, thinking this is worse than I thought.
I pull up on the side of the road by the waving biker and take off down the trail. Alex is sitting on a bench, drenched with sweat and water that the ladies have dumped on him, and as soon as he sees me, he starts crying. He can barely lift his head. I start to panic.
“Alex, I’m taking you to the hospital.”
“No, no I don’t want to. I just need some water.”
If there weren’t strangers present, I would have had some choice words for my sick husband who was refusing medical help even though he couldn’t stand up, but because there were sensitive ears present, I just said,
“We’re going to the hospital and I’m not going to discuss it.” End of discussion.
The ladies wave down some other bikers to help walk Alex to the car.
“Can you just drive the car down here?” asks one man.
“What? On the trail?” I replied.
“Yeah, it’s an emergency. He can’t walk to the car.”
So I took off, flying over the grass, knocking small children out the way, and crushing some bluebonnets. I get the car turned around and jump the curb, driving illegally down a grassy hill to the trail. I said, “Okay God, IT’S A PARTY NOW!”
The ladies bustle Alex into the car while I cram the road bike into the back of my very handy CRV. Meanwhile, the man who had stopped to “help” said, “You should just take him to Medical City. It’s right there. Don’t waste your time going anywhere else.”
I, who was in full panic mode now, said, “Yes. I know. That’s what I was planning on doing” with an implied idiot in my tone of voice. I wanted to say, “Well, I was thinking about runing to Old Navy first and then driving him all the way down to Methodist hospital in Oak Cliff because, well, you know, we were both raised Methodist. But maybe I could drive him to New York, I hear they have good doctors there…” But I didn’t.
I turned around, drove back up the trail, almost hitting a small child, took the curb at 40 mph and made it to the hospital emergency room in 30 seconds flat. The car screeched into the drive-thru. I flew out of the car and led Alex to the closest chair in the waiting room. I walk up to the glass, where a man with a microphone says, “What’s up?”
“MY HUSBAND IS HAVING A HEAT STROKE.”
The man kind of rolled his eyes around and said, “Uh, where is he?”
“OH, I DON’T KNOW. MAYBE IT’S THAT GUY THAT CAME IN WITH ME THAT IS COLLAPSED IN THAT CHAIR OVER THERE.”
The man looked over my shoulder and said, “We’re going to need a wheelchair,” which for some reason set off a new wave of panic.
“What do I do with my car? Do I need to move it?”
“Do you know his basic information? Go move your car and come back in.”
So I bolted out to her CRV and got behind a painfully slow SUV in the parking lot. I withheld the urge to scream at the woman. As soon as I threw the car into park, I flew back inside to where a lovely nurse was taking Alex’s vitals.
“So” said the nurse, “What were you doing out there?”
Alex replied, “I rode fifty three miles (to White Rock, four times around it, and back again).” I hadn’t heard this part yet, but a small part of me wanted to box his ears and ground him from his bike for a year. I mean, seriously? Who rides FIFTY THREE MILES in the ridiculous heat that we’ve been having?
Alex knew he was in trouble with me. When the nurse asked if Alex had experienced any abuse at home, his answer was to look at me and say, “Not yet.”
They took Alex back to a room, which happened to be a sailboat themed child’s room, got him into a hospital gown, and put an IV in him. Everyone was really nice.
We sat there for an hour, watching Dirty Jobs, and then they came in and said that his blood work and everything was normal so he could go home. Almost as soon as we entered the hospital, Alex started to feel better and by the time we left, he was able to walk and wasn’t shaking anymore.
Unfortunately, the shirt that he had been wearing was cold and wet so he got to wear his hospital gown home. We had to walk through the waiting room to exit and I joked that we should have pretended like we were making a clean getaway.
“Psst, Alex. The coast is clear. Let’s get outta here! Run! Run! The doctor saw you!”
We then drove to Alex’s restaurant of choice (Taco Bueno) where they gave him extra guacamole because (I assume) he was wearing a hospital gown. We could have milked that for all it was worth. Hey Alex, follow me into Target and let’s see what the manager gives us. Let’s drive to GW Bush’s house and see if they’ll let us in cause they think you’re ill.
I stopped at a convenient store to stock up on Gatorade and then we came on home, where Alex showered and promptly put his butt on the couch, where he has stayed all afternoon.
My, what excitement. I think I can handle being bored for a little bit now but….
The bonus? A free hospital gown that we will keep for future Halloween parties.