Thursday morning started ordinarily enough. I was playing an early morning game of Words With Friends with a woman in Scotland. For over a year we just played. Then about a year ago we would message back and forth about the words (up until she contacted me, I thought she was a middle-aged Engineer). In the past 9 months or so, I’ve learned her husband had a stroke a few years back and his health has not been the greatest. This past year they have started assuming the care of their teenage Grandson, who is doing well with the new structure in his life. The night before Wendy had asked how my week had been. I flippantly remarked about some minor annoyances. Thursday morning I read her next remark. And had to reread it. Several times to ensure I had read it correctly.
Wendy had risen during the middle of the night and gone to the bathroom where she found her husband “dead in the toilet.” I reread it several times to see if I could discern some sort of a cultural thing. Nada. She actually found him dead in the bathroom. Kind of like Elvis.
I remained in the Death Zone on Friday at work. No one died. However, I was tempted to kill a few Residents. The Social Worker and I had worked hard on several difficult discharges and three of our most difficult cases were falling apart. I looked forward to leaving early to attend my own health care appointment, and have a relaxing evening.
As I hobbled to the clinic I passed two cars parked in the drop off/loading zone. Another minor annoyance, but I was off for the weekend so it didn’t bother me. As I entered the building the owner of one of the cars was exiting with three staff members. I overheard her saying she had been driving with her Husband and all of a sudden “his breathing changed and then he passed out.” Not good. (But on a personal note, it reminded me, I’m due to renew my CPR Certificate this month.) Sure enough, they ended up performing CPR on the gentleman. Right on the ground outside the building. One of the staff called for assistance of a clinic physicians, and then 911. Unfortunately, the gentleman did not make it. On the way home, I stopped at a friends house and picked up her mail and newspaper so the bad guys would not know she was out of town.
Saturday morning, I awoke and started in on our normal routine: I fed Moggy (our rescue kitty) and took Bandit (my Hairless Chinese Crested) outside to potty. Moggy gets a little time to eat his food in peace. And Bandit and I have a little Moggy-less time together. I don’t think he’s really forgiven me for bringing Moggy into the family. Every once in a while he gives me a look that clearly says, “Was I not enough?” Saturday, it was a cool morning and Bandit was very quick to do his business, so I thought I would drive over to remove the newspaper from my Friends driveway, even though I was still in my night clothes—which that particular day consisted of sleep pants and a t-shirt. I figured sleepwear that can pass for WalMart-ware, would be fine for the country birds I might encounter. We didn’t see a soul.
After I completed the task, we took a relaxing Saturday Morning Drive. We ended up in a neighboring town when my check engine light came on. Great! My brand new SUV is dying, I’m in my PJs, I have Bandit with me, and the dealership is only open half days on Saturday. I raced home, washed up , changed clothes, unloaded a weeks’ worth of stuff from my car, and grabbed my wallet and a book—next stop: The Dealership Service Department.
As expected, they were busy. My normal Service Advisor was off, probably playing with his new daughter. The other Service Advisor, told me I would have at least a two hour wait, and he wasn’t sure if I would even be seen. I waved my book at him and said, “I’ll wait. I don’t want to drive my SUV with the check engine light on—been there, done that, killed a car.” He checked me in, while also checking to see if my SUV is under warranty (it is), and he noticed there are two Factory Recalls out on my SUV. I knew about one, and had been meaning to get with my normal Service Advisor, but the second recall was news to me.
Just before they closed shop for the day, the Service Advisor came to tell me my problem was a dead fuel vapor sensor. They of course would have to order the part on Monday and assuming it arrived by Tuesday, my car would be fixed by Tuesday evening after work. They would give me a loaner and take care of the sensor and the two recalls. I agreed.
The loaner is another SUV like mine—but unlike mine, it is without all the bells and whistles. Tuesday and the departure from The Dead Zone can’t come quick enough to suit me.