Wednesday, November 14, 2012
It's been quite the week here at the Our Family household. At a little past two o'clock on Sunday morning I happened upon Thomas, who was conducting an impromptu Family Guy marathon instead of, say, getting some sleep five hours before he had to wake up.
"Um, don't you have school or something tomorrow?" I asked the twelfth-grader.
He turned to me with a heavy face.
"My stomach hurts so fucking bad. I literally can't sleep."
"Have you taken any of the nighttime Aleve?"
"I took two."
"Okay," I said. "Don't take anymore. That should conk you out. I have to go to bed, but if it gets too bad wake up Mom."
Three hours later Thomas was on his way to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with appendicitis and prepped for emergency surgery. The procedure went smoothly, thank goodness, and Thomas's appendix was removed before it could rupture, but he was fairly well out of commission and would be for several days.
I didn't much mind this. Thomas, like a cactus, requires only token care; a little water, a bit of sunlight, and periodic checks to make sure his stomach hadn't burst open were enough to keep him in good working order. Late Monday morning, however, I received a smaller and altogether more cuddly patient.
"BB, can pick up Pie from school?" my father asked after phoning in. "She has sinusitis and she's been throwing up."
So I brought Der-Der home to the Our Family sick bay and have spent the last few days playing nursemaid to two siblings who don't seem terribly aggrieved by their afflictions.
"Pie, aren't you going to change out of your pajamas?" I asked at the crack of noon as she and Thomas sat at the kitchen table playing Flow on my parents' iPad.
"Um, noooo," she singsonged. "I'm home sick."
"You hobo," I accused. "Tell me, oh homeless person, what kind of soup do you want?"
Thomas, meanwhile, reveled in the sensory experience of post-surgery recovery.
He stumbled while padding through the living room in his slippers and started laughing.
"Hey, BB, I'm on drugs."
He raised one eyebrow and drooped the corners of his mouth in a display of mock impairment before his face brightened with epiphany.
"Oh, my gosh, BB," he said. "I'm on drugs. I really am on drugs. I'm high as a kite!"
He did the closest thing to a jig he could with a stapled stomach.
"I'm on drugs!" he exclaimed. "I'm on drugs!"
I smiled in spite of myself as he cripple-hopped about the room, looking every bit the doped-out vagrant.
He's staying home tomorrow, too.