Subourbon Mom


Waiting Room Wonderland
August 18, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,

I thought you should know that I have a new favorite place to people-watch: the walk-in clinic waiting room.

This is so much better than the airport. People aren’t happy or sad – they’re mostly embarrassed, which is WAY more fun to watch.

When I went in the other day to get my special assistant Prednisone, the waiting room was pretty full, mostly with older people.  While I was waiting to go back into the examination room, I got to listen to everyone who came in have to explain why they were there. I don’t know what HIPPA laws cover, but we could all hear everything.

One poor guy about my age shows up and when the intake nurse asks why he’s there, tries to whisper, “I have blood in my stool.” Apparently, she didn’t hear him because a few seconds later he whispered loudly, “I have blood in my stool!” I had to hide a smile. In my house we openly talk about pee and poop and periods and all kinds of bodily functions, because…we’re gross. This poor man was clearly not used to that at all.  All I wanted to say was “Dude, we all heard it…we all heard it. Just relax.”

An elderly woman came in with her husband and sat in the row of chairs behind me.  I couldn’t see her, but I could hear the anxiety in her voice as she asked her husband or companion a lot of questions. Right before I was called back, I heard her say, “What do you think is happening back there?  I see all these people coming in and no one coming out!” Her companion gently reminded her that there is a pandemic going on and that they are trying to limit contact with patients.

I asked myself, why bother? Based on our proximity in the waiting room, I already knew somebody probably has an ulcer and that the lady three seats over has a UTI.  

The next guy called up was an 80-year-old man, his hand wrapped in a bloody towel.  I turned all the way around, openly gawking.  This was going to be good.

“Why are you here, sir?” the nurse asked.

“Well, see, I was in my garage using the power drill and I slipped.  It went right through my finger. I just need somebody to look and see if there’s any metal in there.”

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“Yeah, it hurts. It hurts a lot.”

“Sir, do you have a hole in your finger?”

“Yeah, but it’ll be all right. My wife said I had to come in and get somebody to check it.”

This, my friends, is what makes the Silent Generation almost as great as the Greatest Generation. I’m not being sarcastic – the man was working with power tools at 80, drilled a hole into his finger and was only at the doctor’s office, not the emergency room, because his wife made him go.

For a moment, I almost got up and left with my little face cut and my vanity, but vanity won. I stayed and, with great humility, shared space with the Clint Eastwood of my town.

Don’t underestimate the power of people watching. I never thought I’d walk out of the doctor’s office that day feeling humble and grateful for my health. Airports are good, too, because people are often at their extremes. You can’t help but feel better about yourself as you smugly sip your nasty Seattle’s Best Coffee and nibble on that $12 bag of Cheeze-Its. People can be fun – sometimes you just have to stop interacting and watch.



PPD – Prednisone Personality Disorder
August 11, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

One of the awesome side effects of aging for me is that my immune system has decided that it can no longer gauge the severity of the threats, especially when it comes to bees and bugs. I now have an epi-pen in case I get stung on my face or I finally push it too far by taking Benedryl so I can eat my sister-in-law’s insanely good crab dip.

So, about 10 days ago I got a welt or hive on my face, right at the corner of my eyebrow.  My body, with it’s amped-up immune system, decided that whatever happened must be the equivalent of a cobra bite and reacted accordingly. I dutifully went to my GP who gave me the usual steroids to ward off the swelling, and off I went, confident I would get better, but also that I would be a horrendous bitch for the next few days.

Five days into the steroids, Hubby was hiding at Lowes. Basically, Prednisone and I decided that everything that had been bugging me for the last 6 months needed to be addressed that day – aggressively and loudly. Prednisone accused him of never finishing any projects (not true – he does amazing stuff around the house), and demanded to know why we still have all our closet stuff on the floor of the bedroom for this latest project and how can anybody live like that?  While Prednisone was having that “conversation” I hid in the background trying to figure out why I was also starting to cry for no reason.

Hubby suggested that I go do some errands.  

At the end of the steroid pack, I went back to the doctor. Now I had a cut on the hive-thing, and it looked angry. Plus, the swelling had started settling into the corner of my eye every morning, so I looked like I’d been in a bar fight…every morning. Not cool when you have to meet with your latest new-hire or talk with, well, anyone.

At the doctor’s office the nurse took my blood pressure, stepped back and snapped, “Why is your blood pressure so high?”

“Because I’m here?” Prednisone said, testily.

“It wasn’t that high last time you were here,” she said.  “Give me your other arm.”

“It’s probably the steroids,” I said, shushing Prednisone.

The nurse finished the other arm. “It’s still high,” she accused, like I was purposefully holding my breath or something.

“It’s still the same body,” Prednisone replied. 

 The doctor sighed when she saw me and my little face cut sitting on the chair. I’m sure this was not what she dreamed about in med school. She listened to me explain that yes, I’m vain, and no, I don’t know how the cut got there or what happened in the first place. Then she dutifully looked at it with the flashlight thingy and told me in a very nice way that I’m being a hypochondriac, that there are people out there with real issues, and could I please stop being a Karen.

(What she actually said was to put some Neosporin on, keep an eye on it and give the swelling a chance to go away.)

It’s now Day 10 or so, and I still look like I’ve been in a bar fight.  The swelling is slowly fading, as is my imaginary side-kick Prednisone. I kind of miss her, even though I don’t like some of her qualities, like making me hungry all the time, her quick temper, and her verbal diarrhea.  But damn, she can be assertive and get some shit done!



Metamorphosis: Morning Me to Monster Me
February 6, 2021, 7:00 am
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

Morning Me (and by morning, I mean 6:00am) is half-asleep, full of optimism, lists and plans to eat fruits and vegetables all day.  I’ve scheduled my water and stretching breaks from the computer.  Sometimes I even decide to skip a shower so I can have some extra time to write my stories before the real world starts intruding.  In my mind, I’m sitting by the window, calmly sipping a cup of coffee, musing about what my latest characters are doing, or what the next blog topic will be.

I’m also feeling pretty superior to, well, everyone because I have control of my life.  I’m ready for anything.

And then one or all of these things happen:

  1. I realize it’s winter, and I still have the upstairs thermometer set to FRIGID because I’m 50.  I know I’ll have to sprint to the bathroom to take a shower to warm up, or put on my new Comfy (a Snuggie on steroids) that I got for Christmas and hope I don’t have any zoom calls later. I am not molting back into human form once the Comfy is on.
  2. I make the mistake of reading the news on my phone. Then, because I’m disgusted by the partisan slant, I read the BBC news to get a more balanced view. This is followed by a quick check of what’s new on FaceBook Marketplace, because who doesn’t love thrifting from their bed?  Suddenly it’s 8:00 and there’s no way I’m taking a shower now because… I’m adulting.
  3. I step out of bed and realize I didn’t do my stretches the day before and my feet are acting up again. There’s no way I’m going for that early morning walk. Now I have to take a shower to loosen up my feet and leg muscles, but by the time I’m done with the shower, I’ve already had two freak-outs about work or something else in my life, and that picture of coffee sipping by the window isn’t even a distant memory anymore.   

Afternoon Me, or Monster Me, is like Dr. Jekyll to my morning Mr. Hyde (or is it the other way around?).  Afternoon Me has changed into sweats. Afternoon Me’s styled morning hair has been yanked back into a ponytail with a scrunchy from 1988, because I realized on a video call that I need a haircut and a dye job. There are three half-empty cups of coffee on the windowsill and zero glasses of water. I’ve eaten a bologna sandwich at my desk with a side of cookies. Afternoon Me has gone from planning to sip coffee by the window to planning to drink a (large) glass of wine and declare it’s Cereal Night.  Again. 

I don’t know about you, but despite Afternoon Me’s ragged appearance and snarky mood, I still have hope. All is not lost because, if it was, I wouldn’t be Morning Me at all.

So, here’s to all the Morning Me’s out there and all they represent for us. May your Morning Me always be there for you.



Dr. Fauci – The Personal Touch
September 23, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , ,

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been receiving personal voicemails from Dr. Fauci, or at least someone who does a damn good impression of him, offering helpful hints about how to handle the virus. My college-age child also received one of these calls, and frankly, they’re just too good not to share. Of course, the real Dr. Fauci doesn’t have time to make personal calls, but boy do I wish he could…so hit the play buttons and enjoy – you’re not going to hear these on CNN.

I was able to track down Dr. Fauci and arrange for a rare – ok, it’s never happened before – Subourbonmom interview. Ok, calm down. I know this blog is outrageously popular, but it’s not the real Dr. Fauci, and I am clearly no Dan Rather or Barbara Walters. However, I would LOVE to conduct an interview with him for real some day.

No matter how you feel about Dr. Fauci, respect those around you and wear a mask – you don’t know what issues they may be facing or what people they have in their lives that would suffer catastrophic results if they contracted the virus. We flattened the curve – now let’s keep it that way until we have a vaccine available for everyone.



Hydro-automentia and Other Driving Syndromes
June 16, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

hydroAs pandemic restrictions are loosened and people start to emerge like moles into daylight, I am reminded again how normally intelligent, capable people – people who are doctors and lawyers and engineers outside of their cars – often drive like they’re living the Mario Kart dream or on the antique car ride at King’s Dominion. And God forbid it should start raining – holy shit – it’s like some kind of collective amnesia or processing disorder takes over.

I call this hydro-automentia or, forgetting-how-to-drive-when-it-rains syndrome.

Let me give you an example.  It’s raining, but not too hard – summer rain that finally cools the road off enough so that your dog stops pulling to get onto the grass and stop frying his paws like four little eggs. If you’re driving in this type of rain, a traveler with hydroautomentia in front of you slows WAY down, switches on his hazards and proceeds as if the rain is made of acid and any splash-up will disintegrate his car.  These are often the same people who ride their brakes no matter what the weather.

driving-in-the-rain-is-a-fine-line-between-not-36869317

Then there are the people who suffer from auto-identitatem syndrome, or car identity syndrome. The symptoms can vary and may be exacerbated by disproportionate amounts of testosterone, narcissism and Karen-itis.  Here are a few symptoms:

  • Jersey slashing (If you’re from the south, it’s identity confusion over your place of origin; if you’re from the north, you think you’re just being efficient.)
  • Owning a car that resembles a current or past police vehicle model so that is scares the Bejeezus out of everyone you creep up behind
  • Having a personalized license plate that is either indecipherable or only means something to you, the car owner – either way, you’ve made me look at your car for way too long without getting it and now I’m annoyed
  • Having any kind of “_______ on Board” sign suction cupped to your window – I don’t care and it’s usually not true anyway. Plus, if you have a baby on board you’re providing free advertising to pedophiles.
  • Having any version of the family member stickers on your back window – unless it’s the one where the dinosaur/shark has eaten one of the family members (that’s just funny). Again, you’re advertising to pedophiles, but now they also know exactly which sex and approximate age is in the car and which sports fields to go to.

The last syndrome folks need to be aware of is mergus-icognita.  This syndrome manifests in two primary ways: not using the blinkers/turn signals at a stoplight, and not indicating if you are merging onto an off-ramp. I’ve written about this one before, so I’ll just say that I don’t need a mystery when I’m driving. Life provides me with enough unexplained stuff, like if money is the root of all evil, why do they ask for it in church?  The point is, I don’t need to play “Guess Which Way I’m Going” when I’m at a busy intersection or trying to get on a highway.

So, in addition to the symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, allergies, anxiety and depression that we are supposed to be mindful of right now, please monitor yourself for the symptoms described above. If you do have them, try home remedies first, like removing the offending signage or practicing using your turn signals in your driveway before venturing out and infecting the rest of us.

Oh, and don’t forget the #1 Rule:

Be Kind.

 

 




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