FT has been feeling sick for at least a week -- sneezy, sniffly and very fatigued. On Thursday, she spent almost the entire day asleep. After rallying a bit over the weekend, she began suffering from severe abdominal and leg cramps yesterday -- a sign that her potassium level was down, which is an ongoing concern for ostomy patients because of their limited ability to absorb nutrients. After anxiously nursing FT through a couple of these spells with V-8 and Gatorade, I
FT was feeling better at daybreak but nonetheless followed up with the appointment. But she got a little lead-footed en route, and shortly after crossing the county line we saw flashing lights in the rear-view mirror. Uh-oh.
The deputy was very young and very polite, and didn't become impatient as FT nervously sputtered answers to his standard questions, and told him we were trying to get to a doctor's appointment at the VA. But then he asked for her license and registration.
"Oh, no," she moaned as he went to call in FT's license number and we both sifted through the glove box and stowaway compartment under the armrest. "I think Gertie ate the registration that time she pulled all the stuff out of the armrest. I don't think I remembered to get a replacement." Which appeared to be the case, because there was no registration anywhere.
So we had to tell the deputy that the dog ate our vehicle registration. Perhaps the presence of said dog in the back seat, surrounded by shredded toys, fast-food styrofoam and seat belts, convinced the cop that we were telling the truth. Or perhaps he gave us a pass for having the lamest excuse ever for not having proper documentation in a vehicle. But we did not get a ticket; just a -- um -- strong encouragement to get a replacement registration ASAP.
This was only the beginning, it turned out, of an Awful, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at the VA. We arrived late (although I called FT's provider's office to let them know what was going on); we got stuck in the lab for almost a half-hour; we finally got to the appointment waiting room, where we had to wait some more...the provider was aghast that her office hadn't told her about FT's phone call and their last-minute appointment -- "If I'd known I would have had you go straight to the ER!" -- and then the lab informed FT's provider that they'd mislabeled her blood tests, and that she'd have to come downstairs and have blood drawn all over again. And that was before FT's provider gave her a drill-sergeant-worthy dressing-down for not seeking medical attention sooner.
FT, it turns out, has had a bout of flu, and the loss of fluids involved in that are what led to her potassium crash. She isn't contagious anymore, but her immune system is shot, and she has to stay at home for the next 10 days -- no dealings with the public, no being in crowds. She has to drink lots of fluids, particularly V-8.
"At least we know what's going on," I pointed out to the glum FT afterward...just as I'd pointed out to her earlier, "Not getting a speeding ticket was a gift."
"Yes, Polyanna," she mumbled affectionately.
But wait -- there's more!
Provider's warning aside, we were starving -- especially FT, who'd fasted in preparation for her blood test -- so we stopped for a burger on the way home. When we emerged from the restaurant an ominous white paper was stuck under our windshield wiper.
"You have got to be kidding me," groaned FT.
Turned out the township traffic cop had written her a ticket for parking in a handicapped parking spot. Which she is allowed to do, because she is a disabled vet, which the cop would have realized if he'd bothered to read the "Veteran" and "DV" on her license plate and do the math.
When we got home, FT promptly went to bed. Do you blame her?