Let the record show that I had reservations about letting The Pony return to college so soon. Even though he swore he knew other people who would be there, and that this is the first year they let students come and go in the dorms without charging them more for housing over the break, Hick and I were skeptical.
Hick made him email the RA and show him the response. It checked out. I quizzed him on what he would do if he had an emergency or needed a ride. He said the RA was taking an intersession class, and would be right there in his building, a couple floors down. That he knows people in Norman, and in Oklahoma City (20 miles away). Besides, he said, all he planned to do was sleep late, lay on the lobby couch playing games on his computer with high-speed internet, and eat Papa John's pizza.
Because of Genius's west coast flight departures and arrivals in St. Louis, and Hick being the airport ferry, the best time to take The Pony back was January 31. That was New Year's Eve, you know. I didn't want to travel on that day, but Hick assured me we would be there before the drunks hit the road. I guess he had insider information.
We were in Norman by 5:00, and spent the evening at the casino and having dinner. The Pony left the hotel and drove to campus. He called us when he was in his room. Hick had gone down to the pool, and when I answered the phone, I thought The Pony was sniffling. I asked if he was crying, but he denied it. I felt SO BAD. How could I be leaving my baby boy there all by himself for two weeks? I was the worst mom ever! We talked for about 20 minutes, then The Pony said he was tired, and that his ear hurt.
That morning at 6:00 a.m., The Pony had come to the kitchen counter looking for the Triple Antibiotic Ointment.
"What do you want THAT for?"
"I have a pimple inside my ear. I can't reach in there to pop it. I'm going to put antibiotic ointment on it so it will go away."
Fair enough. We do that to the occasional facial pimple that tries to fester. Slap a bandaid slathered with triple antibiotic ointment on it overnight, it drains, and is on the way to healing the next morning. He asked me to look in his ear, but I didn't see a pimple or anything other than an ear hole. Of course Hick was already outside warming up the Acadia, waiting on us. I figured there was no stopping now. The trip was in motion, the Holiday Inn Express reservation made.
On the drive down, about an hour outside of Norman, I told The Pony to stop digging in his ear. It's not like he was Hick, picking at various orifices and then touching the steering wheel of my car. The Pony was driving his own Rogue. I just didn't like to see him digging like that at his ear. He said that when he swallowed, it crackled.
Uh oh. On Christmas Eve, at festivities at my sister the ex-mayor's wife's house, my niece had won a thermometer and put it on The Pony's head. His temp was 99.something high. Still, they had their fireplace blazing, and we were all hot. Now I figured he might have an ear infection, and we were abandoning him to his own devices. The Pony is not famous for his common sense. I told The Pony that he needed to go to the health clinic.
"I know. I'm planning to. It opens up again on Tuesday."
Aha! The Pony had know all along that something was not right, but he chose not to mention it, because he knew I would never okay his exodus.
So, on that Sunday night after he got back to the dorm, with us due to leave town at 7:30 the next morning, The Pony had a painful ear. The only other time he's had an ear infection was as a baby, it took 6 weeks to clear it up, he had an allergic reaction to Amoxycillin that sent us to the ER in the middle of the night, and ended up with partial hearing loss. I told him that if it got bad before the health clinic opened, to go to an Urgent Care or ER. He has two insurances, you know.
Every day I texted The Pony. He was sleeping until noon. Then until 1:00. Then until 3:00. He said his ear hurt. Then he said his ear was better. Then on Sunday, four days ago, January 8, The Pony sent me a text that he was headed to Urgent Care. Come to find out, he had gone to the health clinic as planned, got medicine, took it, and now his ear was worse. He said it hurt so much he couldn't concentrate enough to drive. That a kid on his hall, who is in the band, and marched at the Sugar Bowl, and thus staying at OU over break, was going to drive him. Oh, and The Pony had woken up with a bunch of greenish stuff on his pillow from where his ear drained overnight.
There are reasons I would have dealt with The Pony's ear before letting him go off on his own for two weeks. Many of them being the texted questions about insurance and SS#s and birthdates and his own doctor information that he needed answers to before he could even leave the dorm and head to Urgent Care. He got their forms online to "save time" by filling them out first. It took over an hour for him to accomplish that feat.
Anyhoo...Urgent Care said The Pony has an outer ear infection. The tube was swollen shut. That's why he couldn't hear. That's why he was in pain. They gave him codeine for the pain, and an ear wick. According to The Pony, that's a white spongy thing they stuck inside his ear tube, to hold the medicine from the drops he got a prescription for. If the ear wick didn't fall out in two days (it did) he was supposed to go back to Urgent Care for them to take it out. He's supposed to use the drops until Saturday.
The Pony SAYS he feels better. But he also said he can't look for his lost wallet and social security card (not his main wallet, his stash wallet that he doesn't carry around with him) because he can't focus on cleaning his room while he's on the codeine. He texted me that info while he was on his way to pick up a half-price Papa John's pizza (on foot, but across the street from his dorm). I asked if he saw the absurdity in that, and told him never to defend himself in a trial,
He said he would not.
I hope The Pony is really on the mend this time. Classes start up again on Tuesday.