Val and Hick hit the road Wednesday morning, for a trip to join Val's best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel for lunch. A trip not quite as ill-fated as the voyage of the S.S. Minnow. The creeks were up, and I was concerned about hitting a low spot on the lettered blacktop highway that gets us there. A space marked with Impassable During High Water signs. Also, Hick virtually climbed out of his deathbed to embark on our journey.
Hick is a bit...how you
say...hypochondriacal. He has a history of going to the emergency room
for a sore throat, and mistaking an ear infection for a brain tumor. But
he DID end up in the hospital on our Branson vacation when the boys
were little, me driving him across town at 2:00 a.m., looking for the
hospital, with moaning Hick and cranky young 'uns distracting me on my
mission. That was for a bout of kidney stones, and Wednesday morning,
Hick thought he was coming down with one again.
I tried to
determine the gravity of the situation. Perhaps put off the lunch for
another day. All while Hick continued full speed ahead toward our
"I got up at 1:00, because my back was killing me. It's right here. I think it might be a kidney stone."
"Did your back hurt there before, when you DID have the kidney stone?"
don't remember it hurting there. But that's where my kidney is. They
say to see if there's blood in your pee, but there wasn't. All I
remember is that back then, it hurt so bad I thought I was gonna vomit and pass out."
"Do you feel like that now?"
"We can call and reschedule. Or I can drive. We'll take T-Hoe."
"No. I'm fine. It's gonna hurt whether I'm here sitting around, or if we go to lunch."
but if you get sick while driving and run off the road, you'll kill ME
too. Instead of just yourself. Let's go back and get T-Hoe. We're only
at the mailboxes."
"I'm fine! Maybe the seat heater will make it feel better."
"You should probably call the doctor."
ain't nothin' they can do for it. Last time they just gave me pain
medicine and told me to watch my pee until it came out."
not gonna give you pain medicine now! Only people who don't need them
seem to get opioids now. But they could tell you what to do."
"Maybe I'll get some cranberry juice. Isn't that what they tell people to do for their kidneys?"
"I think that's for a kidney infection. Just drink a lot of fluids and pee. That's probably all."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. It just hurt."
"Great. Now we're all the way in the middle of nowhere. I can still drive A-Cad, though."
"Why? I'm fine."
make those noises. I know you're going to kill me. I sure wish I'd paid
The Pony's tuition when I saw it this morning, instead of waiting until
we get back. Then at least he'd be okay for the semester, even if I'm
"I knew it! You don't even care about ME!"
it will be your own fault if you run off the road and kill us. But if I
was driving, only you would die of your kidney stone, and I'd still be
fine. No big deal."
"I can't believe you!"
"And I can't believe YOU!"
Let the record show that by the time we left Mabel's house four hours later, Hick's back was no longer hurting. Oh. And he didn't kill me.