unBEARable Life: Not feeling great

“I think you’re a shoe-in” is the refrain I get from the text. I’m applying for a full time position at a school after a year of being jerked around by just the most inept people you could possibly imagine, and I’m excited. My friend has been working at this school for a while now and she’s also the only reference I have that they called. The interview is set for the day before we leave for our Christmas Vacation. We’re not going anywhere exciting, but it’s been over a year since my wife and I have had a day off together. My job sucks. Not the work itself, the work itself is great and I love the kids and families I work with; the company is a steaming pile of horseshit though. My wife presses my clothes and hangs them up in the sewing room, banishing our dog Ranger from entering to his eternal dismay. No matter, he’s set to go to a friend’s house for the holidays. They were all too excited to take him insisting that we cancel our reservation at the dog kennel. Initially I didn’t like the idea. Ranger’s still a puppy and is prone to puppy things like chewing anything he can press his nose to, and going number 2 if you don’t take him out when he wants to go. But my wife insists notifying me that the friends are aware and still thrilled at the idea of having an extra “fur baby” (kill me) around for the holidays. Against my better judgement I agree and call the kennel to cancel.

This is my butterfly flapping it’s wings on the other side of the world.

The night before my interview my wife wakes me from a dead sleep “There’s a problem with Ranger, they want us to take him back.” I don’t really process what she’s said in my groggy state, but I know it’s serious because it’s 11 o’clock and my wife turns into a pumpkin at 8:30. It turns out what our friends meant by “aware” and “thrilled” was “huh?” and “only if everything goes well.” Puppy Ranger is being a puppy and they can’t handle it so 36 hours before we’re set to leave and 96 hours before Christmas, we suddenly can’t go on vacation. At this point the problem of the pesky cold I’ve received is exacerbated by the incredible amount of stress I’m experiencing because I’m so pissed off. My body never has handled stress well and I end up vomiting which is going to make the dry mouth I’m experiencing from my cold even worse. at 2 AM while I’m trying to go back to sleep my uvula (not to be confused with vulva), now swollen and dry, sits on my windpipe almost suffocating me in my sleep. Midnight visit to the ER? Midnight visit to the ER.

The ER is packed, but about the only thing that beats out breathing problems are gunshots and traffic accidents so I’m seen relatively quickly (before a girl clutching her torso and crying which I feel really bad about) and the doctor who examines me determines that the swelling can be brought down with steroids. And to be clear, I don’t blame the doctor for this. There’s no way he could have known the disaster that would follow. Without hesitation I take the prescription and thank him for his time. Unfortunately for me it’s now 6 AM and there’s no way I can do my interview, I’m simply exhausted. Lacking a coherent voice I enlist my wife to call the school and ask for an interview for tomorrow before we leave town. Now to try to deal with the other problem, finding someone to take my dog.

My wife is the triumphant one here. She begs her boss to let her make calls at work; he agrees, and she pulls through in the clutch. Apparently 5 minutes before she called they had a cancellation and could take the Danger Ranger in. My family and I celebrate, Christmas is back on. After she tells me the good news she lets me know she’ll pick up the prescription on the way home.

The first effect is almost immediate. While dehydration has been an issue for me for two years because of this lovely desert climate, my mouth is now drying out completely every 20 minutes or so, regardless of fluid intake. But I have a cold and I’m breathing through my mouth a lot, so I don’t make the connection. I do however make the interview, kill it, and get offered the job over the phone about an hour later. Fuck. Yeah. I hang up the phone and in another 20 minutes we are out the door and on the road.

And now I’m going to get my second warning sign. I need to stop and pee. A lot. Over three hours I stop to pee 3 times, and when we do arrive at my sister’s house I blow past everyone so I can pee again. And that night? I wake up to pee every hour and a half. It’s not for a couple days that I think to google the medication and only after my brother-in-law points out that I went to bed at 9, and I’m seldom in bed before 11. I’m going to now learn the word diuretic and I’m going to call Health Link. Not sure if anyone else has this, but it’s a number you can call in Canada that links you with medical professionals (kind of). They tell me Google isn’t a doctor… But I tell my wife I’m stopping the steroids regardless. As Christmas day comes around the peeing is just as bad, and now I’m confused about where I am.

We go home the next day as my fourth issue arises and I can’t see more than 5 feet in front of me. My wife makes the doctor’s appointment for me, schedules cabs, and heads off to see her family. Blood work is ordered… and it only gets worse.

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