Cat Panic: Part 2

The next day, I woke up after having hit the snooze button on both alarms. I had to rouse The Battlefield and deliver it to school by 7:28 am. I had to rouse the Middle Child and deliver it to the train station by 8:24 am. I had to rouse the dogs and walk them up and down the driveway. I did the dishes, fed the cat, and looked at my arm.
Was it even puffier than the night before?    Was it turning red?
It certainly was very tender. None of the wounds themselves looked like anything, but my left arm was painful and swollen.
I cancelled my plans and called the doctor.
Of course, having only moved here in September, I do not yet have a cat-bite-doctor. I have a women’s-parts-doctor, and a dentist, and a dermatologist. I called the Middle Child’s internist’s office. I explained that I had an animal bite on my arm, and that it was swollen and painful, and I wanted to get it looked at that day so I could avoid going to the emergency room.
The nurse on the phone replied, “You need to go to the emergency room.”
To me, the emergency room is for people who were run over by a car, the kid who fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm, the rider who came off her horse, the sous chef scalded by hot oil. You know, emergencies.  “My cat bit me yesterday” is not an emergency, it’s a thing to take care of, today if possible. But not an emergency. An emergency is falling off a ladder, it’s a venomous snake-bite, it’s a tornado, it’s a heart attack, it’s a stabbing. Yesterday’s cat bite is a stupid emergency.
Northern Westchester Hospital (which I passed three times the day before without realizing) is doing some construction in its parking lots, so when you go to the emergency room there these days you get valet parking. Hospital administrators everywhere need to know this important thing: valet parking at the emergency room is the best thing since sliced bread, since the germ theory of disease, since the agricultural revolution, since Skype, since the birth control pill or even since the invention of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.   You drive up. You’re having an emergency! Hurry! You are greeted by a fellow who opens your door, and in exchange for your car he hands you a valet ticket.  You can even leave it running.
Inside, the Northern Westchester Hospital emergency room has a huge waiting area, with chairs for at least 75 people by my estimating glance. Behind a counter sat two pleasant, cheerful staffers, one of whom took my name and summoned a nurse. I sat in a chair and started to wonder how long the wait would be in a suburban emergency room at 9:30 am on a Tuesday. I never got to finish wondering, because Tammy, the nurse, had arrived to take me to a room.
Mine was room 15, though the door never closed. Tammy took my story, my name, my vitals. She told me they were very busy and to be patient.  Within the next half an hour I had seen the nurse who gave me the IV and the doctor, talked about what happened, and heard about other people’s cats. It was agreed all around that cat bites are nasty, and decided that IV antibiotics were warranted. I tried to read the paper, but never really had time. I was out the door again by 11:30 am.
I still say it was not an emergency, and that IV antibiotics could be administered in a doctor’s office.
A day later, my arm was still sore but no longer as swollen.  The cat seems to have resumed a normal activity level, though his toes bother him noticeably.

What I Dreamed Last Night #1

Maybe it wasn’t last night (it was this morning), but I dreamed the relentlessly ringing alarm of the phone of my husband, the Relentless Troubleshooter, was actually a notification from his truck tires that the warrantee was almost used up.  Whether the warrantee of those truck tires is used up is not something I know, you understand, and does not appear on the Official-List-of-Things-I-Am-Responsible-For. 
I want to tell you, though, about the dream I had about my friend, F___. Mind you, her name is not really F___, but for the purposes of this telling it will have to do.
Two nights ago I dreamed about my friend F___. She was back living with The Badgers, and The Badger Daughter was her roommateThe Badger Daughter roommate was a nurse for a Jug Band. She wore one of those dusky blue, old fashioned nurses’ uniforms to work, complete with a tiny starched white hat pinned to the top of her hair. One night the Jug Band was opening for David Bowie, and my friend F___ was invited along. 

Now in this dream, it was not 1960s David Bowie, nor was it 1970s David Bowie, nor was it 1980s David Bowie. It was more like 2030s David Bowie: very old, very frail, and very wrinkled and spotty. Yet he retained his switched
on zeal. My friend F___ and David Bowie struck up a conversation backstage, and it turned out that they shared a love of polka music, card games, and puns. They could not resist each other, and spent the night together. The startling revelation that my friend was pregnant with David Bowie’s baby woke me up.
Let’s get this straight: a magical entity did not put the baby there, David Bowie and my friend F___ did it together. Babies are created by a biological process which requires no intervention by magical entities. You might have learned about it in health class in 5th grade.  I know this to be true, even in a wacky dream world where a Jug Band has a nurse.