Have you ever scheduled a day off from work so you could get things done, but at the end of the day, nothing went as planned? And when the day was done, you had kind of wished you stayed at work. That is exactly how my day went yesterday.
I had scheduled yesterday off, which is a big deal, because our patients book as far as 3-6 months out. The clinic staff has to call and reschedule, and I always feel bad about that because I know people have busy lives, but sometimes things pop-up in my family which have to be attended to and cannot be put off. Last Sunday, I was reminded the youngest son had to go to Traffic Court (I had totally forgotten – although I sense I may have actually not been told in the first place).
I woke up with all these great plans of things I was going to do. I had scheduled the puppies for a trip to the Vet, thinking they were sorely behind on their immunizations (I was especially concerned about Maxie and his rabies after the National Geographic Episode). They weren’t. I was a year early. But they had a good examination – Maxie has to lose 10 pounds, Mikey is “a perfect specimen of a Great Dane” according to the Vet. We then (me and my oldest – it takes 2 people, 2 cars to do all of this with our dogs – too big for one car) went next door to the groomers and signed them up for the spa package – nails, teeth, baths and a summer cut for Maxie.
My oldest and I went to breakfast. He transformed into a normal human being after the macronutrients hit his system (he eats 6 times a day – not little meals but huge meals, hence HUGE grocery bills – he gets super crabby right before feeding time). During breakfast we talked about his swollen hand. Backstory on the hand – he was at a party, someone totally ticked him off, and instead of punching the aforementioned aggravator he punched a car. His hand has been swollen since then. I had one of my co-workers at the hospital order an x-ray for him on Monday and he still hadn’t gone to have it done, he wasn’t convinced it was necessary (no one listens to me – even though I have experience with Pediatric Trauma). This whole week he has been bench-pressing, lifting weights on this hand and surprise – the hand is not getting better. His fourth knuckle has completely disappeared, it has sunken into the swollen flesh. He finally agreed he would have it x-rayed. Change of plans – now we go to my hospital and spend a happy hour waiting for him to be x-rayed.
We then dash back home, because I have to get ready to go to Traffic Court with my youngest son (it was a minor infraction – he didn’t completely stop before making a right turn, police officer said the light was red, my youngest is adamant it was yellow). Just as I am about to take a shower, we get news his hand IS broken (mid-shaft fracture on his 4rth metacarpal) and the Plastic Surgeon wants to see him back at the hospital in the afternoon. This little piece of news started a whole flurry of activity and texting to all the friends. No shower. I get to go to Traffic Court covered in dog hair, which I suppose really isn’t an issue – I will just blend in (turns out I was the scruffiest one there).
We leave my oldest to ponder the news of his broken hand. What does he do? He goes to the gym to see if he can inflict a bit more damage to his hand. We go tearing off towards downtown, me and my youngest. I’m surprised we didn’t get a ticket. How funny would that be – getting a ticket for speeding on the way to traffic court? We arrive with two minutes to spare and barrel into the waiting room, to sit…. and sit and sit some more. Everyone waiting with us is staring at their cell phones (I have a Go-phone, so I just stare at the vending machine with a sign that says – “Do Not Use This Machine For Change for the Parking Meters”. I spend a happy 15 minutes wondering about that sign. We get called – they call the names in alphabetical order. We were rather pleased because we are 4rth on the list (Gates) and think things are going to go swimmingly well and we will be out in under an hour. Silly Rabbit – Trix are for kids. That’s not at all what happened.
We went into the court room with everyone else. They asked who would need an Interpreter. We and two other families did not raise our hands. Then they shuffle us out of the court room, back to the waiting room, and we sit and sit and sit some more. Finally, they call our names and we all shuffle back to wait outside the court room. They call in the first family – they require an Interpreter. We are relieved they come back out so quickly. The next family goes in, they don’t need an Interpreter – but based on their last name, they are the same ethnicity as the Judge, and I suspect because of the small city we live in, they know each other – it is a tight ethnic group. They come out quickly. So Yay – we should be next, if we are going alphabetically. Oh, but NO! The Bailiff starts calling all the families that need Interpreters, one after another, after another and another, and another. The group waiting outside the court room is dwindling. The Russian Interpreter shows up, they bump the other Interpreter, must be some kind of hierarchy in Interpreter land. Finally, there are only two families waiting outside the court room; me and my youngest, and one other family, whom we have been conversing with over the last TWO hours. That is all that is left in the hallway. The Interpreters have gone, the families needing the Interpreters are gone and it is just us.
Needless to say, my youngest is not at all happy with any of this. The Bailiff comes out and apologizes for the long wait – he says the Interpreters are expensive and so they have to use them efficiently. We feel a little better knowing that someone recognizes the unfairness of all of this. I can’t help myself and say something about how it is reassuring to know our tax dollars are being used wisely. We go into the court room, my oldest just agrees with everything, because if he didn’t we would have to come back for Round Two and both he and I would rather be disemboweled than have to go through that again. The Judge is very kind and lets him off pretty easily after she asks him about his grades and his employment plans for the summer.
During this whole fiasco at the Traffic Court, my husband has taken my oldest to see the Plastic Surgeon. They are advised by the surgeon, my oldest has really JACKED his hand up and will require surgery. The recovery time will be 8-12 weeks. So there goes his Lifeguarding job. He was really looking forward to making his own money (and we were too!!) and now that has all been shot to hell. He is scheduled for surgery on Monday. But….the upside to all of this, was my husband was so impressed with how the Plastic Surgeon made time at the end of her busy day to see them, and spent an amazing amount of time with them explaining everything. My oldest was taken on a tour of the hospital and met all the people in Surgery (all of whom I work with) and despite it being a really crappy situation, they had an unbelievably wonderful experience. It is true, I work in a great hospital with some of the nicest, most dedicated people you would ever want to meet. I am really proud to say I work there!!!
My youngest and I are released from Traffic Court hell and zoom home, to get the other car and go pick up the puppies. Maxie and Mikey are so excited to see us, they are the last of the dogs that haven’t been collected (made me feel kind of bad, almost like I used to, when I would go pick the kids up from Daycare and they were the only kids that hadn’t been picked up). They looked so cute, with their nails short and their teeth sparkly. They had little bandanas on – so adorable. Maxie has his summer cut and seems so much more comfortable. We piled them into the cars and finally returned home. The family was back together. We survived Traffic Court, we discovered the oldest needs surgery and the youngest has to do Community Service. But we were home, the puppies were home, and all was right in the world, once again. It was the most exhausting day and I almost wish I had just gone to work! Almost.