Friday, October 22, 2010

Of Lying Flat and Flatulence

Mom made it up here on October 6 with Grandpa, after setting some kind of world record for bad trips. They had stops in Denver and Someplace, WY (no, that's not really the name - I can't remember which city it was), and it didn't take long for the mechanical difficulties to surface. It took a half hour to fix whatever was wrong, and an additional half hour for the engine to cool before they were allowed to start up and continue on their way. Arrival time moves from midnight, Central Time, to 1 am.

In Someplace, WY, a woman deplaned and neglected to replane. The pilots of the little commuter plan found out 45 minutes toward Williston that she was missing, and turned around to get her. The woman's brother had been in a terrible accident, and they weren't sure if he would live, so she was trying to get there to see him while he was alive. I don't know how much you know about Williston, ND, but a center of interstate air travel it is not. There would have been no more flights till the next afternoon at least, which is why those wonderful folks turned around and got her in a stunning act of kindness seldom seen.

New ETA for Mom: 2:30 am.

Upon arriving in Williston, there were more hurdles to surmount. First, a dreadful spill in the airport that took another half hour to clean up (boy, Mom really likes those half hour increments, doesn't she?), then when they finally got everything gathered and out to the car, the battery was dead and wouldn't start. Another half hour.

To say it was nippy would be an understatement. Mom had to throw herself on the nice lady's mercy to take Grandpa back inside the airport before he froze to his wheelchair, and they did finally get going. It must have been a bit disconcerting to leave the airport around 4am, and then get home an hour 4am.

It's been WONDERFUL having her out here, and if she missed fall, she at least made it for a couple weeks of pre-winter.

The same day Mom left Cali, Jack and I started our EMT class. Out here they have a volunteer ambulance service, though you do get paid when you have to actually work. So every Tuesday and Thursday nights, we've been going to class to get our certifications back.

Tuesday night this week was where we got to drag each other around with blankets, and last night was backboard practice, right after the test. Jack said he was trying to get kicked out by flunking, but he's going to have to work much harder to fail with test scores like that. He missed two nights and I didn't miss any, but I only got 2 more points than he did. One for each night, I guess.

Here I must digress for a brief fashion complaint. Nowadays, it's just about to impossible to find anything but pants too low, and shirts too high. Hip-huggers are poor choices health-wise, too, being linked to all sorts of girl-trouble for those who wear them. They have influenced styles enough that all waistlines have dropped somewhat, and you're doing good if you can find a pretty shirt that comes down far enough to meet said waistlines...if you stand or sit straight, and hold very, very still.

I had even brought a t-shirt with me in case we did something strenuous, but was caught off guard when the teacher turned to me first. "Ok Noni, you can be our victim."

It was backboard night, so I laid in a supine (face-up) position, ever-so-delicately arranging my shirt and pants so the edges would approximately line up. And held very, very still.

Suddenly, my wardrobe was no longer chief of my worries. There is just no dainty way to put this. Sometimes, especially at the end of the day, I become methaneically challenged. When I lie down to sleep, or as it turns out, just lie down, any backlog of effluvium makes its way rapidly to the exit and knocks sharply.

So there I was, on the floor of the classroom, with the entire class gathered around me, as my shirt and sphincter made simultaneous attempts to slide out of position. No spinal patient has ever stayed more still, making every effort to assist in keeping the proper body alignment.

As they rolled me back and forth, my dumb shirt leaped back to the forefront. The nice lady at my midsection kept trying to pull it down for me, but it just wouldn't stay. Finally, I tried to tuck it into my pants, keeping my spine straight all the while. In my enthusiasm, I also mistakenly tucked the shirt into my unmentionables, tossing any last shred of modesty to the wind.

At long last, shirt properly tucked only into my pants, I could once again give my full attention to holding still. A quick lift, the odd sensation of floating, and they lowered me carefully onto the gurney. Almost there, a few more straps fastened, then unfastened. Whew! That was close! Time to sneak away for a moment of ahem privacy.

"Ok Noni, you can help with the next victim." Great. Just kneel down, bend over, and strain every muscle in your body. Guaranteed to go wonderfully.

Coming soon to an ambulance near you,
Noni Beth

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