Although the decaf headaches were considerably worse today, the result, I
suspect, of hay fever clobbering me while I slept, it’s been easy to forget
about my caffeine detox in light of the hardships of those around me. Ph.
came home early from school today because we had an appointment at Community
General with the only doctor in Onondaga County authorized to administer Yellow
Fever vaccinations. Yellow Fever is the last vaccine he needed to be
Kenya-ready in mid-July. We hopped into the car and drove over to the
complex, navigated the disorienting campus–the antiseptic hospital grounds.
And then we waited. We sat through a few informal lectures, leafed through
CDC pamphlets one more time, eventually faced off with the doctor–a reputed
curmudgeon who picks apart travelers, detects all the shots they might
need. Sweet relief he’s not Ph.’s primary physician.
The whole time Ph. was limping. When he came home from school, the
first thing he did was kick off his right shoe and present me with a swollen
foot. Gym class. Unsupervised basketball. Ph. goes up for a
shot, a push in the back, rolled ankle. Only it’s not his ankle that’s
swollen. I know all about ankle injuries. The *pop* he heard and the knot he
felt were further out on the side of his foot. School nurse handed him a
baggie filled with ice and said to ice it for an hour (I’m no orthopedic, but
I’d never ice for more than twenty mins at a pass).
So he limped through the rest of the school day, limped home, limped through
the yellow fever appointment. Once home, we had to decide whether to
proceed to his sports banquet (an event where he would be honored as MVP of his
soccer team, an event we’d already shelled out cash for) or, instead, take him
to the the local prompt care for an x-ray. We went with the latter, and it
turned out to be the right decision: he has a busted foot. I didn’t see
the x-ray, but the fifth metatarsal on his right foot has, at the very least, a
chip fracture. What does it mean? Ten days in a splint, ten days on
crutches, ten days without showers (leg-out-the-tub baths instead).
We picked up some ibuprofen, then hustled home in time for a pizza to be
delivered. At home, we found our landlord (and friend, of course) sadly
tacking Lost Dog notices on the utility poles out front. His Jack Russell
Terrier vanished from the back-yard in the afternoon. Gone. He’d
already canvassed the area, but I hopped on my bike and cycled through the
neighborhood once more before dark, if for nothing other than good manners.
That and E.’s a cool dog, and I can vividly remember the few times T. (my old,
good dog) ran off. With this heat, lots of people were out on the streets,
on their porches. Syracuse isn’t an air-conditioned city, which is good
for lost-dog searching. One block over I secured a tip from a dog-walker.
He’d seen a dog like E. just an hour earlier. And sure enough, it panned
out. E. turned up, brought home by the same young girl the tipster
That accounts for just about everything since three o’clock this afternoon:
two hospitals, yellow fever (Ph. has technically contracted it, albeit from a
modified virus), a broken foot splinted, and a lost dog found. And pizza.
Like I said, it’s been easy to forget about decaffeination.
Note: The prompt-care office out-sources crutches. Before they
could hand over the crutches, they needed another four forms filled out–forms
where we give over all of our information, forms where we agree to pay for them
if insurance won’t. Nurse: "Just fill out the highlighted portions of the
forms." D: "What should I put for "Supplier"? Nurse: "Um. I don’t
know. Just leave it blank." D.: "It’s highlighted." Nurse: "Just
skip it." Oh, and he had to ask us–as a matter of official procedure–if
we had a preferred crutch provider.