Monday, August 25, 2014

Give Me Lipizzaner Stallions or Give Me Death!

I was sick all the time. This time, I was particularly ill. The doctors had finally combined penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics to try to attack whatever was wrong. Meanwhile, I was still working and remodeling our house.

The Lipizzaner stallions show was in town, and I desperately wanted to go. I bought tickets for me, my husband, my brother, a friend I’d made at work, and her husband. We were all set to go. I had the tickets, and we were to meet at the Fairgrounds that evening.

Boy, I felt awful!  But then, when didn’t I? My brother came over and the three of us headed out, my husband driving. I told myself I’d be fine, it would pass. Then it hit. My mouth filled with water and the cords in my neck tightened. My stomach blew up, and I felt a rippling in my colon. The car ride dizzied me. I could make it. Didn’t I know every bathroom stop from Salt Lake City to Ogden? I was used to being sick to my stomach.

I cursed myself. Hold on! It will pass!

I had to make it. Everyone was counting on me. I had all the tickets. We had to make it to the show. Even if I spent the night in the restroom, at least everyone else could watch the horse show. I held on, grasping the seat with both hands and trying to keep everything inside.

“Are you okay?” my husband asked.

I couldn’t even answer. The rushing street, bright headlights, and changing street lights caused my head to swirl. Don’t mention swirl, too close to hurl!  I can’t make it!

“You’re going to have to stop somewhere,” I told my husband. “I’m sick.”

“Let me take you home.”

My brother nodded. “We shouldn’t have gone in the first place.”

“I can do this,” I responded. “Just get me to a restroom. I’ll be fine after that.”

My husband pulled into a restaurant parking lot, and I had the door open before he came to a complete stop. I rushed in, found the restroom, and bolted through the door. Both stalls were taken.

I beat on one of the doors. “Lady, you’ve got to let me in there, and I mean now!”

I have no idea how long I took. From the looks on both my husband’s and brother’s faces, I’d say quite awhile. However, I was determined to continue.

“I think we better call it a night,” my brother said. “You don’t look well at all.”

“He’s right,” my husband said.

“No. No. I can make it.” I slipped into the backseat and rested my head. I scratched my stomach.

He pulled back onto the road, rain starting to drizzle. My vision whirled like a merry-go-round—round and round, up and down. My stomach itched again.

“Could you turn on the overhead light?” I asked.

I pulled up my shirt just as the light came on. Three red welts graced my stomach, and I gasped.

My brother turned around and spotted them. “That’s it. Where’s the nearest hospital?”

“I’ll be fine. Let’s just go to the show. I at least need to give our friends their tickets.”

“Pioneer Hospital is the closest,” my husband said.

“I am not going to that hospital.” I leaned forward and touched his shoulder.

My husband did a U-turn. “I’ll take you back to the house so you can get your truck,” he said to my brother. “If you want to go see the Lippizans without us, you should.”

“You just get her to the hospital.”

“You both are making a big deal out of nothing.”  I stirred through my purse. “I’ll see if I have some allergy medication.”

I would not, could not give up. My next breath was constrained. I grabbed at my throat. Was my breathing blocking off? My chin trembled, and I shrunk back on the seat. I closed my eyes, not wanting to face reality. We weren’t going to see the horses. My friends would show up and not have their tickets. My brother wouldn’t get to see them either. I gave a half-hearted shrug and mumbled under my breath, “I ruin everything.”

“Better safe than sorry,” my husband said, looking at me in the rearview mirror.

I agreed, emotionless. I wanted to see the Lipizzaner stallions.

We took my brother back to our house. By then, I could hardly breathe. My husband rushed me to our local hospital. I can’t quite remember what happened from there except for the chewing out my husband received from the doctor.

“You should have called the paramedics or taken her to the nearest hospital,” the ER doctor said. “She’s in anaphylaxis shock. She’s allergic to one or the other of the antibiotics. She would have been dead in another twenty minutes.”

“But you don’t know my wife,” he answered.

And, not much has changed in all these years. “Give me death” has happened on more than one occasion because of my stubbornness and unwillingness to succumb to health issues. I guess I’ll never change. 

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
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