It was September 8, 2008.
This was four days before my friend Shawna’s 40th birthday.
This was four days before Hurricane Ike was scheduled to hit Houston.
It was a memorable enough September already.
Just the night before, Shawna was feeling as awesome as usual. There was nothing out of the ordinary about her day, the way she felt, the way she walked, talked, ate, laughed, hiccupped… Nothing. She was enjoying the man of her dreams and playing with their children- a 14-month-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. She was fine. She was feeling good. She would have been able to kick some serious donkey tail, if there were any donkey tails in need of a good kicking.
So, she went to sleep.
She was feeling fine, she was feeling tired, she was feeling the REM kick when…
She couldn’t breathe.
She couldn’t draw in a deep breath.
Besides feeling like she couldn’t enough air down to the deep recesses of her lungs, she was in a lot of pain. She said that she felt as if all of her ribs had been broken. The pain was intense and it was not letting up. I imagine that the deeper the breath she took, the more horrible the pain leaving her with the very difficult decision to make: more oxygen or more pain?
She had no choice.
She had to awaken her man sleeping very, very soundly beside her.
“Jason! Jason! Please *ragged breath* can you get *ragged breath* up? I think I need to *ragged breath* go to the *ragged breath* hospital. I am *ragged breath* in a lot of pa- *ragged breath* -in.”
Jason, a man I personally know and can vouch is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, rolls over, likely squints his eyes to see her and says something along the lines of “Okay. That sounds good. Call me and let me know what the doctor says.”
CALL ME AND LET ME KNOW WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS.
That’s what he said.
The girl couldn’t breathe! She was in pain!
She got up anyway and somehow inched and hobbled her way over to her keys and purse. Without paying attention to the mirror, she climbed into her car while still in her pajamas and drove herself to the emergency room where she proceeded to have a police officer outside of the ER actually park her car due to the urgency of the situation.
After hours and hours and hours in the ER, she found out that she had a bilateral pneumonia and required a long list of medications. The doctors actually wanted to keep her in the hospital to ensure that her pneumonia was taken care of before the hurricane hit, but Shawna wanted to return home to see her baby.
But not necessarily her husband… Not at that moment.
I know after his sleep fog lifted, he realized the mistake. He should have gotten the kids into the car and taken his wife to the ER. Having to deal with getting kids in the car, though, especially when they are as little as theirs were at the time, is not an easy deal.
It is clear that, even though Shawna had forgiven Jason for his “call me and let me know what the doctor says” line, she hadn’t forgotten it. A couple of years later, Jason was the one in need of an ER visit. And, like, NOW.
Shawna had picked up a $1 jump rope from the sale bin at Michael’s and brought home one for each of the kids. Jason thought it would be a good idea to give the kids some training and a little entertainment, too. While showing his oldest how to swing the rope around twice in a single jump, he came down too hard resulting in a broken AND dislocated toe.
He was not feeling good. AT. ALL.
“Shawna! I need to go the ER!”
Shawna eyes twinkled. “You do?”
“Yes and we need to go now! Look at my toe! It’s pointing up toward the ceiling and is sideways, too!”
“Hmmm…you’re right. Well, let me go get the kids. I need to get a bag together for them of things they can play with, I need to make sure they have…”
“They don’t need a bag. Why do they need a bag? My toe! My toe!”
She was being a bit of a lollygagger and a Point Prover all at the same time.
Once they got in the car, though, they sped away and Jason got his poor toe all back into shape. He paid is $100 ER fee and they went back home. She wouldn’t want to have her husband in excruciating pain, but, yet, she couldn’t let that teaching opportunity just pass her right by either.
Jason now calls that jump rope a “The $101 Jump Rope”, but, ladies, I think a better name for it is “Next time, just take her to the ER, alright?-rope”.
Don’t you agree?