Sunday, February 6, 2022

In the driver's seat again

Finally the date was set for Larry's colonoscopy. I would be the designated driver. I explained in this post that, with the pandemic, retirement and downsizing, we sold my car. I have not driven for two years and Larry is not comfortable being a passenger. 

The procedure was set for Friday and pretty much that entire week was preparation time. We were in a holding pattern while Larry had to stick to a low fiber diet up to Thursday and then do the pre-colonoscopy stuff that day. Thursday was the ice storm day in Texas. We got a call from the surgery center to say that he should go ahead with his preparation but be prepared for a call on Friday morning to cancel if the icy weather continued into that day.

I have to admit, while I didn't want Larry to go through that week of prep for nothing, I was half hoping they would call and cancel. Of course, that would just be delaying the inevitable and the sooner it was over the better. The issue was not that I didn't want to drive, I enjoy driving. I just didn't want to drive Larry's truck—with him as a passenger. See my previous post to explain that. But of course, I had no choice. And of course I wanted to be there for Larry.

Friday morning, no call to cancel. We left the house at 9.45 for an 11 a.m. appointment. Temperatures were still well below freezing and forecast to stay that way for the rest of the day however, the sun was shining, so the ice was starting to melt a little. Larry drove and the roads were relatively clear but to be safe he engaged 4-wheel drive and took it carefully. Traffic was extremely light luckily, and we got there shortly after 10.30. 

Because of COVID I could not come inside to wait, so Larry went in alone. We had been told that I could expect him to be ready between 1.00 and 1.30 and they would phone me to let me know when to pick him up. Naturally, I couldn't go home, it was too far to drive there and back again and would have been foolish given the road conditions. 

I had wrapped up in warm layers and brought my kindle, my laptop and my phone. I had also brought my secret weapon, my Solis SkyRoam. This is a really invaluable device for anyone who travels a lot, as I used to. It is a pay-per-day portable internet connection and also doubles as a mobile charger. I have carried it all over Europe with me, and of course on my many trips to Seattle while I was working for Amazon. 

Despite the freezing temperatures, I only had to run the engine for a short time to keep the truck relatively warm. 

Finally, shortly after 1.00 p.m. the nurse called me to let me know that Larry would be discharged in about 15 minutes. We were parked across from the patient pickup area so I was able to see when he was wheeled out. I pulled across and as soon as he was buckled into the passenger seat I took a deep breath and headed home.

The roads had improved a little and traffic was still fairly light. It took about 15 minutes before Larry was sufficiently recovered from his anesthetic to continue my driver's education but despite this, I managed to get us home safely without incident. 

Not only did I pass the driving test in Ireland about 50 years ago, I also had to do one in the US when I got here 28 years ago, and I passed that too! I am not a bad driver, so why is it that every man in my life feels the need to continue my driving instruction? 

At least I now know that in an emergency I can drive the truck safely. I also hope I never have to drive it again. That was way too stressful a way to spend my Friday. 

The good news is that Larry had a clean bill of health and won't require another colonoscopy for a very long time.

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