Friday, February 25, 2011

Rotten - Part Three

(Due to excessive words routinely and joyfully used by yours truly, I have divided the following account into three parts. You may want to read part two before continuing to suffer through the wordiness in part three. The little red box in the right-hand corner is always available for your convenience.)

Tonsillectomy recovery was not going well for Chandler. Because of pain, he was unable to swallow liquids. Because of projected hypochondria, I was convinced he was moments away from the evils of dehydration. While it had been less than 24 hours, I picked up the phone to call my husband’s office.

That’s when I saw this outside of my son’s bedroom window.

I blinked my eyes twice, hoping to remove the sight that looked like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie starring a worn-out, dramatic prone parent.

Typically, one can expect to see one or two buzzards meandering about in the sky when the demise of an animal has occurred. They have a good sense of smell and are able to smell the dead they focus upon from great heights. (Thanks Wikipedia.)

The issue immediately at hand was twofold. First, the large quantity of vultures directly outside of my son’s window would suggest that a dead carcass buffet was available to all in my front yard. Looking closely at our lawn recently shredded into Bermuda slaw by winter sledding, I could not locate an animal of any kind – dead or sickly - that might attract such a large gathering.

Secondly, Chandler was the only ill entity within the radius of the flock of gore eating birds and that meant.....

I quickly dialed the phone to my husband’s office and asked a nurse to retrieve him from an exam room (Sorry Mr. Patient. An imminent attack by vultures supersedes your strep throat. Hope you feel better soon!)

Skipping pleasantries, I relayed the emergent situation to John, who held the phone at a safe distance from his ear so that the shrillness of my voice didn’t shatter his eardrums into a million pieces.

“Chandler won’t swallow, and he’s in pain, and there’s vomit currently all over me, and I’m pretty certain he is dangerously dehydrated which the doctor warned us about and you know what that will lead to, well,of course you do because you were a graduate of medical school and all, but I think it is really serious now because there are a hundred buzzards outside of his bedroom window who any minute may eat the flesh right off of his bones.”


“Are you going to come home or should I call an ambulance?”

Long silence.

Even more silence.

“Well, before you call the ambulance citing buzzards and dehydration as your emergency, let me take a look at him in a few moments after I finish up with my patient,” John responded in the calm doctor voice that always has the potential to cause my head to spin off of my body.

“Okay. But I’m telling you that it’s really serious. Did I mention that he can’t swallow? At all? And you really need to consider these buzzards....” I countered, trying to imitate the calmness in my husband’s voice but audibly failing because of the high decibels warbling from my mouth. The dogs in my neighborhood were the only ones who could correctly identify the serene nature of my sound.

John made it home soon after our conversation to assess Chandler’s condition. He did not think that our son was dehydrated. He did not think that the the buzzards would eat him. And he did not think it necessary to summon emergency vehicles. Filling a syringe with water, he was able to convince our son to swallow a little bit at a time, which we slowly increased throughout the remainder of the day.

It took nine days for Chandler to fully recover from surgery.

I may never.

Which is what these vultures know, as they still periodically hang out out in the trees of our front yard, waiting for the day when dramatics, hysteria and projected hypochondria finally cause the spontaneous demise of yours truly.


Anonymous said...

That is kinda creepy - I mean the vulture part :-) Hope everyone is feeling much better and the birds have moved on.

Anonymous said...

the above comment was from not too old to learn - sorry - I was on my husband's account

Joni said...


I would agree.

And that includes the vomit part.


Joni said...


It all makes sense now. : )

I received your email the other day. Somehow I did not receive the intitial one. I am working on a list now that I will send to you soon.

Very exciting! : )


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

Can I use some of the information from this blog post above if I give a backlink back to your site?


Joni said...

Harry -

Sure. As long as the backlink isn't a virus. : )


Work In Progress said...

What joy this series has brought...however unfortunate are the circumstances that surround it! But you definitely get the award for taking lemons and making lemonade out of them! Thanks for letting us drink and enjoy that lemonade! I love your tag "you can't make this stuff up"! This post with the vultures certainly could not be tagged more appropriately! So glad Chandler is fully recuperated now! Miss seeing you guys...

Joni said...



Maybe we should capitalize on the excess of lemons in our household with a lemonade stand? Throw in an admission ticket to view the buzzard exhibit in our front yard and we would be well on our way to entrepreneurial


Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

I really thought I was going to be able to put you on my 'friends to keep other friends calm' list. I am going to think about it and get back to you.

Glad things are on the up and up now! tonsils are the pits...boys had theirs out

Joni said...


Nope. I am not that person. I can pray for you and make you laugh, but medical emergencies send me into orbit.

I was calm in carpool with you because you were. You were the good example. Inside my frantic brain, I was trying to figure out how to summon a helicopter to the parking lot. : )


PS- Mary Mac told me last night that she wanted to marry Knox so that she could always be around Ivy.