(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?”
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.