Lynn Gold (figmo) wrote,
Lynn Gold

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Green Around the Gills

Last night Warren, his mother, and I went to Dr. Jane's in Berkeley for an appointment. The day was a typical Thursday. I worked at home, the maids came, went to work. While at work I learned there would be a barbecue for direct employees only the next day and decided it'd be best for my mental health if I worked at home rather than felt extra left out and depressed.

I had to leave early to pick up Warren and his mother at her place. Fortunately, I'd put in a marathon session Monday and thus had time to spare. It took me 45 minutes to make what's normally a 25 minute trip because of rush hour traffic, and once I got there, Warren insisted on driving.

Warren's driving pleases his mother and frustrates me. Warren drives like a little old lady. He likes taking the scenic route, aka "the longest way to get there using the most surface streets." I hate the scenic route. When I get in a car, I want to get there and now.

At one point I really had to go to the bathroom. Warren wanted to backtrack, but I refused even if it meant my "springing a leak" (fortunately it didn't). I'm a brittle hypoglycemic, which meant I had to eat something before we got to Dr. Jane's (I need to eat every 1.5-3 hours), so when we stopped at a McDonald's so I could use the facilities, I also picked up a cheeseburger, no pickle (who the hell actually puts whole pickles on their burgers anyway???) and a small diet Coke so I could be awake for when they wanted to do dinner.

We eventually made it to Dr. Jane's, taking about 45 minutes longer than we would've had I been driving, and worse yet, we were early. I hate being early, especially being more than 15 minutes early, which we were. We arrived around 7:10pm for a 7:30 appointment. This meant we had to sit around waiting till Dr. Jane and Sonia were ready for us, and they traditionally run a little late. Yesterday was typical.

After Jane and Sonia worked on us and the usual hugs were exchanged, we left to get dinner and go home. The number of places open after 9:30pm in Berkeley isn't the greatest, and when you've got two people in the car that must have "Murrican" food (ugh), that limits choices even further. I was going to suggest TGI Friday's, but instead Warren opted for Lyon's.

I wanted pasta. We'd had potatoes as a side the last two days at home, and potatoes are not on my list of "favorite foods." The only pasta dishes they had either contained cream sauce (diarrhea on wheels for me) or mushrooms (a near-death experience). Instead, I opted for the safer "Shrimps Galore" which was fried shrimps with my "choice" of two sides. "Soup or salad?" she asked. Well...the soups had mushrooms, so I was stuck with salad, a bad choice for me in a "Murrican" place where salad primarily consists of iceberg lettuce (which gives me indigestion at best and diarrhea at worst). I at least was able to get honey mustard dressing.

About half the sides were some form of potato - mashed (eeeuw), fries (no thanks), baked (not after two days of 'em!), or potato salad (bletch). Other choices included "seasonal vegetables of the day" (not my first choice), macaroni salad (I hate mayonnaise and at best tolerate most salads of that ilk), coleslaw (eeeuw), stuffing ('shroom poisoning possibility), or Macaroni and cheese.

Remember, I said I wanted pasta, right? I asked for a double-side of Mac and cheese. I was comfortable.

About five minutes later the waitress comes back. "We're all out of Macaroni and cheese." I asked if I could have a dessert in lieu of a side dish, as none of the others listed appealed to me. She held firm and insisted I get two sides from their list. Ugh. I opted for the stuffing (which turned out to be mushroom-free) and the vegetables. I was already an unhappy camper.

Then my "salad" came. "Salad" was, as I predicted, a plate full of iceberg lettuce topped with two tomato slices. I can't eat raw tomatoes (food sensitivity), so I took them off the plate and Warren's mother had them. I ate about half the salad till I was ready to gag; in retrospect, I wish I hadn't eaten any of it.

Our entrees eventually came. The shrimp barely looked like shrimp; they looked more like flat ovals. They did taste shrimp-like. The stuffing was watery but edible, and I could barely eat the vegetables because they were so heavily laden with butter or whatever butter flavored grease they put on 'em. I ate all of my shrimp, the (thankfully small) portion of stuffing, and about half the veggies. Then Warren and I ordered dessert so his mother wouldn't feel rushed.

We both wanted apple pie. We both ordered apple pie. About two minutes later the waitress returned to tell us they were out of apple pie. We instead got small hot fudge sundaes, not the best choice for someone who's already had one substance guaranteed to aggravate her digestive system (ice cream sometimes gives me the runs, too). I had to hope the hot fudge sauce might mitigate any ill effects.

We then went to drive home. Warren made a wrong turn and wound up taking us towards a bridge when we were supposed to be going straight to San Jose (no bridge needed). When I threw a fit about this (and the extra half hour to 45 minutes it would add to our commute), he took the last exit before the bay bridge. Instead of turning around, he had us driving through surface streets in Oakland, again taking the "scenic route."

Warren and his mother were enjoying the drive. I, OTOH, was miserable, being held captive in a moving car far from home. I needed to get home (or at least to a land base) within an hour so I could hit a toilet if necessary. Warren and his mother were oblivious to my protests. Instead of getting back onto the optimal route of Hwy 880, he instead took the much longer and windier 580.

I am very prone to carsickness. I always have been since I was a child. Part of my childhood memories involve being dragged on Sunday afternoon drives with my parents and being thoroughly nauseous.

Given this, I wanted to get home and now. I had mentioned in the restaurant I was drinking iced tea because I still had to drive my car from Warren's house to mine after this drive. Warren was so into getting his mother out of their house that he instead insisted on taking the San Mateo Bridge - the one with road construction going on, making the trip even longer than it should be. By this time an extra hour had been added by his desire to make this ordeal as long as possible.

After we got off the bridge I had to go. Now. This wasn't a "#1," but was the "#2" I was expecting. Owie. We saw a hotel marquee and took the appropriate exit. Warren ambled around looking for it and finally found a hotel. It wasn't the one we saw, but it was a Hilton, so I knew the rest rooms would be okay.

I went...and went...and went. I was feeling really sick. I figured after 20 minutes of this I should be emptied out and went back to the car. Just as we were pulling out I started cramping again, so we pulled back in. It took me another 20 minutes of "core dumping" to finish up. I knew I was in bad shape because my waist was now about two inches bigger than it had been (I get distended). As I got in the car we noticed my left headlight was burnt out.

I got back into the car, but instead of going to his house he went to mine. He then wanted his mother to sleep on my couch for the night. I didn't want to do that to a 79-year-old woman who'd just had her back worked on, so I insisted we take her home. Warren and his mother then insisted on going to their house in my car by themselves, with Warren bringing the car back today. I was so nauseous at this point I agreed to it.

As they drove to their place, I phoned the car. Apparenly his mother had noticed I'd looked "ill" long before I'd noticed it and had insisted to Warren that I be taken directly home. Warren says he never disobeys his mother.

So now, the morning after, I'm still nauseous. Bleaugh. Usually I'm too numb to care about food this early (if I'm up). Instead, today I feel like I'm going to puke.

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