Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wee Hours

It's the wee hours of the morning.  I woke up coughing, which woke the dog, who decided he needed to go potty, which meant I had to get up and let him out, which didn't make me happy.  The coughing is not good and I'm afraid I am allergic to my job.  :-(  I haven't coughed like this since last Spring during allergy season- and at that time, the doctor said I had bronchitis.

So I dug around for the cough medicine I was prescribed and found it, noticing the date it was filled.... April 27, 2011.  Here in Huntsville, that was the day of the bad tornadoes.  I had gone to the doctor that day in between storms.  What was really good, as there was virtually no waiting- everyone else was at home in their safe place.  My x-rays revealed lots of "gunk" in my lungs and I was given four or five prescriptions, which I took to the pharmacy. 

And then I went home, assuming I would pick up the prescriptions in an hour or so when I went back out.  I was wrong about that.  I spent the next couple hours in the laundry room with four kids and a dog (had an extra kid that day).  Tornadoes devatated our area and left us all without power- and my pharmacy closed.

The next morning (Sarah's birthday!), I ventured out amidst the uprooted trees, damaged fences, and the roof of the Wendy's now in their parking lot.... and found a line at the pharmacy, so I got in it.  They were allowing one customer at a time into the store.  Bigger stores, like Publix, had already brought in generators, but the drug store I had chosen was completely without power.  I waited about an hour, made friends with the others in line (I always find the comraderie in these situations to be something special) and then was only able to get a couple of my prescriptions because they could only accept cash, and with the banks and ATMs without power, that left only what I happened to have in my wallet before the tornadoes.  I had to pick the ones that were most important... the antibiotic, the cough medicine perhaps.  I don't remember.

It felt more like a third-world country than America.  We don't wait in long lines to get our medicine and other necessities.  And who keeps cash around these days?  And who is as sick as I was and has to decide between their medicines?  We have programs for this kind of thing.  People don't go without needed medicines here.

So I sit here eight months later and wait for the cough medicine (i.e. codeine) to work its magic, and remember that day and the days that followed... we were without power for close to a week at my house.  I took the kids and fled to Nashville first (was given a discount at the hotel because we were refugees) and then to Kentucky to the loving arms of my dear friends, Beth and Nancy (where we got to stay for free and they even fed us).

And all of these memories flood back just by seeing a date on a medicine bottle at 4:00 in the morning.

And I can only sleep another hour now (sleep, please come back to me) because I have an early appointment with Tammy to get my nails done.  I've been missing my pretty nails and for some reason, this manual labor job I now have is making me want to find ways to feel feminine.  I end up with dirt under my fingernails every day and with the acrylic nails, I won't get that.  Plus, I can afford it again now that I'm working regular hours.  :-)

And it strikes me just how very blessed we really are in America......

Merry Christmas if I don't get back on here to say so again before the big day!  I hope Santa brings everyone plenty of goodies and that Jesus blesses everyone with love and peace and joy, which are much more valuable commodities than any goodies Santa will leave in your stocking.