Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Michael mending

sunny, hot, temps 28

Another glorious day. A total surprise. September in Quebec is always always beautiful, but rarely is it this hot.

Michael's fever came back last night. 102. He had a cool shower then went to sleep. This morning we decided to go to the walk-in clinic in Knowlton, and arrived about ten minutes before 8 - it opens at 8. There were only 3 people ahead of us. I thought it'd be packed since the clinic wasn't open yesterday, labour Day. But very slow, really.

After about 40 minutes we got in. Quite embarassing. The doctor seemed less than sympathetic and impressed when she asked how long Michael had been sick and we said a day and a half.

'Then why are you here?'
'Really, what are you here? It's only been a couple of days.'
We looked at each other. This didn't seem the time to tell her Michael's a doctor. In fact, we now regretted giving her our real name. Whenever we think a situation will be humilitating we try to tell people our names are Gary and Lise. But it we too late.

We told her, quite truthfully, that we were going away on Thursday and it seemed wise to see if he needed antibiotics to get them here.

'Where're you going?'

Another long pause.

'I hear they have doctors there.'

At about this time I did one of the things I do best. I tried to telepathically let her know this was all Michael's idea and I've been kidnapped and brought there against my will.

She listened to his chest then said, 'I have some good news and some bad news.'

I wonder if doctors realize that people's hearts stop when they say that.

'The good news is, it's a cold. The bad news is, there's nothing I can do about it.'

We left. About as impressed with her, I suspect, as she was with us.

Then we went to Cowansville for breakfast...a trip to the bank...a stop at the feed store for dog food. Then home. I dropped Michael off and headed down into the village to do errands including making a hair appointment for him with the new barber.

When we first moved here there was a barbershop on the mainstreet, with a pole and all. Michael decided to try it out, after years of having his hair done at the Ritz in the Golden Mile of Montreal. I went grocery shopping, then 20 minutes later wandered by the barbershop to see Michael in the front window, and the barber. With a Hoover. Hoovering Michael's face. Michael looked like a child at his first haircut, about to burst into tears. I think I took him for ice cream later and told him how brave he was. That was the last time he went there. But now there's a new barber, so he's going tomorrow at 1pm whether he likes it or not.

Zipped across the border to do some mailing in Richford, Vermont and pick up gas. Then came back to Sutton to pack up a few more boxes from the office. And stopped at the grocery store for cold drinks.

Gary and John Murphy - whom we all call Jesus Murphy now - were scraping and painting the outside of the house. And frying. I could barely watch them it was so hot. Took them drinks and noticed that Gary had white paint all over his lips. Afraid to ask how it got there.

Michael's feeling better. Fingers crossed he's on the mend. Thanks for all your good wishes.


Elizabeth said...

If the local barber shop doesn't live up to expectations, have you thought of trying one across the border? We had wonderful barbershops in the Washington, DC area, specifically in Chevy Chase, MD. I especially remember the first time that James, my now 19-year-old, was swathed in a hot towel after his cut and shaved with a straight razor--all for only $12! The cut was always great and he felt like such a "man".

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Elizabeth,

That sounds wonderful - and what a great first cut for your son! Does he remember it too?

Fingers crossed there aren't any household appliances put to work with Michael's cut.