In the middle of last week, my daughter told me she wasn’t feeling well. It turned out she had a fever of almost 105–so I rushed her to the doctor’s office. I have a notoriously bad sense of direction, so I used our GPS to get there. Our doctor is now about a 45-minute drive away, and I’m still getting used to the new route.
“Mommy, I think I’m going to get sick to my stomach,” my daughter said as we headed down the Garden State Parkway. I pulled into the parking lot of a McDonald’s. Moments later, we discovered that the only plastic bag in the car had a hole in it–and my daughter was now a mess, with no change of clothes available. As I pulled back out onto the highway, the GPS got stuck in the middle of saying “Turn right.” All we could hear was a piercing “Ay, ay, ay.”
The “off” button was stuck, and slamming it against the dashboard didn’t help. I was hesitant to pull of the road again and drop it into a garbage can because it sounded like an alarm. I worried that a passerby who could not see it might call the police, thinking someone had put a suspicious package in there. “Can’t you throw it out the window?” my daughter asked. I was tempted, but envisioned it flying into the windshield of the car behind me and thought better of the idea.
It was hard to think clearly at all with the noise in the background, so I just kept driving, trying to muffle the GPS with my leg.
I tried to look on the bright side of our situation: It was much easier to bring my daughter to a doctor’s appointment as a freelancer than it would have been when I worked in a corporate job in New York. I didn’t have to explain where I was going to a boss and worry that there was going to be some subtle demerit for it.
When we got to the doctor’s office, it took just a few minutes to get the diagnosis. My daughter had the flu. Last year, I came down with it (for two weeks!) from a flu shot, so I put off getting my family vaccinated this year. I guess there’s no way to outguess the flu.
I had my two-year-old son vaccinated while we were there. Meanwhile, my two other daughters were in school, missing their chance. I tried not to think about the ramifications, such as the flu making its way through my family gradually, over the next month, one person at a time.
On the way back, I picked up a 30-pack of Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy that is supposed to help your body fight off the flu, if you take it when you first start feeling ill. The battery of the GPS finally died in the Rite Aid parking lot, about a mile from our home. I’m holding out hope that Oscillo will keep us all from getting sick. It’s one thing to work in your PJs because you want to, but quite another if you are too sick to get out of bed.
I’m ready for spring!