After Life

Book Two: Purgatory

From Journeys and Transitions

by Melanie

Chapter 92

An Expected Visit

November 25, 2005

4:38 p.m.

Sitting here in the hotel waiting for room service.  Teresa’s ex-fiancée is visiting, and another long-time friend of hers is scheduled to arrive at any moment.

Teresa is suffering for a localized infection under her chin.  It first became a problem yesterday around noon while we were getting ready to go over to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving dinner.

Apparently, Teresa had noticed a small lump in the soft tissue on the trip down, but hadn’t paid it much heed.  But as yesterday morning wore on, the inflamed area grew both larger and harder until it was an inch long, half an inch wide, and solid as a rock.

She also began to lose energy and feel nauseous, so I made an emergency call to Dr. O’s office, even though it was dinner time on the holiday.  Within five minutes, his office had contacted him by his pager and he was on the phone to us, here in Burbank, and ready to prescribe an antibiotic.

I had done my homework, and already had the phone number of a local pharmacy that was open during the holiday.  He seemed pleased that I was prepared, took the number, and called in the prescription.  By the time I arrived at the place, it was already being filled.  And ten minutes later, I was back in the car and on the way to Teresa.

She was in some pretty good pain from that swelling, but antibiotics, of course, take a day or two to have a major effect.  Still, she bucked up and went down to the car with me for the drive to dinner.

We had a pretty good time.  But, as has been the case so far, most everyone who sees Teresa either doesn’t note any difference in her appearance, pretends not to notice, or tries to be supportive by feigning disinterest (or is distressed by her success and their own insecurities).

Nonetheless, the women at the party treated Teresa in a completely different manner than they had before.  The younger ones sought her out to have private chats, and the older ones seemed a little intimidated.

The men treated her with far more deference that I had previously seen.  (After we later arrived back at the hotel, she reported as well the same experiences I had observed.)

Dinner went well in my daughter’s smallish apartment, overcrowded by both in and out laws.  Desert was a freeform affair, followed by a wonderful little-known movie (“The Cat’s Meow”) on her boyfriend’s projection television.

After the show, both Teresa and I were quite tired from the trip, the infection, and the tension we had only so recently overcome.  So, we took our leave, and returned to our temporary abode.

The evening was one of relaxation, recovery, and snuggling.

This morning, we slept in a bit, and I caught up on posting to the web all these journal entries I hadn’t had time to address yet.  In truth, I had expected not to post them until at the earliest the night before surgery, or perhaps just after, as I had done with the first book.

But somehow, I just didn’t want that backlog hanging over my head.  So I tackled the job and completed it in mid-afternoon.  This left just enough time to take a shower before the first of our guests arrived.

In fact, my hair was still wet and uncombed when Teresa’s ex (A) arrived.  He entered, sat down, and enthusiastically told us of his success in just the last couple of days of having his bid accepted for his first home of his own – a nice condo he had told us about some time ago, that was the first property he had been shown that he really liked.

We congratulated him, and then I showed him all my new techie toys (the laptop, camcorder, and still camera) as he and I are both gearheads.  Then, there was chit chat, and still, no mention by him of how Teresa looked, or any reference to her surgery.  Again, trying to be supportive by not bringing up the obvious.

But Teresa broached the subject, and though she met with no proactive interest, she shared what she wanted to convey, at which point she collapsed from exhaustion.  Some time later, we ordered our dinners, which arrived not moments ago.

A small side note:  I found time in the middle of all this to check out the injuries to my head from the beating I had given myself the other night.  Believe it or not, there are actually welts on my forehead!  In fact, parts of my forehead have swollen up so much that they have filled in the level between the slight bumps I had near the top on the left, middle and right.  In short, these injuries, at least temporarily, have smoothed out my forehead much like Teresa’s and at a fraction of the cost!

The downside is that I get dizzy every time I bend over.  Guess I gave myself a slight concussion.  Probably not good to do eleven days before going under anesthetic for surgery, but what the hell.

There are also a couple of welts above my right eye that I really hope reduce in size even if they don’t go completely away, as they tend to give me a bit of a brow ridge I never had before.  Now was that stupid, or what?

Still and all, it doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on my overall look, so I guess I’ll be okay, as long as the possible concussion doesn’t cause any surgical complications.

Later this evening, after our second guest arrives and we visit for a while, I’ll be heading over to my wife’s house to visit with her for a while before we head back up North.  Then, tomorrow morning early, we’ll be back on the road, stop over to visit some friends at our old town of Pine Mountain Club, and then continue on to our comfy nest, our cats, and our 42” Plasma TV.  Ah, home….

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