Posted by: Brenda Kula | July 17, 2008

Toads & IV’s


This is where my toad lives. Under the tall papyrus plant in a small pot of aloe vera in my backyard. He comes out at night.

Now some of you thought my toad visitor was a wee bit ugly. But I’d like you to give him another chance. Just one more close-up-and-personal look see, okay?


I think he does have some redeeming qualities. He has large dark eyes. He has texture. (We love texture in our gardens.) And he doesn’t seem to like to take up much space, like most men (I mean toads) do. He doesn’t have that it’s-all-about-me look to him. Might be a prince!

I had a little problem yesterday afternoon. I was sitting here just typing away, and started feeling v-e-r-y tired. I have not been feeling myself for about a week. I’ve been trying to transition to a new medication. It has been awfully hot and humid. And I’ve been getting all worked up over men running in and out, leaving my one lone toilet seat up, and having to carry a dog underneath each arm whenever I venture out of the garden room.

So I laid down on the couch for a little while, the dogs tucked around me like bookends.

Earlier I had been over at Walli’s to look at the paint she had brushed on the wall, trying to decide if it was the correct color for the guest room. I surveyed it and told her the peach shade was a bit bright. The guests-might-have-to-put-on-their-sunglasses-before-entering bright. She turned her head to the side in that look she has that means she isn’t entirely happy with me.

I told her I wasn’t feel all that well, and she had the sense to take my blood pressure with that machine she has. Said it was kind of high. Maybe I should call my doctor. I phoned my family practitioner’s office. Sorry. Wednesday afternoons the doctors take off. Have to fit you in next Monday.


After I came home, and did some typing, and laid down on the couch for awhile, I got up and started feeling a little dizzy. I decided to drive down the street to another doctor I have just to be safe. Sorry, the doctor’s not in. You’ll have to go to that clinic down the street across that busy intersection.


I’m feeling a bit disoriented and light-headed. But I manage to drive down the street, across the busy intersection, and enter the clinic I wasn’t even aware was there.

There are wild unattended children screaming and running the length of the place. I pause. Then go to the front window. Could someone please just check my blood pressure, I ask the tired-looking woman who ambles to the front.

She sighs. "Do you want to check in?" (She asks in that "no you really don’t, do you?" tone of voice.) I tell her no. Just please check my blood pressure and I’ll be off. She sighs again and tells me to sit down.

This does not bode well, I’m thinking. I sit down in the plastic chair and close my eyes to the children running amok the length of the place with this look of sheer ecstasy. Likely this look is due to the delightful state children find themselves in when there is a clear lack of parental supervision.

I have this horrid thought: what if the last thing I see on this earth are these children running around like chickens with their heads cut off, buzzing past me like insects? What if the last thing I hear are their shrill voices screaming in glee?

After several very loud minutes, I get back up and venture over to the glass enclosure that locks me out here with these children.

I ask if she might could see her way to letting me wait in another room. A nice quiet one. She sighs, and leads me down the hall. Now I’m sighing in relief. I don’t feel so good. I sit on another plastic chair and she shuts the door behind her.

I wait. And wait some more. Suddenly I get very, very thirsty. I get this horrid thought: how long would it be before they remember me if I happen to fall to the floor? How long will it be before she tells someone who has medical knowledge that I’m even in here?

I get up and start toward the door. The door that I swear has moved a few feet while I’ve been sitting there. I open it, feeling a little unsteady altogether, and ask if it would be too much trouble for someone to bring me a drink of water.

As luck would have it, a nurse is strolling past with her little clipboard underneath her arm. She takes one look at me and asks if I can make it to the bed in back on my own, or should she get the wheelchair. I have some degree of dignity left. I tell her no, I’m fine. I walk toward the white bed that I swear wasn’t that far down the hall when she first pointed it out to me.

Before I know it, they have sticky pads hooked up to my chest. (Soooo glad I shaved my legs this morning! And washed my hair.) I am suddenly hooked up to monitors. I hear, "Just a little stick…" I feel a pin prick, and see that a needle-that-isn’t-the-kind-I-favor-which-is-the-sewing-variety is being plunged into my vein. And an IV line is being hooked into that. My blood pressure is normally about 90 over 70. Today it is 160 over something or other.

I feel this cool fluid enter my body. Pure nirvana! I envision those photos of drug addicts with rubber tubing tied about their arm and heroin working its way into their system. The beatific, I’m-in-heaven look on their faces.

I wonder to myself: when was it I last drank some fluids? Running around checking on this and that in the bathroom and trying to make sure no one leaves the gate open so the dogs don’t run out. Listening to contractors getting upset and pointing the accusatory finger at other contractors who-didn’t-do-their-job adequately.

Was it noon when I ate? I had those leftovers I swiped from Walli’s last night in the fridge. I know I drank some juice or tea with it. Now what time is it?

Suddenly Walli pulls back the curtain daintily and enters in full I-always-put-my-makeup-on-before-I-leave-the-house mode. You know, the kind that makes women like me who run out in shorts and T-shirts (buy hey, I shaved my legs!) look bad in comparison? She stands behind the doctor, as he’s telling me I likely just had a bad reaction to the new drug. And if I feel like that again, I should go to a real emergency room. Now where am I? Oh, this is a clinic. One that lets children run amok in the waiting room.

Walli, I know you. Were you rolling your eyes behind that doctor’s back where I couldn’t see you? Were you cocking your head to the side in that way you have that means I-really-don’t-know-why-I-put-up-with-you?

Now Walli, don’t get mad. I know you bail me out of a lot of messes. Like last week when I put the dogs in the dog crates and placed the doors on backwards and accidentally locked them inside. And you had to calm me down and take tools to clip holes in the crates to let them out. I know you fix me nice veggie sandwiches and piping hot salmon croquettes with cornbread. I know I’m a pain in the ass, and not everybody has your cool head and reserved attitude and will put up with me.

But I just wonder: what will happen if one day there is a real emergency, and you don’t have your face on yet?

They unhook me, and I’m at the front signing paperwork. Walli pauses in the hall. She has managed to find an administrative-looking sort in a cubicle or something. She goes into honey-I-bet-you-can-help-me-with-a-question about a medical dilemma another friend has been having with the network.

I am at the front door. I open it. Oops, that would be the closet. I open the other one and smell freedom. I look back at her. Should I interrupt their conversation?

Nah, I can drive home just fine. Those fluids were literally a shot in the arm for me!

Later in a phone conversation I get the "Hello!" (You know, the "HELLO" that means someone is very unhappy with you?)

"Now how on earth could you just walk out without telling me? What were you thinking when you…"

You get the drift.

I’ll lay low for a few days. Maybe I’ll hide here in the toad abode in the dark where Walli can’t find me when she decides to come after me with her broom…




  1. Feel better! And please DO just dial 911 anytime you feel that way. I used to be with them. They do NOT mind coming to check you out and will take you to the ER if necessary. Do it for your blog buddies out here 🙂

  2. Now THAT is one BIG toad!!! 😉
    I hope that you are feeling better. Be sure to take care of yourself.

  3. Don’t hesitate to call 911; better safe than sorry. I don’t know if your Fire Dept does this or not, but some of them will take your blood pressure at the station if you just walk in and ask them. (Maybe it’s a small town thing, not sure)
    Also, I always keep a typed note on the fridge door of the medications I take, any allergies, my doctor, and a next-of-kin’s number to call in an emergency. From experience, I’ve learned that when the emergency happens, you don’t always have time, or the ability to get all that info together!
    I’m glad to hear you are better, take care of yourself, your blogging friends can’t do without you!!!

  4. Silly silly silly girl!!!
    You know what to do next time dont you!!!!
    Geeezzzzzzzzzz !!!!!!!

    There I got it all out, now please take care of yourself for us, rest and drink ice tea~~ buckets of it.

  5. What an afternoon! I do hope you’re feeling better, and please, please drink LOTS of water in the coming days!

  6. So glad you are better. Like everyone else said, take care of yourself. Never drive if you are feeling lightheaded. I am sure Walli forgives you – just blame it on the spell you had.

    Always Growing

  7. Oh, Brenda! What an ordeal! You had better take care of yourself. Don’t ever drive when you feel that badly – call 911~~

    Don’t do anything tomorrow but rest and drink drink drink the fluids.

    Be a sweetie and take care of yourself,
    Shelia ;(

  8. I’m glad you are ok. I kept looking at your blog wondering when you were going to post. For a second, I wondered if everything was ok, since I normally hear from you. But I figured you were probably busy writing or helping with your MOW. Now I know. Rest, Eat & DRINK something. (that’s the mama bird talking) LOL. xoxo, Joanna

  9. Be careful. That is such a scary story. So glad you are okay.

  10. What a scary time! I’m so glad you’re OK! As everyone said, please get plenty of rest & liquids & take good care of yourself! Hugs, Patti

  11. What an awful experience Brenda! I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

    I think your toad is beautiful. I love their camouflage colors. Our toad was out on the patio last night while we were sitting out there enjoying the cool breeze. George, our lab mix dog saw him for the first time and got his scent. I’m going to have to keep an eye on him. I don’t think he’d eat him, but he might try to play with him and that wouldn’t bode well for the toad.

    Take care Brenda. Glad you’re feeling better!

  12. Don’t you just HATE it when your body gets the best of you?!
    Take it easy for a few days. . .
    Easier said than done I know! I’m sure we will both be using awesome new bathrooms any time now. . .
    Any time. . .

  13. Wow…what a day! I’m out of breath just reading about it. How are you feeling, today?


  14. I got so wrapped up in reading “your story” that I almost forgot it was my buddy Brenda who wasn’t taking care of herself. Please do that! Again, what great garden pictures. Maybe there is something to that toad – prince thing.


  15. Oh Brenda,
    How scary! I am glad you are okay, you silly. Remember to drink and eat alright?

    That part about the children in the clinic really got me. There’s nothing worse than a parent that doesn’t teach their children manners, yet we see it over and over again. Glad you survived and got your IV sweetie. When you’re in that shape, who cares if you have your “face on” or not.

    Take it easy!
    PS – I sent you something about the toilet 😉

  16. I forgot to add, I think your toad is rather cute in his own sweet way.

    What’s his name?

  17. Well, my goodness, here I go away for a few days and finally get to reading your blog, and you get yourself into mess. Please post again as soon as possible! Oh, and yes, you sure can write so that we can see the whole thing.

    Sending prayers blessings.

  18. OMgosh!!! I hope you are feeling better now. That is scary!!!! I hope you take it easy and rest. Don’t be driving yourself again when you feel that bad!!!! I am glad you made it safely there but geezzz something could have happened.)-:

  19. I am just getting caught up in time to catch your adventure! Girlfriend, you need to take better care of yourself!!!

    Did you make a follow-up appointment with your regular doctor? Oh my, I hope so. Pleeeeease!

    ((hugs)) Rosie

  20. Brenda I got behind on my blog reading and almost missed this adventure. This sounds really scary. I hope all is well now. I’m glad you have someone close to check on you.

  21. Holy Crap Brenda!! You better not do that again… ANY of it!

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