Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Clean Up at the Pharmacy Counter

So, after I left my job I decided it wouldn't make much sense to start the new job during Thanksgiving Week, so I arranged to give myself a one week vacation which was probably the smartest idea I ever had. So I arranged to rent a car and decided to take off for a road trip to visit some friends in Connecticut and Massachusetts before I drove home for the holiday. All I had to get through was one more big push or running around on the weekend: get a haircut, do some laundry, pack, pick up the car, plan my route and hit the road. When I woke up on Saturday morning I could already tell something was wrong. I headed off to the salon to sit around for three hours to get my hair highlighted. I had no energy and was practically falling asleep in the chair.

Although I was starting to feel quite ill, I picked up some cupcakes at Sweet Melissa's on 7th Avenue and headed to CraftyCrumbly's house for a knitting party. I hadn't eaten anything all day and didn't have the appetite to eat anything. Even walking into Crafty's house, where little cookies and brownies abounded, I could barely look at the food. In fact, I wasn't much of a conversationalist either, and after teaching the hostess how to do a make one increase and a knit front to back, I left just after an hour.

I was now feeling awful. I started to suspect that after a couple of very stressful weeks, my body was taking this first bit of down time to go into revolt. I knew I really needed to lay down, but I was still clinging to my dream of the road trip, I was really looking forward to loading up the rental car with my cheesey CDs and hitting the open road with stops along the way to visit Mommycakes, LaHipster, Smarty and Fribs and GellyRoll. I didn't know how I was going to manage to do laundry and pack in the condition I was in, but the first item business was running to the drug store to pick up some prescriptions and picking up some over the counter for my stomach which had slowly begun churning.

I stepped outside to walk a few blocks to the pharmacy and suddenly felt feverish. My teeth were chattering and my skin felt clammy. I got to the drug store, picked up some Pepto and stood in line at the pharmacy to get my prescriptions. The guy in front of me was trying to pay for his drugs with Medicaid and it was taking a ridiculously long time. Everyone at the Duane Reade on Flatbush Avenue is always paying with Medicaid, no matter how well dressed they are, no matter that they look far more well off and successful than you. It's a fact of life. Also, someone is always melting down, because they can't get the drugs they want, for whatever reason, and someone is always yelling at a pharmacist and demanding to see a manager. Always. And this Saturday night was no different. Suddenly, things went from bad to worse for me. I started taking deep breathes and trying to plan my trip route for the next day in my head. Then, I felt a cold sweat break out on my forehead.

"Miss, is there a restroom," I called out to the beleaguered girl behind the pharmacy counter. "I'm going to be sick!". No sooner had I got the words out of my mouth than ... hhhhhuuurrrrllllll. I threw up on the floor. Splash. Everyone jumped back. Puuuuuke. I threw up some more. My hair hung down in my face. "Oh God," I said. No one was moving, everyone was just staring at me. I was trying not to get my scarf in my my puke. Puuuuuuuuke again. I hadn't eaten anything, so I was throwing up mostly water and stomach bile. It was orangeish. The man who had been waiting in line in front of me said, "Can we get this lady a box? So she doesn't have to keep throwing up on the floor?" I threw up one my time for good measure. That's a quadruple puke. "Do you want to sit down, Miss?" said the man to me.

"Yes," I said. I was in awful shape.

"There's a chair right behind you." I sunk into the chair and stared at the puddle of my puke on the floor. A mother with two ten year old boys had seen the whole thing. The boys, wearing those annoying shoes with roller skates in the heels, kept pointing at me, "Eew. Gross. Look at that lady." One of the rent-a-cops from the front of the store came, put down a cone, and opened up a bag of kitty litter and poured it down on the floor. I continued to slump in the chair, I was powerless to do anything. More customers had come to the pharmacy, the surveyed the scene and just moved the queue over to avoid the mess. I really, really wanted to get out of there, the embarrassment was one thing (eh) but I thought I would be sick again and I didn't want to do it again in Duane Reade. "Can someone help me?" I asked no one in particular. Everyone kind of ignored me. I hauled myself up, went to the refrigerator and picked up a couple of bottles of Gatorade, and limped back to the counter cutting the line. "I think I'm going to be sick again and I want to go home," I said to the friendly girl behind the counter, the one with the bunny named Booger. They quickly rounded up my drugs for me and I stumbled into the night, leaving a wake of Fresh Step and public humiliation in my wake. You know, just a typical Saturday night.

I made it home only dose myself with everything in the medicine cabinet and crawl into bed. There went my big Friendstastic New England Vacation Road Trip.

6 comments:

Clementine said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry. I hope it'll be a quick illness and that you'll be off to the wilds of New England before you know it. Feel better!

LaHipster said...

La Nance, you can have a raincheck for both me and the moms anytime you feel like blowing a wad on a Zipcar. Cage is packed and ready when you are.

Also, seeing movies is less fun without you. No one tells me my taste is terrible.

Aimee said...

i am so sorry you puked all over Duane Reade. that is my worst nightmare — both witnessing someone throwing up at the drug store, or it happening to me. i hope that you are feeling better soon!

NancyPearlWannabe said...

That's probably the worst puking in public story I've ever heard. Thanks for that.

Maia said...

I hope your feeling better Nancy.

My dad was just reminiscing about your deportation papers from Vienna...I wonder what the Weins would have done if you puked in their drug store:)??

Cupcake said...

Wow. I've got a million public puking stories. Well, not a million, but probably a solid ten.

Maia, those were the good old days. I remember your Dad sleeping on our sofa about that time. Remember that I got a notice from the post office telling me I had to go pick up the summons in person, something like "in your own hands", but the only German word I understood was "hands" so I ran around yelling, "Oh my God, they're going to chop off my hands!" Ah, the joys of dealing with threatening beaurocratic language in your non-native tongue.

I think if you vomit in an Austrian Apoteke, they burry you alive in the Hapsburg tombs for bringing shame upon the once glorious empire.