While I was home in Virginia (for a whopping 18 hours) Dad offered me his old digital voice recorder that he hasn’t used in years. How fantastic is that? Yeah, I know! I was pretty damn giddy, too. I nearly careened off the road quite a few times on the trip down trying to jot down notes on the funny stuff I saw along the way. Dad probably saved as many lives by improving my driving as he does in a typical day at the hospital.
It’s got a little mini USB port so I can even download the recorded ramblings to my computer – in theory. I’ve spent the past umpteen hours trying to figure out how one does that exactly. As best I can tell, one does not. One instead spends half an hour trying to find the appropriate driver, another fifteen minutes installing and rebooting, than the next thirty minutes repeatedly plugging in the little silver bane of my existence and watching my computer go boom – lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe there’s a reason Facebook’s “Compare People” keeps sending me taunting notes stating I’m consistently voted least tech savvy.
Back to the actual joy of the recorder: So what if I can’t download my profound and earth shaking revelations (like rental car seat belts smell heinous when they get hot) to my computer? I can still use good old fashioned playback, right? I know it works; I tried it on the trip home.
Ya see, I was playing with the little bugger as I was hurling myself down the highway (at no more than five miles above the speed limit for you worry warts), but I kept getting an error message when I tried to record. Eventually I figured out the recorder was already full. I found the erase button, but being the ginormously sentimental douche that I am, I was terrified I’d erase something important. What if I unknowingly deleted Dad channeling his inner beat poet and reciting Kerouac?
Obviously I had to listen to it all before deleting any of it. Most of it was what I expected. There were a few recording of Grandpa and Dad talking in the car or at the retirement home. For a confused man severely suffering from Alzheimer’s, that Grandpa of mine is still damn charming and funny. Almost every conversation ends in laughter…even if it occasionally sounds a little nervous. I guess if he can still laugh, I’m glad he’s still hanging on.
Then I came across a recording of Dad at work. I’d be lying if I said my heart didn’t swell with pride when I heard him rattling off his medical jargon while simultaneously comforting the patient. Who doesn’t like to know the people they love are also good at what they do professionally?
I listened as he and the team in the room prepped the patient for her epidural. I was relieved to learn they numb you up a bit before shoving the giant needle into your spine. I can’t tell you how many nightmares I had envisioning that process in my youth.
I thought it was rather fitting I came across this recording on that particular day. The tennis ladies’ breakfast conversation that morning had solely consisted of their stories of labor and motherhood. All professed that while birthing was tough, the reward was well worth it. Well, almost all of them. The youngest had both of her kids via C-section and ardently promoted that means of birthing. Both I and my vagina can certainly see the merits of her argument.
Meanwhile, back at a fully dilated cervix in a hospital, Epidural Lady was freaking me out. She said “ow!” an awful lot – like a lotta lot. Who wouldn’t when receiving multiple numbing injections and other needle oriented proddings? Not to mention she had a pretty large parasite trying to claw it’s way out of her body. Once the epidural was in she was relatively quiet and there didn’t seem to be too much commotion…until baby made its move.
I have never heard such screaming. I pray that I never hear such screaming again. It sounded like this poor woman was pushing a concrete cinder block out of her vagina. As I floundered in the passenger seat desperately trying to make the wailing end, I accidentally knocked the recorder onto the floor. Of course this all transpired on a stretch of road under construction. There was no shoulder. The screaming took on an even more haunting tone as she howled from beneath the dash. Epidural Lady and I were in it for the long, incredibly gruesome, highly disturbing haul.
I’ve blocked out most of the details. I personally am a huge fan of that self-defense function my brain flaunts every now and again. I’m sure you, dear reader, are also thrilled I won’t be going into any further details. Suffice it to say, I now have in my possession the single strongest form of birth control ever. This uterus is on lock down.