Dysentery At The Dance Camp

, , , , , , , | Working | January 22, 2018

I attended a dance camp; there were bunkhouses, separate shower buildings, a cafeteria, etc. When I got there, folks directed us to drive “round Robin’s barn” from the entrance to the parking area. I didn’t understand why at the time, but later noticed that the shorter driveway traversed some 4″ PVC pipe; rainwater drain pipes, I assumed.

A couple of days into the camp, I was in the cafeteria getting some salad, when a particular leaf of “lettuce” struck me as odd. It wasn’t lettuce at all, but a paper towel thoroughly saturated in some greenish fluid.

I reported this to an uninterested employee, and thereafter ate only thoroughly cooked food.

To cut to the chase, about a third of the attendees came down with some sort of dysentery. The situation was bad enough that the state health department got called in. I managed to escape with no significant ailment, but vowed never to return to that camp.

I heard later that the camp was on shaky financial footing and had hired locals with no professional food prep experience. In addition, those 4″ PVC pipes were apparently sewer lines, and at least one had broken.

Your Understanding Is Broken

, , , , , , | Related | January 21, 2018

(My son isn’t yet four years old. My husband’s stepmother is in the hospital, and his dad picks my son up from daycare. They are discussing this on the ride home.)

Son: “Nana broke her leg!”

Me: “Yes, she did, but the doctor is fixing her up, right?”

Son: “Yep, she’s in the hospital, and the doctor is going to put her broken leg back on!”

(I laughed, but I guess at four years old, the phrase “broken leg” could be confusing!)

A Rose By Any Other Blame

, , , , , | Related | January 18, 2018

(I am twelve, waiting outside for my dad and my sister to finish up with something in the garage. We have a pretty steep driveway with big rocks dividing where we park our cars from the slanted rose bush gardens. I am walking across these rocks when I lose my footing, and feel myself lose my balance. Although I try, I know I am going to fall into the rose bush, so I just put my hands up to my face to protect myself. When I fall, I scrape my chin up pretty bad and starting crying from the thorns. I call out for help. As I try to climb back out, my sister and my dad just looking at me, confused.)

Me: “Why didn’t you help me?”

Dad: “There wasn’t a lot we could do to stop it.”

(This is when I start crying more.)

Dad: “Sorry, sweetie. I’ll get you a bandaid!”

Sister: “Hey, [My Name], you know, it’s probably not a good idea to go diving into the rose bush.”

(I was hurt because it wasn’t like I did it on purpose, but then they explained to me what they saw from their angle. Apparently, they saw me walking, then I turned toward the rose bush, raised up my hands, and did a perfect dive off the rocks. So, from their angle it looked liked I purposely dove off the rocks. To this day, they still bring up my short-lived “rock diving” career.)

Enabling Good Dialogue

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 17, 2018

(I am at the hospital to see my dying grandfather when I take an elevator alongside a disabled veteran who is walking on two prosthetic legs. I am impulsive by nature, and find that humor cheers me up greatly, so I ask the question that immediately comes to my mind.)

Me: “I have an uncle who has one leg missing and no eyesight. Would you rather two missing legs or one missing leg and no eyesight?”

Veteran: *awkward chuckle* “Uh… neither!”

(We both laugh.)

Veteran: “But in all seriousness, I prefer having my eyes over having a foot back.”

(My aunt and sister thought I was crazy and rude, but I assured them that every person I have met with a long-term disability has felt best about it when people don’t tiptoe around it or pretend it doesn’t make a difference in their life. My blunt manner, combined with the amused bewilderment people get from my openness to interactions with strangers, seems to me to be a good way to cheer people up, especially when they may have felt the grimness of visiting the ICU, which is where they headed.)

Her Hearing Is Going But Her Eyes Are Sharp As A Hawk’s

, , , , | Healthy | January 17, 2018

(I work in a local doctor’s surgery, running a clinic fixing hearing aids. I’m at home with my family when the doorbell rings. An elderly lady is standing outside.)

Elderly Lady: “Hello, are you the hearing aid lady?”

Me: “Yes…”

Elderly Lady: *hands me a small package* “The hospital posted me a new hearing aid mould, but I don’t know how to fit it. I didn’t want to wait for the clinic.”

Me: “How did you find me?”

Elderly Lady: “I saw you going home and I recognised you. Can you put my hearing aid together?”

Me: “Uh… sure.”

(I do it on the spot; it’s a ten-second job.)

Elderly Lady: “Thank you! Bye!”

Me: *speechless*

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