Three weeks to go, and one more super important thing to do.
I still think it’s odd that couples and families spend months or years planning for the perfect wedding day, yet cannot get a license until pretty much the last minute. The last thing on the list seems the most important, to me. I tried to find a percentage for the number of times a marriage license has been issued and not used, but after a half hour of refining searches, I quit looking.
Anyway, I had a gastroenterology appointment to set me up for a trial to determine why I was having severe acid reflux. I’d wake up choking and coughing. Honestly, it should have been an easy thing to figure out without data gathering. 280 pounds on a 5’ 3” frame – that’s a lot of horizontal compression to put on your innards.
I was aware that I would have to swallow a monitoring device, and that they would remove it after 3 days of data collection. I was told I would need a driver, but I didn’t question it. My involvement in my own healthcare has greatly changed since then, but, at this time, I went with whatever they told me to do.
At the clinic, I found out that I was going to be semi-sedated. When I asked why, well, I was stunned. I hadn’t considered how they were going to get the camera out of me. Turned out to be the same way it was going in. I left the hospital with a small cell-phone sized black box strapped around my waist, an electrical wire that started at the box, ran up my chest, into my nose, and down my throat.
Once that was done, we headed down to Adrian as planned to secure a marriage license. About an hour later, Jeff and I arrived at the Lenawee County Clerk’s Office. I wasn’t completely unloopy, yet, and was still a bit unsteady. He held my hand in his, my arm in the crook of his arm, as we casually walked into building.
I’m not home tonight, so I cannot give you the exact date, but the important piece here is that it was after 9/11.
I’d never been there before, and was mildly surprised by the x-ray belt, walk-through airport detectors, and two clearly armed guards who jumped to the feet when we stepped forward.
“Wow,” I said. “I wasn’t expecting this!”
“Wait right there,” one of them said. “Off to the side,” the other one pointed.
So, we stepped out of the way, and the person behind us waked through.
A third guard showed up a few moments later, I image at their request, because one of them wordlessly nodded our way, and the other pointed, again.
“What is that?” the new guy asked. “An acid reflux tester,” I answered, explaining where I had just come from.
“You can’t some in here with that,” he said.
“No, no,” I said, “You don’t understand… we need to get our marriage license. Today. We took off work for this!”
“Well,” he said, simultaneously shaking his head and thinking it over.
I burst into tears. Jeff pointed to my purse. “Do you have the discharge papers in there,” he asked.
“No.” I sniffle-pouted. “They’re in the car.”
“I’ll go get them, if that’ll help, “Jeff volunteered, directing me to wait there.
“Yeah. I’ll look at them,” he reluctantly replied, “but, you can’t wait here.”
I followed Jeff outside and held onto the railing while I waited. I got a curious look or two, some wide-berth steppers, some double takes.
By this time, the numbness in my throat was receding and my mouth was very dry. Which, lead to frequent throat clearing and excessive swallowing. I also began sweating, and was feeling a little lightheaded by the time Jeff got back to me 2 minutes later.
Try to remember I was still a little intellectually tuned out, and hadn’t been near a mirror since the installation.
“Geez,” I complained, “It’s just a test. I’m not contagious or anything.”
Jeff looked a little stunned then, burst out laughing. He followed his distinctive bark with, “Other things go on here beside that, you know.” I shrugged back because I really didn’t.
“None of this stuff was here when my mom worked here, and …” he continued, with a chuckle, “they don’t think you’re contagious. They think you’re wearing a bomb!”
Quote for the week:
“We rarely see ourselves the way that others do.”
Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:
How You See You: https://letterpile.com/writing/how-to-describe-yourself