Lesson learned

Max has been away on the West Coast much of the last two weeks. Because he is on Pacific Standard Time and I am on Eastern Standard, it is hard for us to keep in close contact. When I'm getting up, he is sound asleep. And when I am going to bed, he is usually still entertaining customers at dinner.

During these long trips, we do what we can to keep the home fires burning by sending each other cute little text messages and love notes through out the day. And usually, when Max is on a break from one of his marathon meetings, we squeeze in at least one 5-minute conversation. Granted, it's not much in the way quality couple time, but we do what we can until his weekends home.

Despite the nuisance, Max's business trips have become common place. I've come to expect that he'll be gone at least a few times each month. However, besides determining his general travel destination and hinting to him about the most appropriate souvenir for me, I've stopped probing the minutiae of his travel itinerary. The devil may be in the details, but the particulars of Max's endless travel schedule seemed to me to be a little more than a hassle to have to keep straight. After all, I'm a busy career woman and mother of a hyperactive dog and two cats, right?

This morning at 6 EST, my cell phone rang before my alarm clock sounded. It was Max.

"What has you up at this hour?" I asked without as much as a hello. I knew something must be wrong. It was only 3am on the West Coast and, as it turns out, I had reason to be worried. Max had been awaken by unbearable pains radiating though the lower half of his body. He called, unsure whether to ride out his sickness or make his way to the nearest emergency room.

"Sweetie," I counseled. "You're in California...without any friends or family to watch over you. Have the concierge call a taxi and get yourself to the nearest emergency room. It's better safe than sorry."

Max agreed.

"…and call me when you get to the hospital." I requested before hanging up the phone.

Thirty minutes passed and I had not heard from Max. Had he made it to the hospital? Was he passed out in his room? Alarmed, I called both his personal and business cell phones. Each call went to voicemail. Only then did it dawn on me--I had no idea where my loved one was.

California is, by all standards, a very large place. I didn't know what city Max was visiting; I didn't even know the name of the hotel. If Max lay unconscious in his hotel room, I could only hope that the maid service was both efficient and prompt because this would be his only hope of rescue. With both my nonchalant disposition and carefree ways, I had proven not only to be a busy career woman and mother of three, but also a very, very bad girlfriend.

My imagination ran wild. I pictured having to call Max's parents, who live abroad and speak little English. "There's been an accident... You're son is..." And then I remembered that I didn't have their numbers either. I also imagined that Max had used his last ounce of strength to call me, instead of phoning the hotel lobby. Suddenly, "call me when you get to the hospital" sounded like the most inappropriate of parting terms of endearment. What had I been thinking?!?!

Before I had time to beat up myself even more, the phone rang. Max called to let me know he arrived safely at the hospital and had given the doctor my name as his emergency contact.

"Max? Where are you?" I asked sheepishly.

"Mercy General," he replied.

"No... I mean, what city are you in?"

Max chuckled in his familiar way, bringing me the greatest sense of comfort. "Sacramento, baby doll. I'm in Sacramento."

It was another three hours before I learned of the doctor's diagnosis--kidney stones, which would painfully pass eventually. Armed with enough drugs to get him through the day (and night), Max will be flying the red-eye home from California this evening. And I, now playing the role of dutiful girlfriend, will be happily waiting at the airport--armed with all the relevent flight numbers, arriving and departing times, and important emergency numbers.


Sara said...

That feeling.. of being needed. Of paniced helplessness.. It's a beautiful thing called love.

:) I hope Max feels better with you by his side.

kenju said...

I have heard that kidney stones are the most painful things ever. I hope he passes them quickly and without too much pain. Thank God he went to the hosp. when you told him to.

The Daily Randi said...

I hope Max Feels Better soon!!!

reading said...

It's so sweet that Max called you--that's what relationships are all about. Hope he feels better soon!

I think he needs to leave a paper with his itinerary and numbers for you on the fridge...you won't even have to ask for it, but it will be there.

Monica said...

I hear you... I just realized that if anything happens to BF while on my watch (meaning he is visiting me) I have no way to let his family know something is wrong.. funny that we think we may know everything about our loves one and then something like that makes the light bulb go off...

I hope is feels better, which he will, he is home, with you to play nurse (I get he likes that) and among the stuff he loves... can't recuperate better than that right?

And I hope you have a good weekend... since I know you had a rough week....

Siryn said...

It's a good thing he listened to you, and I'm glad he's safe. You will make sure to get more information about where he's going and hotel info and all that next time and from here on out... and it might be a good idea to learn a little bit of his folks' language.

jayfish said...

owie! hope he gets better fast!

TamWill said...

I hope Max is mending and without much pain. I hear that kidney stones are dreadful.

AMS said...

Poor Max!! Hope he gets better soon

running42k said...

Have him drink lots of cranberry juice. I heard the acid helps break the stone down a bit.

Egan said...

How is Max recovering? Is he doing alright? Kidney stones are a real pisser to pass, no pun intended.

utenzi said...

I've had kidney stones twice and I can attest that they're no fun. I hope that Max is recovering well from the experience. In my case, at least, once the stones had passed there was no lingering problems.

Diane Mandy said...

Thanks for all your well wishes! Maxis feeling much better today and I have him home for a whole week. :-)