When I was a kid, I was a Girl Scout who went to camp every year, and eventually I was a camp counselor. So I know far, far more than my share of camp songs. Matter of fact, I don’t know anyone who knows more of them than I do. There’s a particular one that is coming to mind right now…
Crash, bang, here we go again. Here we go again, here we go again!
Crash, bang, here we go again. Jolly good friends are we.
We laugh, we sing! We laugh, Ha ha! We sing, tra-la!
Crash, bang, here we go again. Jolly good friends are we.
To give you an idea what this little ditty sounds like, you have to know that there are motions done with it. This was one of the dining hall songs. With all the kids and staff sitting at tables except for the handful of us (staff, that is) whose duty it was to lead songs, we’d start this song. You clap your hands on the word ‘crash’ and slam your elbows into the table on the word ‘bang’ to make a big noise.
Why is this coming up? Well, I had one heck of a crash yesterday. I was at a baseball game. Now, don’t get me wrong, I suppose baseball is a fine sport, but it’s not one of my preferred sports. I much prefer watching basketball or soccer, and back when I played, it was always soccer. But that’s neither here nor there. I was there because it was a service dog training day with my service dog organization. They get tickets for us all together, and we practice working in crowds and having our dogs around loud, scary things. For the most part, it goes off pretty smoothly, but last night, I was the exception to the rule.
See, it’s the POTS. Not the cookware variety, but my disorder that just got diagnosed a week ago. It was a hot day, so at first we were back in the shade, sitting flat on the cool concrete. The sun went pretty permanently behind clouds, and it was going down, so we moved out to the benches where we could actually sit down. We must have been out there half an hour at least when suddenly, in the middle of sharing some ice cream with the boyfriend, I wasn’t feeling so good. In fact, I was REALLY not feeling so good. I drank some more water and leaned against the arm of my stadium chair. It got worse and I grabbed on to the back of the row in front of us. And then I had two hands on the back of the row in front and my god the ground was close and I felt like I was falling fast and going to splatter against it any moment.
The boyfriend noticed when I first reached for the bench in front of us, I think. I know he started saying something to me, but when I’m that far along, everything sounds a bit like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons – all nonsense syllables. One of the stadium’s EMTs noticed me slumped forwards like that with the boyfriend trying to get my attention. I think she must have had to ask me everything two times, at least, and I’m sure I was mumbling my answers down into my chest. I don’t know if the trainers, who were behind me, started reacting to the way I was acting; I barely remember the EMT!
They sent for a stair chair to get me back to first aid and covered me with 4 icepacks, shoving them under my armpits, against my chest, and between my thighs. They asked me if I could stand to get to the end of my row. HAH! Are you kidding, staying conscious while sitting was hard enough. Fortunately, I was sitting in my stadium chair, so they were able to slide me down the row on it and they only had to have me stand up for a moment to get in the chair. Once they had me up the stairs, one of the EMTs had to leave because while they’d been trying to take care of me, someone had been hit with a baseball.
It must have been an eventful night, because in the second inning, I was their 37th incident. And this wasn’t a major league park, where you’d expect that, it was a AA game. They stuck me and Hudson in a first aid room the size of a large closet and kept piling ice packs on me, moving them so that they sat on places like my head, or between my forearms. You can imagine how crowded a room that size must have been, to have me and Hudson and two EMTs in there. The boyfriend was stuck outside waiting to find out what the verdict was, but I had a feeling I knew what the answer would be – go home! The door opened for a kid who’d scraped her knee and needed to have it cleaned up, and almost hit Hudson in the head. The EMTs re-arranged their furniture so Hudson could squeeze in next to me, where he’d be safer. They kept bumping the chair next to him, and because Hudson has a fear of things hitting him, that was enough to pop him up and get him trying to escape his very tight little space eeeeeeevery time. I’m not entirely sure how long we were in there, but it FELT like a long time!
After a little longer, they managed to get my temperature down by a couple degrees and decided it was safe to send me home. They asked me if I wanted to go home, and my first thought was that I didn’t want to get in trouble with the trainers! Silly, when having to call ambulances is a semi-regular part of training. Hey, I didn’t claim that I was able to think real well in that state! They told the boyfriend to pull the car up right next to the stadium entrance and come back up, then they’d wheel me out in their wheelchair and we could go home.
So he does this. Now, all this time I’ve been in the stair chair, which is kind of like some sort of summer folding chair but with wheels on the back feet, so it can be backed up the stairs. So we have to transfer me to the wheelchair, and if the wheelchair is in the room, there’s no room for Hudson! Poor boy got handed outside to the little room and be held by the EMT’s wife while they got me set up. Because they weren’t used to handling a service dog plus a wheelchair going in and out of their little tiny elevator, I let his wife take Hudson again.
They sent me off with ice packs to keep me cold on the ride home. My theory that I wasn’t dehydrated must have been true, because a few minutes out from the station, I REALLY had to pee! We got off the freeway in the middle of nowhere at a stop that said they had food and fuel. Well, one gas station didn’t have a public bathroom, and the other one, someone had locked the key in the bathroom! Desperate, we went into a place whose sign said it was a tavern. I figured the boyfriend could order some fries to go, so we’d at least be sort of patrons. No dice! He ended up buying a 6-pack of beer to take home.
I went into the ladies’ room only to discover that they didn’t have a handicapped accessible stall! And the doors swung inwards on both of the stalls, so there was no way I was squeezing a dog in there with me. Hudson was supposed to wait outside, but he decided he wanted to follow me, and then plonked himself down on the floor. At least it looked clean. I had to put the handle on his harness down flat so I could close the door, and it was juuuuust barely enough space.
Well, we made it home eventually. I was hit hard enough that I didn’t make it to the class I was supposed to be at today. You see, this kind of crash takes a day or two to recover from. Don’t worry, I don’t have much planned for tomorrow – a trip to my physical therapist and maybe sending my aide out to acquire a few groceries.
One bit of good may have come out of this – the EMT and his wife would like to donate a couple of puppies out of their litter, once they have it! I don’t know how that will work out, but if there do end up being two more service dogs (or home companion dogs, which are basically service dogs but only inside of someone’s house) because of this, well, I guess I won’t take it too hard.
And Hudson? Well, Hudson thought it was all a grand adventure, because he got petted by the EMT and his wife, so he made new friends.