Day Nine of Todd’s Trip for SCDS Surgery: Tuesday Out Getting Food with Someone Who Couldn’t Wait to Get Out of Bed, Covington, LA

SCDS is superior canal dehiscence syndrome, a condition of the inner ear. Typical symptoms are autophony (hearing your own voice in your head) , dizziness, and balance problems.

What is the connection between drive-through daiquiri shops and The Princess Bride?

Funny you should ask. Tuesday night, after Todd and I had driven through all the back alleys of the highway strip trying to reach Burger King and were returning to Homewood Suites, he suggested we stop to investigate the Daiquiris and Creams place (picture to come). I ordered an Alligator Daiquiri (flavored with melon? something blue-flavored? hard to tell…except for the rum), which came in a lovely Styrofoam cup with a plastic lid. (Everywhere I go around here, something is being handed to me in Styrofoam. Ever heard of compostables, people?) Straw handed out to the car first.

See, in Louisiana, you can buy a daiquiri at one of these drive-throughs, and as long as the straw isn’t in the drink when the cop stops you (and the drink is full, if she gets to investigating), you are not driving with an open container.

And what does this have to do with TPB? Well, I see a certain parallel between Inigo’s drunkenness (cured by Fezzik) and my current tipsiness after a small but very strong daiquiri, and between Westley’s lack of strength and Todd’s lack of balance.

By the way, I did NOT start sipping until I was in the hotel room. And Todd said his Burger King Junior Whopper was tastier than the hotel chicken in some kind of indeterminate sweet sauce. So there.

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But that wasn’t our only outing on Tuesday. Around lunchtime, we drove to Covington, LA, to see what we could see. It was definitely busier than Hammond’s downtown, though I can’t tell on one viewing if it was actually any bigger.

Buster's Place Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Covington, LAWe ate lunch at Buster’s Place Restaurant and Oyster Bar (one of many oyster bars in this area), which was a fairly casual bar-type restaurant with cement floors that nearly managed to bring me to my knees, right in front of the lunch crowd. Todd had no problem staying on his feet, but then, he wasn’t wearing pumps with slick soles. He ordered the gumbo, which was the best gumbo I’ve ever had (he thought it comparable to Brunet’s). It was thick and had sausage but no okra (at least, no discernible pieces of okra), and helped me to understand the devotion to gumbo some people express. Before, I thought it was just a kind of soup. Or stew. Now I think I get it.

After we left, I insisted on taking a picture of Todd under the “balance” sign. Todd under the Balance Massage sign, Covington, LAThen I led him to St. John’s Coffeehouse on the corner, placed our order, went back to the restaurant and retrieved his iPhone from where it had fallen under the table, and returned to St. John’s Coffeehouse. The baristas were probably wondering why I kept disappearing and reappearing.

Somewhere between Buster’s and the coffeehouse, I began to worry. Maybe it was our table in the restaurant, located next to the drink dispenser. Was the noise of ice hitting the inside of a glass hurting Todd’s ears? (He said, later, that the music there sounded so muted he couldn’t tell which song was playing, but he could hear the ice and drink dispenser.) And right before we left the coffeehouse, he went to the bathroom, and I tried to push away my fears about him losing his balance and falling and busting out his brains. What would Dr. Gianoli say? Not to mention his parents.

I consulted the time on my cell phone. Was it reasonable to rush into the bathroom after 2 minutes? 3 minutes? 5 minutes? Finally he returned, looking pretty steady on his feet.

It was a relief to me to get back in the car and return to the hotel. I decided that I shouldn’t be counting on Todd to help me navigate (I got on the wrong road at one point and had to backtrack—hence the importance of not losing the iPhone). I should be figuring out the route in advance, not just getting in the car and driving until we get somewhere. I should research restaurants and places to stop in advance, not just find them along the way. This is not like my jaunts around Denver.

And I shouldn’t feel obligated to take him out just because he’s bored and tired of squishy food. He’s on pain meds, after all, and just 5 days out from surgery—boredom is better for him than some alternatives. Plus, he’s uncomfortable with the way people stare at the staples in his head.

In this way I lectured myself all the way home.

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At 4 pm that afternoon, we were trading bites of a lemon bar from the coffeehouse and I handed Todd his latest passel of pills. One gives him a bad taste in his mouth after he swallows it.

He looked at the pills and asked, “Won’t one of these change my flavor?”

I thought that was cute.

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It’s difficult, some days, to share a room with Todd and not be able to cuddle up to him in bed. The postoperative instructions about fistula suggest that Todd sleep in an elevated position for 6 weeks. I wonder how that will work when we get home. Will a couple of extra pillows on his side of the bed do the trick?