It’s 7:00 am and the alarm goes off. i bounce out of bed, eager for the day ahead. i quickly feed the dog, shower, get dressed, and throw the last few essentials into my already packed suitcase. It is 7:45 am and it’s time to hit the road! i load the dog into the car, where she settles in to her recently cleaned, puffy doggie bed that i had loaded last night. She finds a brand new bone and settles in for the 10 hour trip to Oregon. The cooler with all her food, is neatly packed with ice, my suitcase slides in easily to the space i left for it, i have all my chargers and electronics in their own bag, and medicines where i can reach them. There is nothing holding us back. i lock the door, turn to the day with a smile. Bring it. 

OR…what REALLY happened….

It’s 7:00 am and Annie wakes me up licking my foot because i forgot to set the alarm last night and she is hungry. i stumble out of bed, one eye crusted shut because i am still sick. (STILL!) i manage to feed Annie, only dropping the container of food once, and stagger back to bed, crusty eye and all.

It’s 9:15 am and Annie wakes me up licking my foot because NOW she needs to go outside.  i check the time on my iPhone and scream. “OMGiSLEPTIN!” i fall out of bed, banging my elbow on the bedside table as i try to right myself. Hollering a steady stream of swear words, i lurch to the bathroom Quasimodo-style to take the quickest shower known to mankind.

 

i could be a sailor, with this mouth and that shower.

On the road!

Out of the shower by 9:30, i realize i’m only half packed, i don’t know where my meds are and Annie still has to pee. Throwing on clothes, i quickly text my BFF and co-pilot for the long drive today:

“i’m running late. Be there 10:30.”

11:30 am i arrive at my friend’s house, disheveled, my dog in the back on her thin traveling pad looking dubiously at half of an old bone i found in the couch cushions, my bottle of meds shoved into my already stuffed purse and i have NO idea if i brought all my chargers let alone toothbrush, deodorant and pants. My stuff is in three separate bags AND a suitcase, all thrown in haphazardly on top and around the giant cooler where i managed to at least pack my dog’s homemade food. But no ice.

“Coffee. i need coffee,” i announce as i stumble out of the car to greet my bright-eyed, well dressed and smartly packed BFF. i shove stuff around to make room for his neat suitcase and ONE bag. i see that he is well-equipped with snacks for the road.

“And snacks!” i add. Then, in a moment of brilliance i remember…”ICE! We need ice!”

Because the only thing that could make this 10 hour road trip start off any worse, would be to forget the ice and have all of my medically-needy dog’s food rot in a hot cooler for 10 hours. OY.

My ever resourceful BFF directs me to Target, where i buy a bunch of healthy snacks i never end up eating, ice for the cooler/dog food and a much-needed Starbucks caramel venti macchiato. (Yeah, that kicking sugar thing that i wrote about here? i kind of fell off the wagon. But it was an awesome 27 hours!!)

As we were leaving Target, i had my second brilliant idea of the morning – we should really go pee one more time before hitting the road. BFF agreed and offered to let me go first while he watched the cart.

 

And THIS? This is where i realized there was actually something worse that could happen than forgetting ice and needing to make my dog’s food all over again.

i could forget that i hadn’t quite screwed the stupid effing baby-proof lid on tight to my stupid over stuffed bottle of meds that i shoved into my stupid effing purse as i ran out the door that morning.

Yeah. i guess you know what happened next.

As i was finishing up in the bathroom, i grabbed my purse off the hook and the big bottle of all of my meds (yes, i had poured all of them – and there are quite a few since i’ve been sick –  into one bottle for efficiency. EFFICIANCY. Oh..the irony.) fell out of my purse, hit the floor of my stall and the loose lid flew off the bottle scattering my pills of many colors all over the floor of my stall and the stall next to mine.

 

Stock photo depicting the agony of addiction. OR..crippling embarrassment at spilling pills all over a bathroom floor.

“Oh…..no.” Was all i could think of to say as i stared in horror at the many, many pills rolling in all directions across the bathroom floor.

Because, really, what DOES one say when all of their medication is scattered and rolling across a dirty public women’s bathroom floor?? “Excuse me.. my arthritis medication has rolled into your stall? And..it seems you may be stepping on a Zyrtec?” Even if i could gather them all up in under 3 seconds…does the 3 second rule even count here?

i don’t wanna know what kind of hazmat-worthy stuff is all over this floor.

Because if i pick up these pills, shove them back into this bottle and take them later, which you know is exactly what i am going to do, i am basically licking this floor.

 

Oh GOD. i’m a Public Bathroom Floor Licker.

Sighing, as i resign myself to my new PBFL status, i sat on the toilet (why not? Might as well lick that too!), bent over and began to pick up the pills scattered all over the small stall’s floor as fast as i could. i felt like a pill-popper frantically grabbing up spilled Oxy. Hell, that’s probably what everyone in this bathroom thought.

Then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, the little elderly Vietnamese lady in the next stall over starts to help.

“Oh no!” she says as she realizes the floor of her stall is also covered with small, rolling pills. (‘Oh No’ seems to be the thing to say in situations like this.) “Here, here…more,” she says in heavily accented English.

A tiny hand holding folded toilet paper appears under the wall of my stall. She is using a small piece of clean toilet paper to gently brush my pills across the floor and back into my stall which strikes me as both hysterical and adorable at the same time. i start to giggle uncontrollably. How is clean tissue going to help anything in this situation? She might as well spit on them and shove them over with her foot as i was already going to die of dysentery or the hepatitis or something anyway from whatever crap is on this bathroom floor because there is NO WAY i can replace these meds at this late date. i had to get on that road. Nope. These pills are all i got. And they all will, at some point, be swallowed by me. (A variety of responses to the question of should pills dropped on floors be consumed can be found here. General consensus: pharmacy/garage floors? Yes. Bathroom floors? No. Except the one guy from Scotland who said he would toss the pills because mediations in Scotland are free. Really? Scotland SO kicks United States’ ass in health care. And in whiskey. And they have Nessie. i am SO going to Scotland.)

“Thank you,” i manage to get out between giggles. “Th-th-thank you!”

And then i completely gave in to the hysteria and laughed uncontrollably as the little hand with her clean tissue appeared again and again, carefully brushing pill after pill into my stall.

After a few minutes, the bottle was mostly full again and the little hand stopped appearing. i squatted down in my stall and peered as far as i could under the wall without tipping off the helpful Vietnamese lady that i was not only now a Public Bathroom Floor Licker but also a Peeping Tom. Looking past her adorable tiny feet, i see there are still 15 pills or more under and behind her toilet.

And that’s when i realized that even desperate Floor Lickers have their limits. i stood up, straightened my skirt, and exited the small stall with as much pride as i could.  The ladies waiting in line (because there is ALWAYS an audience for these things) looked at me curiously as i quickly washed my hands and tried not to meet their eyes.

 

i couldn’t get out of that bathroom fast enough.

My BFF, now slightly concerned at the long bathroom break, could hardly believe it when i told him what happened.

“Oh MY!” he exclaimed while we both laughed until we cried. “And it’s only just beginning!!”

And, as it turned out, it really was just the beginning of a truly awesomely crazy 500 mile road trip full of stuff you will have to see to believe.

So it’s a good thing i started taking photos.

To be continued…..

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    • That was EXACTLY my thought process. And now, with every pill i take i try and NOT think about bathroom floors. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger??

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