The Ugly Sisters were successful in managing to wake my three. As they got ready for breakfast I swept the enormous pile of detritus from the vacuum cleaner, retainer and sock included, into the garbage can. I then ran the now fully functioning vacuum over our room and then out into the hall and into the girls’ room. I was quite pleased with myself.
“Whaaaat?” Caroline stopped in her tracks, holding her toothpaste and toothbrush, and looked astonished as I breezed out into the hall with the vacuum humming.
“Yes?” I asked and smiled. I turned the vacuum off and pulled the plug from the wall.
“The vacuum cleaner works now?”
“Yes. I fixed it.” I said as I rolled up the cord and neatly stored it in the closet.
“You are a healer of people AND vacuums! That is most impressive, Nurse Anne!”
“Why, thank you, Caroline.” I bowed my head and accepted the complement.
“That thing hasn’t worked in over a year. How did you manage to fix it?”
“I just changed the vacuum bag and cleared the obstruction that was in the hose.”
“What’s a vacuum bag?” Caroline asked bewildered.
“You too?” I looked at Caroline. I had just given Erik and Dave a quick review of the importance of replacing the vacuum bag when it was filled.
“Never mind. Come here.” I waved her over and popped the lid to show her how the vacuum bag was removed and where the replacements were.
“Mind blowing.” Caroline responded.
“Apparently.” I laughed. “Tell your friends.”
“They will be so excited. Thanks so much.” Caroline gave me a side hug and then headed into the bathroom to brush her teeth.
“Nurse Anne!” I heard a call from behind me. It was Chelsea.
“Hey Chelsea. How is that navel ring doing? Things clearing up?”
“Oh. Ya. That’s much better. I have been washing it with soap and water and putting the antibiotic cream on it. It’s much better. But…” Chelsea frowned.
“But, what? What’s wrong?”
“Can I speak to you privately?” She nodded towards the director’s office.
“Sure.” I followed her into the office and closed the door behind me. “What is it?”
“This is so embarrassing.” Chelsea whispered.
“Your navel ring?” I asked confused.
“No. No. It’s not that. I have… I can’t…” Chelsea twisted her fingers nervously and bit her lip.
“Just say it Chelsea. I have heard it all. Seriously.” I said gently and then waited.
“Okaaaaay.” Chelsea said. “I have a tampon stuck inside,” she blurted out.
Well damn. I had never heard that before. To my credit I maintained my poker-face as the wheels in my head spun at a fierce rate.
“Are you sure it’s in there?” I asked, stalling as I tried to think what to do.
“Yes. I’m sure.” Chelsea sighed. “I put it in last night before bed. I can’t find the string and I have been, like, digging, and stuff. I can feel it in there but I can’t get a hold of it. And now things are sort of hurting. So…I’m kinda panicking,” her voice cracked. “What do I do?”
“You are going to need to get that removed.” I told Chelsea as I considered toxic shock syndrome. “Can you get into the doctor’s office today?”
“Seriously?” Chelsea looked on the verge of tears.
“Yup. I don’t have the instruments needed to help you.You can either go to the emergency room or the doctor’s office.”
“Fine. I will call the clinic later today.”
“No way Chelsea. You have to get this looked after ASAP.”
“I will have to arrange for my subs for my instructions then. Crap! What a total pain. It’s so embarrassing too! Like, what do I tell people?”
“Just tell them you have a very sore…throat. Ya. Tell them I felt you need medical attention.” I suggested.
“Fine.” Chelsea repeated looking completely miserable. “Sometimes it sucks to be a woman!”
“Can’t argue with you.” I patted her on the shoulder as we left the office.