Sidelines 15: House calls and Surgery

It was my day off and I thought it was time for a party. We’d been living in town for some time but really only knew our coworkers and immediate neighbors. So I planned a bbq and invited everyone I could. Tonight at 6pm. We would hang out and tell stories and have a fire in the backyard. I would make grilled chicken.

I went for a run in the morning and met several more neighbors. Normally I run in the evening after work, so it was nice to meet people on the street for once. I stopped and chatted with a few mailmen before finishing up my workout.

Nebula runs down her sidewalk, greeting a fellow jogger.
Good morning!
Penelope lays in her crib under the tree in the backyard.
She was a real trooper. All those noises from me cleaning and setting up the bbq and she never once cried.

Once I got back home, I started cleaning the house and getting it ready for the party. I took Penelope outside. She seemed startled at first to be outside, but once she got used it she kept giggling at the dancing leaves and wandering butterflies. I kept her in the shade since I didn’t know if her translucent skin would burn or tan.

The party, well, it wasn’t terrible. Everyone we invited came which was good and most of our coworkers got along with each other. But a lot of folks were awkward and embarrassed that they didn’t know each other. So no one went home raving about how much fun it was. I think that just means we’ll have to have another party soon. Cocoa’s birthday is coming up…

A small crowd surrounds the firepit outside. Nebula in a bathing suit drinks some juice while Cocoa warms his hands on the really high flames.
Pretty sure Nova spent half the night hiding in the house (watching Penelope was her excuse). I think she just doens’t like strangers.


I was worried that after all the excitement the night before I would struggle at work. But instead it seems it was a good idea because I felt completely refreshed and energized from the moment I woke up.

Nebula wakes up with a smile on her face.
Another beautiful day!


Which was a good thing because Dr. Tabby asked me to go on my first house call! Everyone in the house was suffering similar symptoms which I quickly identified as mild food poisoning. Easy enough to care for once you know what’s happened.

Nebula inspects a patient at their home.
“I’ve been getting cramps all day, doc.”

We identified the food (left over hotdogs that had been left out far too long) and I gave everyone some stomach medicine to help them feel better and recover faster. That and plenty of rest should put them all on the mend in no time. Dr. Tabby approved of my diagonisis and treatment. She said she might send me out on more house calls in the future.

We returned to the hospital just in time though, a woman who’d been waiting for treatment had suddenly collapsed in the lobby!

The lobby of the hospital. Two women stand waiting to be admitted, the third is collapsed on the ground.
I’m glad we got back to the hospital when we did!


We wheeled her over to surgery immediately to figure out what was wrong. I assumed Dr. Tabby would take charge but she just smiled and deferred to me. That meant I used the surgery machine for the first time on an actual patient without knowing what was wrong before hand. Dr. Tabby watched, but she didn’t say anything. If I had made a mistake I’m sure she would have jumped in.

Nebula at the controls of the surgery machine...whisk at the ready.
It’s like a fantastic voyage! Only more serious.


Instead she just smiled and approved and afterwards, once the patient had left she started chatting about her retirement plans. I think it’s a bit too soon, but it sounds like she thinks I’m doing a good enough job to replace her someday.

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