I was set to fly out on Thursday afternoon, October 18. I was planning to leave work around noon that day and had received permission from Bill, my boss, to do just that. I was going to stay in for a few lunch hours to make up the time difference. I would be all packed when I left for work on Thursday morning so I could go directly to the airport. Julie was lined up to give me a ride to the airport and leave my car at her house (which is near the airport) so it would be handy when I was on my way home. I started packing the necessities during the week before (I pretty much keep my bag of liquids intact between trips) but hadn't decided on how wintery my clothes should be. I had planned to fly home on Sunday night, but I had asked Amy from my office to cover my desk on Monday if the flights didn't work out. All prepared, right?
And the fates (or whatever) laughed.
I was sitting at my desk Wednesday afternoon, thinking that I should get things cleaned up and ready, just in case I didn't make it home until Monday. I had a couple of hours left in the day and was procrastinating, thinking, I can work on it a little later and after all, I have all morning tomorrow (Thursday) to get it done, right? So no worries.
Then my cell phone rang. According to the caller ID it was Jimmy, but he couldn't seem to say more than "Mom ... mom." I always worry that he's been in a car accident, so that was what I was afraid was wrong. Of course I don't want him to be injured or hurt in any way, but I also don't know how we'd replace his car, and he HAS to have a car. The bus doesn't even run where we live, and of course he'd lose his job delivering pizzas for Domino's. His car is old and falling apart, but it still goes down the road. It's actually been a really good car, considering that it was totaled and rebuilt at one time (I bought it from the guy who rebuilt it). Toyota Corolla. I sat here wondering what was going on when my office phone rang from a number I didn't recognize. It was someone from Domino's, calling to tell me that Jimmy was having a serious medical issue and that they had called 9-1-1. She suggested that I get over there, so I grabbed my purse and rushed out the door. Partway there, Jimmy called to say that he had decided to let me give him a ride to the emergency room, since a ride in an ambulance costs over $1,000 and their preliminary tests didn't show anything life threatening. I picked him up and off we went.
His symptoms were that he felt a heavy pressure in his chest (left side), followed by light-headedness, shortness of breath, numbness in his fingers, and blurred vision. He was in the middle of his regular pizza deliveries when it hit, no significant event or anything. So I drove him to the hospital. When they learned it was chest pain, they immediately did an EKG, which was fine. After a couple of hours they did a chest x-ray. Of course in order for our health insurance to pay a reasonable amount we had to go to UMC, our county hospital, so of course the waiting room was packed with people who didn't appear ill at all. I know that people without insurance go there for any kind of medical issue because they can't be turned away.
After a while Jimmy's symptoms subsided and he was tempted to just go home, but we knew we had to find out what was going on or, I guess I should say, rule out what WASN'T going on. After several hours, Jimmy encouraged me to go home and finish packing. I didn't know if I was going to be canceling my trip or not, based on the results of the trip to the emergency room, but I did need to finish, in case I WAS going. I was torn on whether to leave him there or not, but eventually I did, around 10 PM (we got there about 4:30 PM). I went home and finished packing. Jimmy felt well enough to send me a text, reminding me that I was going for three days, not three weeks (as if I overpack). A sure sign that he was feeling a little better. Then I lay down and tried to get a little sleep. He called at 3 AM and said he was done, so I drove back across town to pick him up. They didn't find anything wrong and assumed it was heartburn or indigestion of some sort and gave him a prescription for Nexium. By the time we got home, it was about time for me to get up and get ready for work. I called Amy, my backup at work, and she said she would take care of my desk, so I decided to go back to bed. Of course my desk was a horrible mess because I sat there procrastinating when I should have been getting organized. Oh well, good thing Amy is a good friend.
A few hours later, Jimmy took me to the airport. We didn't know when I was going to be coming back, so we still left my car at Julie's house. It didn't look too hopeful that I would get on that flight, but I did, miracle of miracles. At first I had a middle seat (just grateful to have any seat at all) but they soon moved me to a window in one of those rows with more leg room, which was very nice. The girls next to me were so skinny that they could just fold up their legs to let me pass. I commented on that fact, and we became fast friends. I got to Dulles somewhere around 9 PM their time.
When visiting Jill, I like to sleep in their unfinished basement on an air mattress I bought when we visited last June. It's cool down there, and I like to sleep where it's cold. My only fear is the possibility of spiders or other bugs lurking around. My answer to that problem is to purchase some bug spray and spray it around the area where I'm sleeping. Don't know if it helps much, but it gives me peace of mind. So of course that's what I did, and I left the can behind for the next arachnophobia-prone visitor. Just don't use it all, leave some for me and my next trip!
I was awakened on Friday morning by Kadence and Jacob giving me a wonderful welcome. It's nice to feel wanted! They were soon going to get on the bus to go to school. Kadence is in kindergarten now, but she has a full day of school, just like Jacob (third grade -- wow!). Off they went. Jill wanted to go to the gym, so I watched the boys while she was gone. I'm not saying they got into any trouble while Mommy was gone, but they didn't mention anything about any rules ...
|Mommy's gone, Grandma Karen's here, let the partying begin!|
|Hey, grandma, I've cleaned out the dog's water bowl (notice wet pants), let's play some Wii!|
Saturday was just a blur of activity. First, Jill made pancakes. Sorry if you don't like the picture, Jill, but you posed for it! (not that you especially wanted to)
Jacob was busy cleaning up dog doo in the back yard while Jared mowed the front and then moved to the back.
|Jacob inspecting the yard for further doggy deposits.|
Then came practice for the Primary program which was happening the next day, and right after that was Jacob's soccer game.
On Sunday we got up early for church. Usually I'm not a big fan of primary programs, but it's different when your adorable kids or grandkids are participating! I was trying to get a flight home that evening so that I wouldn't miss any work on Monday, but it just wasn't happening. The flight was oversold by eight passengers and there were lots of standbys. I was FORCED to stay another night! ;-)
The next morning, Kadence came to wake me up again before school. We chatted a bit, and then she thanked me for giving her the Candace shirt. The family is a big fan of the Phineas and Ferb show, and everybody has multiple shirts from that show except Kadence, so when I was in Disney World the month before, I bought a Candace shirt for Kadence (that says "You are SO Busted") and a Pirates of the Caribbean shirt for Jacob ("Dead men tell no tales"). Anyway, she said that she liked the shirt and thanked me for it, but ... well ... her birthday was a LONG time ago. She assured me it was okay, but really, I was seriously late with the birthday present. I told her that I got her something for her birthday. She disagreed and wanted to know what I got. I said I don't remember, but we would ask her mom. So then Kadence got a puzzled look on her face. If it wasn't birthday and it wasn't Christmas, WHY did I buy her a present? I guess random presents from family members on vacation (or whatever) just weren't on her radar screen.
|This is the picture Jill took of the kids and their shirts right after I sent them. I didn't get any other decent shots of Kadence, so I added this one!|
I had changed my flight to midday on Monday and didn't make it on that flight, either, so I ended up leaving later in the day. I don't mind waiting at the airport, really, since I have my iPad and can watch Netflix or whatever. Other people were hogging the plugs to keep my stuff charged, but I made it through okay.
My seat mate situation on the way home was interesting. I was given a window seat in an exit aisle (YAY) and at first an elderly asian woman was seated in the middle. It soon became apparent that she didn't speak much English and wasn't going to work out. The next standby people were a couple with three small children. They sat the dad and one of the kids there temporarily, but I knew that wasn't going to last, either. After much shuffling, they got a guy who had a window seat further up the aisle to switch to the middle seat, and they planned to reward him for his generosity. He was a fairly young man, 28 years old, a chemical engineer, and as soon as we took off, one flight attendant brought him two bottles of wine. After he drank those, he asked a different flight attendant and got one from her. Then a bit later the original flight attendant returned with two more bottles of wine. The guy offered to share his prize with me and the gal seated on the aisle, but we both declined, so he drank it all. He asked me if I was getting any food and I said yes, the asian wrap, so he ordered it for me and gave it to me (I didn't have to pay). He should have eaten at least some of it, because he kept getting more and more talkative. He went to sleep (passed out?) for a bit and when he woke up he kept shifting around in his seat, so it was obvious to me that we might be seeing some of that wine again. I asked if he was okay and he said no and headed for the bathroom. I got a barf bag ready for him, just in case. (I was only thinking of HIM, you know!) He managed to hold it down until we got to Vegas, and I helped him find the gate for his connecting flight (he was going to California). He was very nice and I always appreciate anyone who likes my jokes, even though he might have been slightly tipsy at the moment.
All in all, it was a fun trip. It was so busy that it went by in a blur. Jill and I agreed that we should do more relaxing and less running around the next time I go. Jared said he'll believe it when he sees it.