It began the morning of December 22nd. The shuttle picked us up on time and made sure we were at the airport on time for our flight to Portland, OR. We were spending Christmas with our youngest daughter and her husband. We would be there for one week and then on to LA to spend another week with our oldest daughter and her family. So far so good.
Could the confiscation of a pint of molasses at airport security be a portent of things to come? In hindsight, probably. Maryann didn't pack it in our checked baggage. She has done so in the past. Anyway, the security person was very kind to let us know our options. The only viable one was to leave it in the discard bin. Better luck next time. Shannon did have enough molasses to make the shoo-fly pie. You saw the results in a previous posting.
Our trip took us through Albuquerque and a change of planes. While there we did purchase some decorative red peppers for Shannon to display in her home. The flight was on time and we got to Portland on time as planned. Shannon only had to make one trip around the "loop" so that I could get our bags and be at the pick up point. So far so good.
It was cold in Portland, but not as cold as it was back here in Kansas. And there was only rain, not any snow. We had a great time. The food was quite delicious and Christmas day was wonderful. Shannon decreed that we would spend most of the day in PJ's. I don't usually wear them, but we did order some new flannel PJ's and had them sent to Portland. We are glad we did, because over night on the 25th, the furnace quit. Thankfully, they have a working fireplace insert. There are also a couple of space heaters in a bathroom and the family room. We bundled up and waited until Monday to get the furnace repairman in to fix it. It took about 20 minutes to get the job done. At least we didn't have to pay the emergency fee.
On Tuesday, the 29th we flew to LA. While waiting at the Portland airport, Maryann was bothered by a weird feeling of an eyelash in one of her eyes. By the time we got to LA, it turned into a full blown case of conjunctivitis. Julianne did make an appointment with her eye doctor and medication was administered immediately. With this ailment it was not a good idea for Maryann to come in contact with our grandson, Eli. Bummer. If that wasn't bad enough, Maryann contracted a very dry, hacking cough. We had as good a time as can be expected paying attention to Eli and his parents. (Photos to follow in a subsequent post.) He is such a sweetheart.
New year's eve Julianne and David went to a friend's to celebrate the passing of 2009. They took care of Eli and left. He was asleep by 7:30 PM or so. Because Maryann wasn't feeling so good, we went to bed early. At 10 PM everything changed. I was awakened by sounds of Maryann making an emergency trip to the bathroom. She had a gastro-intestinal ailment. It was then important to do what was necessary to clean up what needed to be cleaned up. As we were taking care of things, we heard Eli in his room. Well what's a grandfather supposed to do. I go into his room. It is obvious that he is not going to settle down very easily. I did change a diaper, whether it needed it or not, warmed up a bottle and began giving it to him. It didn't take too long to realize that I was in over my head. A quick call to David and they were on their way home. Every two hours for the rest of the night Maryann was up, and it wasn't pleasant. I sure felt sorry for her.
So, here we are, ushering in the new year in a most unique manner. Maryann spent almost all day in bed. We decided then to leave LA two days earlier than originally planned. It cost a little bit more, but we had to take the germs away from Eli. (His parents had had similar health problems several weeks earlier.) We also decided that we should go to a hotel for that evening. We were able to find one at a very reasonable rate. And, it wasn't too far from the airport. We were invited back for Eli's first birthday celebration in April. Maryann is already exploring the options for travel then.
January 2nd and we make the flight home. This time we also had to change planes in Albuquerque. Maryann is feeling better, but she is very tired and her stomach is still upset. We met a very nice couple from Kansas City. While in flight Maryann is feeling worse. Her stomach is growling and she is in pain. She indicates that it feels somewhat similar to how she felt back in '97 when the cancer first appeared. She asks me to arrange for medics to meet us at the airport to determine if we need to go directly to the hospital. Up to this point I have been very impressed with the manner the personnel from Southwest Airlines have taken care of holiday travelers. Tony(sp), the young woman who was attending to us was so very helpful. As soon as I let her know what was happening, she got with the flight crew and arranged for MAST to meet us upon our arrival. The Herspergers, the folks I mentioned above, were extremely helpful. Joan, a registered nurse, came and sat with us until we arrived at KCI. She, and her husband Terry, were willing to go to their home and get transportation to take us wherever we needed to go.
Maryann's vitals were OK and we decided to take our shuttle home. So, there it was, late Saturday night and we get home. Our neighbor did come over and turn on the outside lights for us. They had also used their show blower to take most of the snow off of the driveway. There was only a couple of inches when we arrived home.
The weekend was a long, tiring one. On Monday morning we go to see our doctor. He prescribes the necessary medications to treat the cough, upset stomach and the ear infections he discovered. That was something we didn't expect.
Here it is, one week later. We are on the mend and just about back to normal. Maryann's voice is back. She is still a bit wearied. The codeine medicine puts her to sleep. She has completed the medicine for her eyes, which look a lot better than they did last week.
We are sorry that we had to go through this and, perhaps, put Eli in a tad bit of jeopardy. We are looking forward to a birthday bash.
We sure do love our kids and look forward to visiting them again. Hopefully next time everything will be much better. This is the first time we have ever had health problems while on a trip. Thank goodness we were with family.