First and foremost, allow me to wish Mom and Dad a hearty happy anniversary! Forty-two years, can you imagine? I cannot, but that’s largely because A) I haven’t been alive that long and B) online dating sucks. But mazel tov and infinite love and admiration to them!
Now then. When I was little, I was quite fond of Care Bears. When we moved to Hawaii in 1986, I spent a good deal of the flight across the Pacific glued to the window in hopes of glimpsing the wondrous clouds on which they lived. I did not see them, but firmly believed it was because we just had not flown over the right cloud. Part of me still holds out hope of seeing the Care Bears whenever I fly. How magical would that be?
When Dad was a kid, he wanted to fly. He joined the Air Force in pursuit thereof, but when he was at the Academy, they wouldn’t teach you how to fly unless you had 20/20 vision without correction. Curses! He served 28 years, and at his retirement party, one of my uncles handed him a card saying, “Stop talking about it. Go fly!” and a gift certificate covering the cost of his first several hours of flight training. So he got his private pilot’s license, using the GI Bill to pay for a good portion of it, and he’s been flying small planes ever since, often for Angel Flight – enough so that he was the Mid-Atlantic Angel Flight Pilot of the Year several times. Go Dad!
Allora. Last week I went on vacation for the first time in almost two years. I tried to, anyway. A friend and I flew up to Boston for the weekend, and upon arrival my body basically said, “OK we’re relaxing now? Phew! Great, I don’t have to hold it together anymore.” and proceeded to invite a nasty virus in and let it run roughshod throughout my lungs and head, draining my stamina and filling the stupid cavity in my right lung with fodder for infection (AKA phlegm). I called my GP, who said I could go to an urgent care center, and we both hung up knowing I wasn’t going to do that. Without any fevers and in the absence of my coughing up something for a lab to analyze, I didn’t see what they could offer that wouldn’t be a shot in the dark. Here, have an antibiotic even though we don’t know A) if there’s a bug growing in there or B) what it’ll respond to, and C) it might be fungal anyway, in which case an antibiotic wouldn’t do anything!
So we took taxis everywhere and still managed to eat delicious food, catch up with her boyfriend, take in Romeo and Juliet on the Commons, and get manicures. On Sunday, she flew home, and on Monday The Bostonian and I drove to Maine… we rented the guest house on a farm with free range chickens and rescue horses! And a welcome dog named Acoya! And a pool! And a lovely back deck from which to enjoy wine and lightening bugs! Although I was quite under the weather the whole time, we still managed to visit Kennebunk and its associated port, Freeport, Portland, take a ferry around Casco Bay to Bailey Island, grab dinner with another college pal, and also lounge by the pool one day. Even so, it was not everything I’d hoped it would be, not what I’d been planning for multiple years, and I feel terribly that it also put a damper on The Bostonian’s vacation (though she’d never hold it against me).
UGH. I was supposed to fly from there out to a conference in California for work, but it quickly became clear that I wouldn’t be able to do that. So I cancelled those flights, transferred the conference registration to a colleague, and went about figuring out how to get home from Maine. Enter: Dad Air. He flew up and Dad-evac’d me home. I was actually doing him a favor. He’s always saying, “Any excuse to burn some av-gas!” You’re welcome, Dad… you’re welcome. To which my brother replied, “At some point you don’t need to always be thinking of others, Mer.” Fair point bro… fair point.
My GP had a cancellation on Monday, which I promptly scooped up, though I was already on the mend. Of course I didn’t go to the urgent care center, she said. Here’s a cough suppressant, do some albuterol nebs for a few days, and use your incentive spirometer (a medical torture device that encourages full inflation of lungs) once an hour while you’re awake. And ***take it easy*** for the rest of the week! Yes’m.
I am continuing to feel better each day. Still not 100%, but I doubled my incentive spirometer results between yesterday and today, so moving in the right direction at an increasing pace. Just in time for Polly Bear to come home tomorrow! My very own Care Bear… with a most effective Polly-Care-Bear-Stare.