Travel Snafus Snuffed by Fate

It all started a year ago….

I returned to Adelman Travel as a new employee with my co-workers of over 10+ years….

Within a few weeks, there was a drawing for FREE Continental airline tickets (two of them). And I became the lucky recipient. Since I was engaged and due to be wed in five months, this made the honeymoon planning a whole lot easier. We were ecstatic. How it happened seemed meant to be.

So I planned with a smile and heavier pocket book.

I scheduled a wonderful trip that October for Seattle and Vancouver. It even worked out that I had saved enough Radisson hotel points to receive six nights hotel in Vancouver absolutely free.

We were excited. A dream wedding and a dream honeymoon planned MONTHS in advance.

Then? Disaster.

Less than two weeks before the wedding, Jason’s mom, my future mother-in-law, my wedding planner, my friend, had a devastating brain aneurysm and stroke.

She was in ICU. It was a very scary time. We continued with the wedding, but cancelled our dream honeymoon to be close to the hospital.

The airline cancelled the tickets for us and advised I could rebook by July 18, 2011 for no cost, or fees. The hotel refunded ALL the points. It worked out for the best, except, no honeymoon.

Then, the week we would have been out of the country on our honeymoon, Jason was put in the hospital for seven days. Later, he would be diagnosed with Lupus. We were very glad we were not out of the country.

This June, I looked into flights, not to Seattle, but California. We opted to save Vancouver for another time and even save “honeymooning”. We just wanted a trip to visit our favorite places and celebrate my 40th birthday (plus I had to rebook the free tickets by July).

So I did. I even got all the hotels free with my points. Even better….I ended up with five free rental car days.

July 17, 2011, one day prior to the expiration of rebooking our FREE Continental tickets (which I thought I had already done). I realized I needed to make sure our seat assignments were together. Kinda dumb to think of it a month after rebooking, but yo, I’d been busy.

As I began my quest of coordinating seating, I discovered, I was missing Jason’s itinerary. To my horror,he was not rebooked as I was.

I called the airline. I begged. I pleaded. I blamed. I mean, just because I cancelled a honeymoon doesn’t mean only one of us was traveling, right?!?

But to no avail, there was just not space for free tickets one month out. Not to anywhere in California, anyway. I was in tears. How could something sooo meant to be go wrong so many times?

I took a deep breath and used my mad travel agent skillz to get him a flight separate from me, but arriving about the same time.

In the end, I conceded to the fact THIS was for the best. He had been in a car accident and hurt his back. Now he had a non-stop flight versus Continental’s flight connecting through Houston. And? It was only $160.00. A small price to pay to get this trip together (finally!).

Fast forward to trip departure day, arising early to get to the airport for my connecting flight. Packing til midnight the night before and hating this part of the trip. The airport. The lines.

I am always afraid, I’ll oversleep, get the time wrong, the date wrong, or encounter delays that make me miss my flight. I don’t know why I twist myself up like that. I always have. I guess I always will.

It’s 6am when we reach the DFW toll booth (basically on-time). I wasn’t checking bags. I pulled up my 6:55am flight on Continental to check flight status. I wanted to make sure it was on-time. What do I see?

111 minute delay.
111 minute delay will cause me to miss my connection flight to Orange County.
111 minute delay will result in one less day of vacation and one LONGER day of travel.
111 minute delay will affect Jason on an entirely different flight. Not to mention, he can’t get the car or check-in at the hotel. Those are booked in my name under travel agent discounts.

We continued towards the airport, my mind racing. I checked other flights to Houston on Continental. Nada. All sold out. I pulled up my confirmation on Continental, travel agent tip-airlines now auto-rebook on next available flight, by going to their website, you can see what flight they confirmed you on-end tip.

I saw I was booked on a 459pm flight Houston to Orange County getting in about 644pm.

Not the end if the world, but a long day of sitting in airports. Separate airports at that.

Then I saw the date on the flight was the 21st of August. A DAY later. I think my heart stopped beating. This trip…. Uggg, what is going? Are we not supposed to go somewhere together?

We wait in line at the Continental counter. I keep telling myself to have faith, but MAN, it’s tough. This trip has canceled before and we would survive it being cancelled again.

When we told the agent, Jason was on a different flight than me (our passive way of saying I can’t go tomorrow). The agent never hesitated, he said, “I am going to get you on the same flight as him.”

And he did.

I couldn’t believe it. The mistake in rebooking all those months ago was not to cause us to miss our trip, but to ensure we WOULD get to California on the day we were supposed to. If we had both been on the original flight, we might not have arrived until Sunday.

It’s been a gentle reminder to me that God’s plans are bigger than ours. When something doesn’t go our way, maybe it’s God way that will.

By the way……

20110821-090516.jpg

We’re here!

🙂

It wasn’t the fried butter after all…

In October, after our beautiful 10-10-10 wedding, we stayed in town to be near Jason’s mom who had a brain aneurysm two weeks before the ceremony. We canceled our trip to Canada to be near the hospital. Jason, nor I, was comfortable being out of the country and there was no question about staying local.

But, we decided to do some fun things and on day three of our home-town honeymoon, we went to the State Fair of Texas.

Big Tex with a big Texas welcome.

To say hi to big Tex.

The Texas sized ferris wheel.

To ride the Texas sized ferris wheel.

A colorful sight on the Midway of Texas State Fair.

To walk the colorful midway.

Colorful hats, bubbles, and more.

To take in all the sights and sounds of the fair.

Including……Texas State fare of the deep-fried variety. And I do mean variety…….these are actual booth banners of what you can buy to eat – FRIED.

If it fits in the fryer, it will be deep-fried.

These are not even all of them. I didn’t get a picture of the fried beer. That one just turns my stomach……fried……beer??? Ick!

I will say the fried cheesecake was unbelievably good. Then, I really, really wanted a fried snickers. But holy cow, it was really big once it was fried. Jason and I settled on our last fried dish being the world FAMOUS Texas Fried Butter. Oh yahhhh.

Jason holding Texas State Fair fried butter.

The pictures don’t do it justice. The outside was sprinkled with sugar and honey. The center was warm and gooey and absolutely delicious! I heart butter.

One dose will do ya.

This did not last long.

Then we left the fair, and fried fare, and we trekked our way to the car. Jason got short of breath.

Huh?

I chalked it up to lack of exercise, his nagging bronchitis diagnosis, and from too many corny dogs. Not to mention the exhaustion from before/after the whole wedding and mom in ICU stress.

Later, Jason felt worse. Was it the fried butter??

I mean, people joke about the fried foods at Texas State Fair, but seriously, he wasn’t doing well….he ATE fried butter.

The next morning, he couldn’t breathe laying down.

That afternoon, I kid you not, he ends up in the ER and then admitted to step-down cardiac unit. Our honeymoon continued in the hospital……..remember that? If you have not read my Diary of a Hospital Honeymoon, it’s a must read.

Eight days later, he is released with no diagnosis. We needed Doctor House.

But I knew……I just knew….it was the FRIED BUTTER.

And yes, we told them. They swore it wasn’t from eating fried butter, but really?!?! What do Doctors know about fried butter? The entire heart ward was FULL during the Texas State Fair, coincidence???? I think not.

My diagnosis was clear. It was the fried butter and no more of that crap!?!

And that’s where this post comes in, because Jason finally got the bajillion blood tests back the rheumatologist administered. The double strand DNA test confirms his illness is from fried butter Lupus.

It wasn’t the fried butter after all, but I’m still suspicious. 🙂

Jason gets to enjoy fried butter another day and add a THIRD autoimmune disease to his medical chart; type 1 diabetes, hypothyroidism, and now fried butter disease Lupus.

At least we know now why he was hospitalized for so long, for no reason for very good reason. He was really sick (and not faking). We can look forward to treatment, and we can continue on with a prayer that it stays in remission (as it is now).

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and inquires to his health. He is doing very well with all of this. We both are. This is nothing that we can’t handle with God on our side and fried butter not crossing our lips.

Next year, I think I’ll try the fried snickers (j/k!).

P.S. I updated my blog header for Christmas. If you get this by email, or mobile be sure to check it out on a web browser. Many thanks, and happy, healthy no fried butter wishes.

Diary of a Hospital Honeymoon

Day 1-

ER is so cool! I feel like I’m in a TV show. Any minute a crash cart will go flying by and a miraculous life will be saved. Gosh, Jason sure looks uncomfortable on that stretcher bed. Maybe, I should hold his hand. It’s so neat when he calls me his wife. That’s me! Now they are admitting him for a night. Oh boy, that sounds scary. But how bad could ONE night be? Surely, they will have it all figured out by tomorrow. This will be fun! I’ll make it fun. Ohhhhh, look at our room. It’s nice. It has three windows with nice wood blinds and we have a tree view. Cool! The nurse gave me pillows and blankets for my fold out chair bed. I’m such a good wife to sleep next my hubby even in the hospital. My poor honey. What a crazy honeymoon, we will always remember this.

Day 2-

Luckily someone came by to bring me hot food. Every time I leave the room to pee or get coffee a doctor comes by and I miss what they say. I’m determined to never leave or shower again. That bed was hard and makes terrible sounds when I turn over. Someone must have turned on the lights and came in the room almost every hour. Uuuggh. My poor husband. I am so glad we are married so I can be by his side. They call us the newlyweds and tease that they have to knock before they enter our room. Isn’t that cute? The dumb doctors still don’t know anything. It’s Friday and they are ready for the weekend. They can’t even tell us when we might be able to leave. Another night camping for us, I should pick up some more trail mix the next vending machine run. I’ll have to hurry so I don’t miss a doctor or a nurse. Why don’t they know what’s wrong yet? Maybe the test Monday will give us answers. I can totally do this wait it out thing. We took vows people.

Day 3-

Jason was up all night going to the bathroom. Looks like the diuretics kicked in. I totally slept through the whole thing on my chair bed. I only woke up twice when they took vitals and turned on the lights. I’m getting really good about being able to sleep through those. He said I was snoring. I guess he is a little grumpy from not having a lot of sleep. Gee. At least he is looking better and is not as puffy. I was afraid they’d have to cut the new wedding ring off. Now, that would be sad. I am really ready for him to be better. I was looking forward to the movies this weekend. I guess he wasn’t faking it last week when he was complaining of feeling bad. Heck, we just didn’t have time to be sick in the middle of wedding planning. My sister and her husband came back up and I sure had a nice visit away from the hospital. I didn’t even miss anything. How cool is that? I loved being treated to lunch and dinner. Jason has been feeling nauseated. I’m not sure if it’s his mystery illness or the hospital food. I think that hospital food is real awful. Sure looks it. The doctors still know NOTHING. What a waste of medical school. So glad I said I DO before we got here. I just love being his wife.

Day 4 –

Holy crap, my back huuurts. Ow that &*(@# bed. That’s not a bed, it’s a back twisting torture device. And how many times do they have to check him at night? I mean really? Don’t they have monitors they can watch? And do they have to be so loud in the hall? It sounded like a party. Gah. I haven’t had a decent cup of coffee in four days. FOUR. I stole some of the bath baby wipes to “freshen” up. I don’t think anyone will notice. I wish I could have warmed them up like they did for him. Today is the day Jason has to get up and walk the hall. We are calling it our honeymoon stroll. Aww. Just like the beach (sorta).

My new husband in all his hospital gown hotness.

It’s Sunday, so of course, no one knows what is wrong with him yet. The fill-in doctors come by to check-in. They just mark their visit in the books. They don’t do anything. Jason’s feet touch the end of the bed. I think he is too big for it. It sure doesn’t look comfortable. Not looking forward to laying in the torture device tonight. I have a permanent crick in my lower back left side now. Supposedly, there are tests in the morning but they can’t say for sure since the doc did not order them before he was off for the weekend. What kind of hospital is this? I am soooo ready to go home. This wifely thing is hard.

Day 5-

I have to sit down like an old person. My back is cracked. I must leave here and get Tylenol soon. Ouch. Maybe they will do the test and we can go home. Jason looks worse. I think this hospital made him sicker. I held his hand and knocked his IV astray. It caused bleeding. Oh gee. I didn’t mean to. This is sooo not fun anymore. I cried and felt very selfish. I am just soooo tired of not doing anything. It’s like there is no time here. It’s the same time every day. The only change is the nurses. I found the cafeteria. I am afraid to eat there after seeing Jason’s food and stuck with the vending machines again. Everyone is working so I ran out for hot food while Jason was taken for a CT scan on his head.The doctors decided not to do the heart cath test they prepared us for. Apparently, they made Jason dehydrated with all the diuretics. He lost 11 liters of fluid and dried out his kidneys. Now, he can’t tolerate the dye. Two days ago it was a must do. Now, he doesn’t need it. I hate this place! They can just say whatever they want and they STILL don’t know what is wrong with him. Looks like an extended honeymoon for us. Woo! I cleaned the room and organized our belongings. I used a bath wipe to clean my phone and wipe off his rolling tray. This place is making me weird crazy. But we are making newlywed memories. P.S. I might be committed soon…….

Happy honeymoon sweetie!

To be continued……

In Sickness

And in health.

I stumbled on that vow. I hesitated forming the words. I stood in that beautiful Church facing my handsome husband and I faltered……

What I wanted to say was in sickness and in sickness. I knew I was marrying a type 1 diabetic. I had experience with one in 2004, an uncle I loved dearly. I was also raised by a step-dad with polio. I knew sickness. I was raised with sickness. I embraced this man’s sickness because that is what I vowed to do. In health? Not so much. It was the sickness I pledged to stand by.

For richer or poorer, meh, I’ll take either.

Love and honor – absolutely.

Until death due us part – I wouldn’t miss a thing. Life is a gift. Scratch that. Life with him is a gift.

Today, I write this blog post from a hospital room.

My husband started feeling worse and worse a few days after the wedding. He hadn’t been feeling completely well for a while. He had gone to the urgent care center a week before the wedding and got diagnosed with bronchitis. They gave him an antibiotics shot, but he still hadn’t quite kicked it ten days later. When breathing laying down got difficult, and his face started swelling. He ventured back to the neighborhood clinic.

They took an x-ray of his lungs and compared it with ten days before, along with his blood work. The x-ray showed more fluid build-up on his lungs, and the blood work showed loss of blood – significantly. Enough that they recommended him going to the ER with their blessing. I couldn’t believe it when he called me.

What? Emergency room? Double pneumonia? Hemoglobin drop? WHAT?

I met him there and waited in the ER. What I expected was an IV of antibiotics and a possible over night stay. But that wasn’t to be. While there was fluid on his lungs, there was not a rise in white blood cells. Nor was he feverish, coughing, or showing signs of pneumonia. The ER doctor that came to admit him advised us, it was not pneumonia, but looked more like congestive heart failure.

Heart failure. *gulp*

My jaw dropped to the floor. My heart and stomach quickly followed.

*PLOP*

All splayed out in a pile of, “What the crap!”. Four days ago I said I DO, or I will, or actually I said vow by vow repeated after the minister in front of God, and 70 or so witnesses. I had no idea how fast those bonds would be put to the test.

I trust God. I do. There are so many blessings about this moment. We had canceled the honeymoon to Canada because of Jason’s mom. It was possible she would have a second surgery this week and we didn’t want to be out of the country when it happened. Come to find out, she did not, but she did get moved out of ICU. We got to talk to her the day before our ER visit. It was wonderful news. It was joyful tears to love on her awake and aware and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

I am also glad we were not in Canada and unsure of the health care and procedures. I am glad we were not thousands of miles away from our friends and family. I am glad we were not on top of Whistler Mountain – far away from anywhere or anything. I am glad we were not zipping through time and space on an airplane high up in the sky. So many things….that could have been so much worse.

Instead, we take the hospital honeymoon trip. Complete with an HD TV.

Three delicious meals a day by room service (for him anyway). Daily social visits by doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists. Tons of time together. No kids or dogs. I can even get coffee most hours of the day in the waiting room concierge lounge. It’s all-inclusive folks. Stop being so jealous.

And hey, it’s like camping…..

We are on day three here. All we know for sure is that his heart is not damaged. He does have an enlarged left ventricle, but that is not completely uncommon for a diabetic man with high blood pressure. They were able to relieve him of five LITERS of fluid, so he can breathe easier although there is still fluid on and in his lungs.

We have a test on Monday to check for artery blockage and to fix them if he has any through a heart cath. If it’s not that, it could be a number of things they are hoping to eliminate with tests. Nothing is determined, and not much has been ruled out. It could be congestive heart failure, or it could be a mean virus that caused cardiac issues.

No matter what it is. No matter what our future holds with his health. I will be here.

In sickness, and in sickness……because that is what I pledged to do six days ago.