MJC's Journal

Sunday - April 14, 2013

It has been over a year since my last journal entry ~ real life happened. 2012 ended with Norm and I flying to Silverdale, Washington to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve with Beth (our daughter the sailor), Gabriel (grandson), and Naomi (granddaughter). It was the best Christmas I have had in a very long time.

We hadn't seen Gabriel for almost 4 years and Naomi for almost 5 years until December 21. Norm has had his "wings" for years flying here and there. But not me ~ no big "wings." Before December 21, 2012 I had been in a helicopter once and a single engine 2-seater plane once. Unfortunately prior to my 2-seater flight I had just eaten dinner ~ I lost it on an air pocket. So I asked my doctor to give me something to get me through the flight. Not only for my stomach but for the claustrophobic feeling I get in small places sometimes ~ not all the time. But with the idea of being in a plane ~ that first step down is a big one ~ and it was in "tight" quarters my doctor knew I needed something for sure.

We decided to Fed-Ex a box of the clothes we wanted to take with us along with meds, extra pair of shoes, etc so we wouldn't have to go to baggage claim and find they lost our baggage. We were changing planes on the way out so I wasn't going to take any chances. We sent the box out on Monday so it would be there by Friday when we were to arrive.

When I made the flight reservations I told Norm we would fly from Des Moines to Minneapolis, MN change planes and fly out to Washington state. We would have a two hour stopover between flights ~ just in case we had a delay in Des Moines. Well, on Wednesday or maybe it was Tuesday it started to snow and it didn't quit snowing in Iowa until Thursday late afternoon. I was so tide up in knots by then I knew we wouldn't be able to make it to Des Moines because the rode was closed we would need to take. Friday morning came and I was awake and ready to leave 2 hours before we were due to leave. Bob, a friend of ours, was going to drive us to the airport and also pick us up at the airport when we retuned on January 2. What would have taken us an hour to drive took us an hour and a half to get to the airport. The road was open but it was snow and ice packed ~ 90%. When we got on the by-pass to go around the city we saw the traffic jam on Interstate 80 ~ it was stop and move a couple feet motion. The news reports had been saying I-90 and I-35 were nothing but huge traffic jam almost to all four state borders! Anyway, we were there in plenty of enough time (I also "built" that into our plans ~ just in case) to get checked in and checked through security. Then came the big laugh! Our flight was delayed!! We would have had a couple hours sitting time before the flight was to take off and with the delay it was longer.

I called Beth to let her know we were at the airport ~ I had told Gabriel I would call. I started to get really nervous so I took my pill the doctor had given me. The flight was suppose to take an hour to get to Minneapolis in normal weather conditions. It wasn't snowing but who knew what would happen ~ I mean this is ME we are talking about. LOL The flight was delayed again. By the time it did arrived the people coming off the plane were commenting on the flight only took 35 minutes! There was still hope there for us. I called Beth to let her know we were getting ready to board the plane she told me Gabriel was so happy and anxious ~ he knew Grandma and Grandpa were coming for the promised visit ~ Grandma was at the airport. LOL

Once the plane was ready to load it didn't take us long to get off solid ground. We were on a regional jet which was smaller then the plane we would take to change to in Minneapolis ~ good thing, I felt like I was in a sardine can. LOL We made the flight in 35 minutes time which was good since that gave us the time needed to get to the other gate and relax for a few minutes. I took my second pill so I wouldn't be uptight when we took off. Again I called Beth to let her know where we were and we hadn't missed our connecting flight. My last call to her was once we sat down in the plane getting ready to take off for SEA-TAC Airport in Washington state.

We hit some turbulence several times during the flight but I felt fine. When we started to descend I had a feeling that I was getting sick. By the time we landed I did indeed loose it! I was so upset with myself. We were being taken down to the location where Beth could pick us up and when I called her she said another location but the gal said this would be easier and faster for us. Little did she know Beth was in a parking location that would mean more driving for her to get where we were standing waiting for her. The cold fresh air was what I needed and I started to feel better. Beth found us and Gabriel was in the backseat waiting for us. Grandpa sat in back with Gabriel and I sat in the front with Beth and we took off for Silverdale and the Navy Lodge on Base. Well, I wasn't sure which was worse ~ descending from higher elevations in a plane or my daughter's driving. LOL My stomach was not settled at all ~ I was very happy when we got to the Navy Lodge where we would be staying. Beth and Gabriel signed us in and took us to our room. He wanted to see what was in the box he had carried in the his home when it had been delivered. He said it felt like it had bricks in it. LOL So I opened the box for him to see how good Grandma could pack a big box. LOL

The next morning Beth and Gabriel picked Naomi up (from where she lives with her father) since she would be staying with Mom and Gabriel during our visit. The last time we saw Naomi face-to-face she was two years old (I think) so when I opened the door when Gabriel knocked on the door she backed up into her Mom when she saw me. I told Beth and Gabriel that was okay because she was so little the last time she had seen us. But it didn't take very long for her to warm up to us. From that time on until we left for the airport to fly home we had a wonderful time with our Gabriel and Naomi ~ oh, Beth, too. LOL

When we got back to the airport on January 2 to fly home Beth unloaded our luggage and turned to me and said don't you cry, Mom. I already was ~ she was to late. When she hugged me I told her I didn't want to go home. I had asked Beth to take us to the airport early due to the normal traffic on the interstate and at the airport itself. We found out about an hour before we were to board the plane we were suppose to have had problems and we had a replacement ~ it was an Airbus. Norm said that was good ~ there was more room in an Airbus.

I figured since the pills my doctor had prescribed for me to take didn't work I would try Dramamine on the return trip. I took my first one when we got to the gate and could before our flight time. We departed SEA-TAC Airport on time for our trip back to Iowa with a layover at Minneapolis, MN for our connecting flight to Des Moines. We hit turbulence several times during the flight. When we were to the point where we should be starting our descent the pilot announce we were put in a holding pattern for about 15 minutes. He told us the control tower was letting the East Coast Flights land first. I told Norm this wasn't good because we didn't have much "play time" before our connecting flight was due to takeoff for Des Moines. Well, 20 minutes later the pilot announced we were starting our descent and would be landing soon. During the descent that same feeling came back ~ but this time I paid attention to what was causing me to get sick. I figured it out and before the plane touched down I lost my stomach again! But I think I know what was causing my problem. The only time I lost it was on the descents only ~ and when we started the descent at Minneapolis I noticed my sinuses were starting to drain. For those of you reading this that have sinuses problems know when one's sinuses drain your stomach reacts! When we would take off my ears would "close" and I would have to continuously swallow so my ears would "open." When we were at cruising level my sinuses didn't bother me at all - felt pretty good.

By the time we landed and got off the plane I was never so happy to see the assistance person there for us ~ I had requested wheelchair assistance at the airports when I made our reservations. I told Norm there wasn't any way that I could hurry to a connecting flight due to my ankle ~ I can't run either. It really helped us out on the way out but it was going to prove the smartest thing I had done preparing for the trip! When I was being wheeled up the ramp to the gate where the motor cart was waiting for us I found out that they had called our Des Moines flight and they were boarding now. The gentleman that drove the cart told me as we sped through the main walkways that he was going to take us a way he was not allowed to use. He said if he didn't we would miss our flight. When we got to the gate the last several people already there were going through the door to board. There was a gal that had been on our flight there and she had ran all the way to the connecting gate ~ she was huffing so bad I thought she would pass out. Once we boarded and the plane was being sprayed (due to icing conditions) I called Bob and left a message on his cell phone we were leaving Minneapolis in a few minutes. That was suppose to be the notice so he had time to drive to Des Moines to meet us. Before we took off Bob returned my call and said he would be there. I asked him what door he wanted to pick us up at and he said he would be waiting at the bottom of the escalators when we got there. I had to laugh because he was the only one there waiting for someone. LOL I had called Beth when we were boarded the plane in Minneapolis to let her know we made the connecting flight and talk to her when we got to Des Moines. Usually it would be me asking her to call me to let me know she made it okay ~ the tables had turned and my daughter was asking me to call her. That gave me a very nice warm feeling when she did that.

The road home was better then it was when we left on December 21 which I was thankful for. We left during the day and arrived in Washington around 9 PM their time ~ we left for home during the day and arrived in Des Miones at 11 PM. My body was happy to be home and sleeping in my own bed but inside I wasn't happy ~ I was missing Gabriel, Naomi, and Beth so very much.

The next day I woke up sick with the "creeping crud" (flu) and had the bad cough that went with it. I got in to see the doctor a couple days later and she told me there wasn't anything she could give me. The next time I left the house was January 25 ~ it took that long for me to get rid of the coughing that persisted longer then the flu did.

I have determined I will fly again IF it is to go see Gabriel, Naomi, and Beth! I will just take my sinus med along with Dramamine. LOL

I am so sorry this journal entry is so long ~ but just think what it would have been if I had added the wonder fun we had while visiting our grandkids and daughter! Now I need to get this posted and get some work done around here.