I spent this past week in California and got back yesterday morning. I was not supposed to get back yesterday morning, nor was I supposed to go into Newark (which is a *very* expensive cab ride from my apartment, though if I had known how expensive, I would have taken MomGiraffe's advice and gone into Manhattan first, but I wanted to get to work as early as I could). I was supposed to get into LaGuardia — a nice, short bus ride from my house — at ten thirty the night before. Unfortunately, weather in Houston got my SNA-Houston flight rerouted to Austin so we could sit on the ground for four or five hours. Then we got to Houston and I had to wait several more hours with the choice of not leaving until the next day at six thirty in the morning (as if I would be able to get up in time for that) or midnight that same night. (And by midnight, they meant about one thirty. And they didn't mean they would get my luggage on the same flight.) I know it's not Continental's fault, except that they decided to center their hub in Houston. I would say it was a freak accident, but the same thing happened on my way there, so that instead of arriving in Orange County at five, DadGiraffe had to pick me up at LAX at one thirty in the morning. My luggage didn't make it that time either, but in both cases, I waited til no more luggage came out to the carousel before I got in a long line to tell them where to deliver my luggage the next day. All of that is boring, I know, and that is the short version. Be glad you didn't have to live it, though really, if that's the worst thing to happen to me, that's pretty good. In fact, that was the worst thing to happen to me on the trip, but not the worst thing that happened. No, wait, not seeing my friend JJ was worse. But this was second worst.
I can't get this all out in one post, so I will try several posts. I don't know what I'm going to name them or when I am going to do them (if, frankly, ever), so you'll just have to take what you can get. Sorry.
I don't want to keep you in suspense, so I will immediately tell you the worst thing that happened on my trip. On Sunday, I have a very busy, very good day, which I will tell you about later. I got up (and this is very unusual for me on vacation) at the very early hour of 7:30 a.m. (remember, this is vacation-time) and went into LA, and stayed in LA meeting various people and going to various parties. A party, so not various, but you know what I mean. I got back to GiraffeHouse (California branch) at a decently late hour, I want to say eleven or so. Maybe 11:30, because I had to stop off and buy gas (which was a lot less expensive than I thought it was going to be, $3.28 if I remember correctly, a lot cheaper than here). DadGiraffe was still up when I got home because I didn't have my key with me. We had a nice (but short) chat. The last thing I said to him was, well, I'm glad that I don't have anything tomorrow morning because I am tired. Please don't wake me up before ten. (And I could have slept longer. As my niece Poppysaid said to me this trip, "You're a long sleeper." You like that? I love it. It reminds me of the long jump. Can you imagine an Olympic Event, the long sleep? The scandal there would be use of sedatives. I wonder if you can detect Nyquil on a blood test.)
6:30 a.m. DadGiraffe woke me up to tell me that Rivster's family was on the way over because Rivster was in a lot of pain and I had to take her to the ER. Now, for those of you who don't follow her blog, you wouldn't know that my brother-in-law Bill had a ruptured appendix last month. You also wouldn't know that he had a post-surgical infection (thank God it wasn't MSRA staph because that could kill you. I suppose e coli — which he had — could kill you also, but it's less likely). He still had an open wound that gets repacked every day by a visiting nurse. (Sorry for the grossness, but that's what's happening.) He was not supposed to be driving. He certainly wasn't supposed to pack up three kids and an adult into the car and drive them to the GiraffeHouse.
The baton (Rivster) was passed. Luckily, I had rented a car, so I deprived neither MomGiraffe nor DadGiraffe of their vehicles as I gingerly drove Rivster to the hospital. I was ginger because she was in a LOT of head pain. She Who Has Migraines (that's her nickname for this sentence) had the worst headache of her life and she (rightly) said it was not a migraine. We were lucky in the following sense: No wait in the ER. And, as a nice little touch, her hospital has automatic valet service. We got there and carefully hopped out of the car. She was with the triage nurse before I had given the keys to the valet. The point here is that if you want to seen quickly, injure yourself around six thirty in the morning.
It seemed like a long time before the pain medication actually came. They did one test and it was clear and then they did a spinal tap so that they could agree with Rivster's conclusion - she had viral meningitis (well, she didn't guess the viral part). The good news is that bacterial meningitis is more dangerous. The bad news is that they can give you something for bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis is something you just have to wait out, so she is still, as I type, in pain. This is partly because I am not a good patient advocate. I'm just not used to it. I should have made the doctor keep her there until her pain was under control without the use of IV pain meds. Because he didn't send her home with IV pain meds. No, just pills. I'll know better for next time, which is no help to her now.