I’ve missed this space! The last couple of weeks have been insane and then restful and then insane again. Best of all in the time I’ve been AWOL, I got to conquer my fear of getting on a darned plane again! Yippee!
Before my trip to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, it had almost been a year since my paranoia about getting on a plane set in. I nearly died the last time I was on a plane. Anywho, my Doctors asked me to sit my behind in this smallish, big city I live in. I’ve been bored to tears wishing I could just get on a plane and go! So finally, I did!
Let me tell you though! Getting on that plane was a chore and half. From trying to convince myself I would be ok, to figuring out how many batteries I needed for the portable oxygen concentrator (POC) to keep me looking rosy on the plane, (yeah! I even had to wear a mask to keep my lungs from picking up any yuckies), to getting the runaround from WestJet/Delta Airlines on getting clearance to travel on oxygen.
My o my! Y’all better be loaded if you’re trying to travel when your body is not altogether there. Buying tickets on these discount websites with different parts of the trip operated by different airlines can be a hassle!
Two nights before I travelled, I was out of town for work meetings the entire day and truly exhausted by the time I lay in bed. The thought crossed my mind to check in with WestJet again on wheelchair assistance and just to make sure I really could get on the plane with oxygen. Same airline that had checked my ticket and told me all ok, switched gears to tell me I needed to clear my POC with Delta Airlines because they operate the second part of my trip. So annoying.
By the time I was having this conversation it was midnight. I had to rush down to the hotel lobby at midnight scrambling to print and sign forms to send out to oxygentogo which Delta outsources all oxygen clearance to. The agent I spoke with is unarguably the most impolite person I’ve dealt with in a very long time. I had called to try to understand what I needed to provide to be cleared to fly. “Gentleman” was so condescending and finally hung up on me. So now I guess I’m a moron not worth talking! Perhaps my wonky lungs have affected my capacity to reason? Oh well! We keep it moving but baby girl was determined to get on that plane!
Next day, I got an email from oxygentogo saying I needed three batteries to travel! What?! One day to go, I was out of town still and had only one spare battery and my oxygen providers were still trying to locate the one back up battery they have in the entire company! Let’s just say I ransacked the heavens and the earth to find one more spare battery. Then bugged my amazing GP after hours through his gorgeous wife who told me he was on the soccer field to write a note to oxygentogo that would enable me to get on the plane with two spare batteries the next day. Bless your heart Doc!
Finally it’s my day to travel and I’m at the airport counter nice and early. I walked up to the ticket agent to confirm I indeed had wheelchair assistance. Sweetheart at the counter is looking at me weird. I knew exactly why though. I mentally smiled and offered no further information. Finally she couldn’t help herself and she asked me why do you need the chair? “Is it for distances?”. Even though I’ve come to understand that reaction, it’s new every time. I mean I was looking kinda fly and I did sway in to the airport so I get why she was probably thinking I use the wheelchair assistance to get through as fast as the NEXUS/TSA paying folks. I have to admit the fast track through the airport is a great perk to wheelchair assistance though!
When all is said and done however, I would rather not have wheelchair assistance. I actually miss casually strolling through the airport stopping and picking up interesting books and unusual jewelry in airport stores. Walking through airports now leaves me breathless and the weight of the POC and batteries Lawd! It’s a tough job walking and breathing is all I can say.
So funny how I’ve actually felt guilty and even ashamed sometimes for falling sick at the age I’m currently at. Why would my body let me down so? Must be some code of failure programmed deep within me no? I’m still working on not looking so defiant when I’m wheeled and parked by old folks that really seem to have more of a right to wheelchair assistance than I do at the airport. The wheelchair actually doesn’t attract as much attention as the oxygen once I have it on. Conditioning myself not to care either way is a work in progress. Most times I forget but when my mind starts its musings, it gets quite complex up in there. The mind is a powerful place and I am willing mine to channel positive energy always. However, at this point, I’m not totally past all of these weird feelings.
Moving along…I had so much fun in Atlanta! Caught up with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in over 11yrs, slept tons (my 5yr old didn’t go with me), shopped a bit (Ok more than a bit maybe. A friend asked me if I am sure I live in North America), hung out with my big Sister who is like my best friend ever and last, but not the least caught up with a hottie I hadn’t seen in forever. See bobo o (Bloke. Ok… I’m not even sure if anyone still uses that word but I didn’t claim to be so young)! He’s so grown and sexy!
All in all, it was a great trip! You know how everyone says the world is such a horrible place? Not so true I’ve found in my case. Folks are so willing to make my life a bit easier once they actually find that I do indeed have a little bit of a handicap. Sometimes a little too willing but I’m thankful especially when my body which I try to push as hard as I can just tells me no.