Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Journey to SD (Long Post)

Yesterday was hard.  Goodbyes are hard.  My parents, best friend from college Mandi, HH and I got up and left at 7:30 to head to the condo to wrestle the cats.  Ok, HH was going to wrestle the cats.  I wasn't allowed in the condo because I make the job for HH much more stressful worried if they are breathing too fast, too stressed, you get the picture.  I was seriously in tears the last time he did this.  My friend Mandi helped him, and that transition went very smooth.

My dad had asked if we could say our goodbyes at the terminal drop-off, because he would prefer to lose it in his car than inside the airport.  I agreed.  It was HARD saying goodbye to my parents, but especially hard to say bye to my dad.  Don't get me wrong, I have a great mom, but since I went to college I have had an awesome relationship with my dad.  The bond there is different, and deeper by a huge effort on his part to be very involved in my adult life.

We check in, and pay $125 PER CAT (yes, I knew this before the flight) for the privilege to carry them on the plane.  They counted as our carry-on luggage too!  Mandi comes in to spend about forty-five minutes with us before it was time to head through security.  We put the cats (in their carriers) up on the belt to be x-rayed along with the rest of our things.  We are notified by security that the cats MUST come out of their carriers, and the bags scanned.  I ask if the can just go through the x-ray machine....NO.  I am freaking out at this point, because my cats do not like confined spaces.  We had allotted an hour to get them in their carriers earlier this morning, and this was with them being in a confined space of a small bathroom in the condo. 

HH tells me to go on through, and he will deal with it.  He requests the small private screening room.  For the next twenty minutes he chases the cats around the room to get them back into the carriers.  The TSA people said they had never seen such wild cats.  They did offer him a jacket to throw over Lilly to try to catch her (she is the toughest...biting HH last time).  All of this is being done on a deadline, knowing we have a flight in an hour.  He emerges my hero, with both cats in the bag, and no bite marks.  Again folks, this man loves me.

The cat that I thought would be the most trouble on the plane, Lilly, was perfectly silent.  Sprinkles on the other hand meowed the entire time.  Sedatives?  No.  I can't get them to take any pills.  We were doing this naturally.  Fortunately, on the first flight, we were towards the back of the plane, and seated by a family of four pet lovers.  The little boy loved our cats, and told us all about how he wanted one.  The noise of the plane also drowned out much of Sprinkles constant meowing. 

In Minneapolis, we joined HH's mom to fly into our final destination.  I joked with her that she may not want to sit by us to avoid association with the cats!  They were actually very quiet during our layover.  We get on the next flight, and the man in front of us asks HH, "They will settle down once the flight starts, right?"  To which HH responds, "I'm sorry Sir, but no."  The man beside him was much more gracious, and said he had kids, and it just sounded like a baby with colic.  We were both very apologetic to the passengers around us.  Sprinkle did not disappoint, he meowed the whole way. 

I told HH I know it was a lot of trouble, but I am really glad that we brought them with us.

Here is a picture from the airport when we landed in Pierre:

Here is a picture of sandbags in front of our hotel from all the flooding:

We stayed downtown, close to the river.  In our hotel room, I could tell that the waters had gotten in by the smell and the slight dampness of the carpet.

We had dinner and went to Wal-Mart.  I forget how expensive it is to set up a household.  We haven't even got groceries yet!  I'm sure there are many things that we forgot, but we have a good bit to get us started.

I am in LOVE with Skype.  HH set it up on my parent's computer before we left, and did a trial call with them.  I got to SEE my parents last night.  It's not the same as being there, but it is better than a normal phone call, email, or text.  Having that, along with the ability to buy whatever I want or need through the internet will make living out here easier.

Surgery Update:  My stamina is really improving each day.  I am still very tired at the end of the day, but I don't feel the need to "have" to take a nap during the day now.  I can stand upright, but I still take great caution in bending, stretching to reach something, and not picking up anything heavier than my purse.  I am only taking a muscle relaxer before bed each night.  I can get in and out of my compression suit by myself.  There is that one wound that HH has to dress, but it is small.  I just can't reach it or see it to do it on my own. 

The most important thing is that my swelling is going down considerably.  At my highest, I was 165 after surgery (talk about being hard mentally when you know they took 5-10 pounds of skin off, but I knew swelling was a part of the game), and when I weighed at my parents the other day I was 148.  I can most feel the reduction of swelling in my thighs.  I joked with HH that when they measured me for my compression garment, they only measured my hips and waist.  They forgot I had not had any work on my thighs yet, and they are much bigger.  For the first two weeks, my garment would ride up on my thighs, and proceed to cut off my circulation.  It was more than just aggravating, it was painful.  HH and my mom would pull them down constantly, and a wave of relief would come over as I could feel blood flow return to that area.  Now, with the swelling going down substantially, it is uncomfortable, but not to the point where I feel like I have no circulation. 

Today's Game Plan:
We are leaving at 7:30 in the morning to drive in and make sure we are there before the movers.  Put the cats in the cellar so we can be set up to move in.  Unpack as much stuff as possible.  I will also be going over to the school to have the movers put my work boxes (over 100 easy) into my classroom.  I was so glad that my classroom was ready to do this.  I hated the thought of having the labor here, and not being able to use it for that.  Also, I didn't have a clue where we would put all the boxes in the meantime!  I won't be unpackng anything at work until I am fully settled in with our house. 

A Gift to Myself:

Bose Quiet Comfort 15 Noise Cancelling Headphones

I like peace and quiet.  I think this has grown over the years of teaching that I really enjoy quiet in the evenings.  I actually got in the habit in college of watching TV with closed captioning on, and oftentimes still prefer to watch it that way.  I frequently ask HH to turn down the TV.  I decided that this is a gift that will help us both enjoy some of our evening time.


ChiTown Girl said...

Ok, you know I'm not overly fond of cats (ALL cats, not just yours!) but the whole airport story made me a little sad. Those poor things! That's some serious trauma. And, good Lord, Ben should be put up for sainthood!!! He is just heaven sent!

Glad to hear you're feeling better. PLEASE don't hurt yourself unpacking and setting up your new household. It'll get done. Don't stress it. YOU and your health are far more important!

I'm going to have to Skype you now. I have it on my computer AND on my iPod. :)

Good luck with settling in, and again, don't over do it!

Bandita Senorita said...

What pretty blue skies there!

I'm glad you made it safely...even with a bit of incident with the kitties...but all of you getting there in one piece is what's most important at the end of the day. Still, that was very sweet of your husband to handle the wrangling of the cats. He seems like a really great guy.

Be careful unpacking everything. Don't overexert yourself!