Friday, October 09, 2015

Great Escape

Sniffling, sneezing, coughing and wheezing, I boarded a Southwest Airlines 737 bound for the eventual destination of Indianapolis, Indiana. Actually the destination was/is Carmel, Indiana, an upscale residential community north of Indianapolis. The occasion was the celebration of my brother Stan Huseland's 80th birthday which will happen Saturday, October 10.

I call this a great escape, because my poor abused lungs were hacking up crap for two long months and counting, as smoke from area wild fires inundated my home in Bayview, Idaho.

The trip started a little rough, as I tripped coming back from the bathroom late the night before. I found myself propped up against a tray table, but apparently alright. My big toe though, hurt a little, so I turned on the light to inspect same digit. Much to my surprise, not only was the toe and the one next to it bloody, but the big one had lost it's nail entirely and the other partially. How that happened I have no idea, except I apparently caught my toe in the carpet. I slapped an over-sized band aid on it and took an APC, commonly known as Tylenol Three.

Not wishing to cancel my trip, I jumped in my car and headed toward the airport in Spokane, with an intermediate stop to see my newest grandchild, just a couple of weeks old, parented by my son Brian and his lovely wife, Jennifer. Lana, a fifth daughter is of course a beauty, albeit born a little chunky, weighing in at over 9 pounds.

I checked in, presented my baggage and went through security. I discovered a new rule. If you are over 75, they don't make you take your shoes off, which was fortunate, since the left one had a bloody band aid on it and I wore no socks, just moccasins. I tippy toed through the terminal, dodging killer feet that were determined to step on my abused big toe. 

My flight was in two parts. Spokane-Denver and Denver-Indianapolis. Landing in Denver, the touch down was a little rough either meaning we hit a wind shear on short final or the flight attendant made the landing, but we managed to walk away from it safely, which 99% of the times is routine in our airline industry. Still, when I passed the pilot I was moved to suggest they not let the flight attendant make any more landings.

When we deplaned, I noticed that we taxied past the huge concourse that Southwest uses as a hub, to the very end. I inquired what gate I needed to go to for my second flight, I was informed that it was gate A28, which I learned later, was a half mile walk from where I was.

Arriving finally in a pre-collapse condition I explained my recent toe challenge to the very nice lady at the counter, who immediately ordered up a wheel chair ride to the plane. I had pre-boarding  privilege, as a disabled passenger, and was boarded first, a new experience. They also ordered up a wheelchair for the other end.

As my brother and sister-in-law scanned the arriving passengers, they overlooked the old guy being wheeled out of the tunnel until I waved. I told them not to be concerned, as my condition was temporary. The young porter was extremely kind, even remembering to stop off at a rest room. He wheeled me right up to the car in the parking garage and was tipped accordingly.

Lo and behold, all my symptoms are gone. No more hacking up Flem, sneezing or any of the usual stuff I suffer every morning. Fresh smokeless air does wonders. I will spend a few days here until Wednesday, October 14, then repeat my journey back to my home, which I hope will be smoke free when I return.

No comments: