Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Land, HO!! & Oh, NO!

Friday June 6th: What a morning it was. We woke early and had breakfast in our room. We were to leave the room at 8 to be in the theater for disembarkation by 8:15. We got to the theater at 8:10. First I left to go to the ladies room. When I returned, Gerry went to the men’s room. When he returned he told me that our names were being called on the loud speaker. You can’t hear it in the theater (you are supposed to sit and wait for your color/number to be called). We gathered our things and went into the hall where I asked a ship’s staff about our names being called. She said that our tour guide was paging us for a long time. When we got to the bus, all the other passengers applauded our entrance. It seems that they were all in the theater by 8 and were called right away. Later on several other of the passengers told me that I was right…we didn’t have to be there until 8:15 but they were called early. We sat toward the back of the bus, each taking two seats across the aisle from one another so Gerry could be comfortable. The bus driver and tour guide were so nice. They told us what we were seeing as well as a little history of the area but it wasn’t boring at all. The bus ride to Anchorage was 2 ½ hours long. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking.
Gerry didn’t fare so well though. He kept falling asleep – he was so wiped out. Behind us was a driver in training. He talked to us about the area, the wildlife and more. Everywhere you looked there were snow-covered mountains. We even saw some bison, mountain goats and some eagles. There was a lake that seemed to go on forever. We passed Mt. Alieska where we were told the skiing was fabulous.

When we got to Anchorage Airport we had to walk to the other end of the terminal for our bags, to bring them to check in. After that walk Gerry was so tired we had to get him a wheelchair. The tour guide had someone bring all the bags back. We checked in and then got through security quickly. The flight was an hour long and uneventful. We arrived in Fairbanks to get on another bus. Our hotel, Sophie Station, was only 10 minutes away but they took us to the Alaska Museum at the University of Fairbanks. I asked the driver if we could stay in the bus as Gerry couldn’t possible walk the museum or even go through in the wheelchair. The driver was so nice. He would have had to leave us in the bus with the motor and A/C off, so instead he offered to take us to the hotel. Our tour guide Andrea came along, calling ahead to make sure our room was ready.

When we were settled in the hotel Gerry went to sleep and I did laundry and made calls to family. After the laundry was done, Gerry woke and wanted to walk to the Safeway food store, about 4 blocks away. The weather in Fairbanks was beautiful, not too cold, probably in the mid to upper 60’s. We walked there and back and then I made supper. He had one piece of chicken fingers (that he bought for himself…I don’t eat them) and wasn’t hungry for the roasted chicken that I bought. He went to bed and I set up the computer…yea!

That night Gerry got sick. He was vomiting profusely every hour!!! By 6 AM I knew we wouldn’t be continuing the tour. At 7 I called to inform the tour guide. The hotel desk staff told me that the ER was really good. At 9 AM the hotel van took us to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital ER. They were wonderful. We were taken right away (the place was empty). It’s a fairly new facility too. Gerry’s BP was excellent, and his hemoglobin was 8.9 – better than we would have thought. The dr was nice (and cute, too). They did blood and urinalysis, put him on fluids right away with antibiotic and anti-nausea meds. Gerry dozed on and off most of the time. I got on the phone right away with the travel insurance company. They were good too, except for some minor issues we had at first. Gerry and I had first class tickets, gotten by using frequent flyer miles. L, the Travel Insurance rep, said that we could not fly back FC because they can’t put a value on mileage points. I told her that we had to fly back FC because Gerry wasn’t well and that is why I booked FC in the first place. L explained that if the DR. felt it was a medical necessity, then there would be no problem. But…I would have to go in coach (because I was not ill). I told her that I needed to be with him to assist him….no good! So…I told her that since Gerry was sick he would need a medical transport and a medical person to accompany him home…and they could pay for THAT!!! Again, she said…if the DR said it’s medically necessary for ME to be with him, that would cover it. When I spoke to the doctor he thought it WAS medically necessary and so when the papers came through on the fax, he filled them out accordingly. He even spoke to the medical rep from the travel insurance company on the phone, to make sure that our trip home would be as comfortable as possible for Gerry. Even our nurse spoke to the TI company when they requested her.

In mid afternoon Gerry started vomiting again. It was SO foul. We found out why a short time later. Gerry had not moved his bowels in a few days…he was impacted. They gave him an enema….and after the inevitable…he was empty and felt SO much better! They gave him more anti nausea medicine and a stomach relaxant. The dr wanted to do a CT scan to see if there was a blockage, but we told him that even if there were, there would be no operation so what was the point? We just wanted to get Gerry home to Florida.

That night the travel insurance company worked with me to get the best possible flights for Sunday.


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