So, here I am, flying home! Late this evening, I will be sleeping in my own bed! The next day I’ll be picking up the cats. To paraphrase Robert Browning, “God is finally in his heaven and all is right with the world!”
I decided that, since I had visited another country, I had acquired the patina of a world traveler. World travelers go to the bathroom when they need to go to the bathroom. They don’t wait for the plane to land first. That being the case, when I needed to go to the bathroom about the time we were flying over Iceland, I casually got out of my seat and turned to head down the aisle to the bathroom. Somehow, while the body turned, the left knee didn’t, and I twisted my knee.
I hopped down the aisle, went to the bathroom and hopped back to my seat, asking the stewardess to bring me an ice pack for my knee. It wasn’t bad as long as I was sitting down, but I couldn’t put any weight on that leg, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through two airports. I talked with the stewardess and she said that the airports would be notified that I needed a wheelchair, and everything would be taken care of. I have to say that it ended up being a great thing!
Because I needed a wheelchair, the airports also provided me with a pusher! It was so much fun! I didn’t have to pay attention to anything, I could just gab with my pusher and hold my carry-on luggage in my lap. I made it through customs and made it to the plane from Newark to Denver in plenty of time – only to discover that there was a glitch in the scheduling, and we had a two-hour delay. This meant that I missed the flight from Denver to Great Bend. When we made it to Denver another pusher got me to the right counter where we made arrangements to fly into Great Bend the next day. I was asked if I wanted a paramedic to look at my knee. I thought that might be a good idea so one came right over. He looked at my knee cap and wasn’t sure what had happened, but he decided that everything was where it should be and recommended ice packs and aspirin.
This wasn’t bad but, since the airline was putting us up in motels, that meant I lost my pusher and wheelchair at the door of the airport. I waited with quite a crowd of people outside the airport for a bus to come along to take us to the motel. When the bus came, the people around me realized that I was going to need help getting into and out of the bus. It took four people – two pushing and two pulling – to get me into the bus. I could hop in the bus, hanging on to the seats on each side of the aisle. Getting out wasn’t so bad. It was a matter of falling forward and hoping that someone would catch me!
The front desk clerk and another traveler helped me hop down the hall to my room and the clerk brought me an ice pack. I ended up crawling on two hands and one knee because the left one wouldn’t bend. It was an odd night. I took three Advil and an extra strength Tylenol and the next morning was much better. I was still unable to put weight on my left leg so I still needed a wheelchair. I hopped up the steps into the plane to take me to Great Bend where I was met with my last wheelchair. We loaded up all my luggage from the plane and the pusher got me to my car where we unloaded everything
I stopped at the local ER to get some crutches, and then to the vet to get the cats. We all got home about 5:30 that evening. We took a vote and decided that we would never go through this again! The knee was better the next day and I was able to get out and about. I took the crutches back to the hospital within the week.
I still don’t know why I ended up taking this trip. I don’t know if I was brave, stupid, or incredibly arrogant (I suspect it was the last)! I do know that I was tremendously humbled by the time I got home. I never talked about getting the “world traveler polish” again. I’ve decided that I’m just not created to be polished and I’m fine with that now.