Oh, That

Well, so much for that.

The morning of my flight I hurt enough to not want to get on the plane, much less wander aimlessly through the countryside of Ireland. Instead I went to Urgent Care, which redirected me to the Emergency Room. Despite a surprisingly good ER experience at Duke Regional, they still have no idea what’s wrong with me, although they’ve now ruled out a kidney stone. I wonder if I exacerbated things with a long weekend of kayaking? Needless to say, I missed my flight to Ireland.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to come around from that disappointment. That and the last couple of weeks have also included a number of doctor visits and tests, as well as a lot of time spent on the phone working to accelerate that process. The next time someone justifies their position against nationalized health care because in those countries it takes forever to get an appointment, I’m going to laugh at them. The first GI appointment was scheduled for Sept. 20! I managed to move that up by more than three months by escalating through Duke’s patient advocacy system and by aggressively calling every day and asking if there had been any cancellations. The exams to come I’ve also managed to move up using the same technique. I’m currently over six months ahead of where I would be if I had just accepted the default scheduling. I also split the endoscopy and colonoscopy up to two different appointments; more inconvenient but over two months sooner. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks those tests will answer something.

Before I leave for a tour, I shut much of my life down, suspending my phone and Netflix accounts, slimming down my Facebook feed, suspending email lists, etc. I also hadn’t paid attention to any events or activities for the month of June because I wasn’t going to be here. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been overly optimistically hoping we could come to some sort of medical resolution that would let me still get to Ireland, but I have to accept that it’s not going to happen and move on. My friend Tracy dragged me out to go cycling, which forced me to unpack, and prompted me to start the rest of my life moving again.

That said, all of my gear is still packed; I’m not putting it all away (although I remembered to unpack the bagels; that could have gone poorly). There’s still some hope, however slight, that I can reschedule for August/early Sept., but I won’t commit to that until someone can figure out why my side hurts.

On the bright side, the two root canals have resolved the issues with my teeth. I should be able to recover the cost of the plane ticket from the travel insurance included on my credit card (although more than offset by ongoing medical expenses). Tanner has completely recovered from his surgery, and he’s doing better that both Marnie and I can recollect, eating everything we put in front of him for the first time in years. I made a friend of someone who asked me about touring in Ireland, so at least I can tour vicariously through her, and Sam is still in South America.

Not the direction I’d planned, but moving forward.

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