2018 July :: Life and Times of Leish

Archive for July 2018

Pink Scars…still raw

Warning…long post.  I write to work through what is in my head/heart.  This week has been a point that a healing scar (pink scar) was bumped, and I realized that it was still a little fresh.  Everyone has lost someone in their life…sometimes the loss impacts us more than other times.  Whether it be through death, divorce, broken friendships, or relationships that didn’t work out or where trust was broken.

Healing.  Sometimes is quick, the wound scabs over, then the scab peels off and you have new fresh skin.  Sometimes it’s weeks, you may have to have a cast and do therapy for a broken bone, it can take weeks.  Other times it can be months, if you had open heart surgery with an open chest healing process.  Scars are left…until they turn white and show complete healing, they can be tender and cause pain.

This past week marked one year and six month anniversary of January 25, 2017.  The more important date was four days earlier, the twenty-first…the day my family lost my Aunt Claudette.  

Have we experienced losses before?  Of course, every family deals with loss.  When I was in fourth grade I lost my Aunt Barb in an auto accident, this changed my family of four to a family of seven for several months when we took my cousins in during the beginning of their healing process.  Then when I was in college, in 1999, I lost my Uncle Alden in an auto accident. The situation was stressful because it took three days to get confirmation of the accident and to find the car, and verify the body.  My family seldom talks of this, or of him still to this day.  I then moved in with my aunt to help with my cousin through that summer following graduation in 2000.  I had other losses, grand parents that were expected.  Then 2012 came, we lost my dad’s best friend Pat (and my go to starter repair guy, who instilled in me the comfort of the smell of grease from my days spent in his shop growing up) to a heart attack.  A month later we lost both my maternal (Bill) and paternal (Sam) grandfathers within a day of one another (9/26, 9/27).  One expected, one a total surprise.

So, yes, I knew loss.  I’ve dealt with loss.  Faced it and moved forward…then January 21, 2017, happened.  I should have known the signs of sepsis.  Should have made the decision to call the EMS crew when I first arrived to my aunts house.  I had been told for the two weeks prior as the port was placed and chemo started that “day ten” would be the worst day.  I asked about signs/symptoms to look for, to expect…but was never given definite answers.  The nurse in me was not provided with the what if scenarios.  No select all that apply options, or case study results.

That day I not only lost my aunt, I lost a patient that I assisted in working the code on.  Normally I work a patient, package them and send them on…this time I followed the ambulance to the hospital after assisting EMS in getting her stabilized.  It happens, I know this in my head…but my heart scar is still raw.

While at work this week my heart scar was bumped when two of my four patients were cancer patients and the third one that slid into the bay between them was septic…to the point of coma, brought in my EMS.  You think you have the scar healed, the emotions neatly packaged and closed away…until you are faced with a scenario that brings it all back.  I know in my head that He has a plan, and the there is stuff beyond our comprehension (through the glass darkly),  but it still doesn’t make the mortal man (feelings) easier.

I know I’m healing, but I realized there is still some pinkness in this scar. The bump on the scar let me know healing is a process to be embraced and to keep going one step in front of another.  Things may could have been done differently that day, but it is what it is.

As with that scar, there are other scars from other relationships that have altered and changed over the years…I will continue putting Neosporin on them through loving self and living to the best of my ability.  Until they turn white and have complete healing…they will define my life and who I am today.

Love those around you, let them know it.  Send the flowers, take time to text, smile.  Heal.

Until later…ERM. 

Day 6 Scotland – Travel Day: Vacation 2018

Woke up at 3:00 am then 6:00 am, decided to get up at 6:15 to shower and pack, though I’m not off to the airport till 10:30.  Housekeeping took my coveted ‘facecloths’ away when they cleaned but did not replace them…therefore I capped my stay off with using the hand towel for a washcloth. Oy vey!  

My niece was not to happy that I was up, but she has a bus to catch at 8:00. 🤷🏼‍♀️. It’s crazy how things work out, I randomly picked a motel when booking my trip, it ended up being a block from the bus station that Peyt was going to leave from to get to the airport in Edinburgh.  She was going to have to hire a car and load all her stuff, and leave the college early to make it across town in time.  We instead had a friend bring her stuff over on Sunday and we walked over this morning.  Made it so much easier on her, and she was able to catch an earlier bus to give more leeway in time frames.  

I walked back to the motel and went to breakfast.  I saw the epitome of Scottish children picking out muffins.  Two red headed, freckled, pale skinned children were choosing between chocolate and blueberry muffins (in their awesome accent) and also taking one for “mum”.  It was a great way to cap off my stay.

Went to the airport at 10:00.  Security was very easy to maneuver, the only people who have to take their shoes off are those wearing boots, unlike STL where you have to remove shoes even if they are flip flops.   It was an easy transition.  When I left Canada last year it took 45 minutes to get through, they asked 500 questions and searched everything.  These lovely Scott’s asked how my stay was, where I was headed, and let me walk on through.  Much easier.  I did lose my travel moose, here mouse is to be included in the baggie of liquids.  The worker was attempting to make them fit and I told him to just toss them.  It was like .97 at Walmart and I’m headed home. 😂

My driver on the way to the airport was nice, he slowed his talking down so I could understand him.  He realizes that their accent is very thick and it’s hard for us to know what is being said.  For fun he talked  like he would with a friend…I knew he was going for food. <foodie at heart regardless of dialect>.  He was not excited about the English, and suggested I come back when I can spend two weeks visiting because there is so much to see.  He was not a fan of me going to Edinburgh…Glasgow apparently has a sore spot in that though they are a bigger city, Edinburgh is the capitol of Scotland.  I didn’t tell him that it happens that way in the states too.  He was happy that I came, and when asked if my niece felt that Glasgow people were nice I of course said “yes”, he laughed and said “we are, and I’m not just saying that”.

The Glasgow airport has free WiFi, unlike STL (where I stayed for four hours the other day while they were trying to get me on a flight that would actually leave the ground).  Flight to JFK was on time, and I had 1 hour and 45 minutes till my next flight.  Went through customers, then caught a train, to be deposited at a point where I then walked across a field for about 100 yards to terminal #2.  It amazes me on how different airports are.  I got my flight to Atlanta — it was on time and my gate didn’t change!!

Atlanta…I was dropped off and boarded my plane in the same terminal!!  No running, no almost missed flights.  The gate only changed once (while I was there).  I was talking to a guy, who it was his second flight ever, he said it had changed terminals once and gates three times by the time we boarded…he was a little stressed. 😂. Atlanta lived up to its reputation, and Delta couldn’t let me have a normal flight home…we were delayed 20 minutes past our departure time. 😭

FINALLY, I arrived in St Louis, collected my car, and arrived at My house by 2258 STL time, 0458 Scotland time, one hour shy of 24 hours of travel.  Bleh. 😴😴

I was happy again that I only had my backpack and didn’t have to wait for suitcases.  

Made it home, said hello to the cats, and went to bed.  After applying some essential oils good for circulation to my legs…my cankles and cankles.   

It was a great trip…now for my next adventure…until then…

ERM 

Scotland Day 5 – Edinburgh: Vacation 2018

I woke up early, around 5:30/6:00.  Grabbed breakfast and got ready for my day.  It was so hot last night in my room, they do not have air and the window doesn’t have a screen and only opens about two inches for “ventilation”.  Missing my fan!! 😂

We walked down to the Queen Street station and caught the train to Edinburgh.    The train lady told us the train would “terminate” at the Edinburgh stop, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try to jump off prior or take my chances of surviving the “termination”. 😂

When we arrived in Edinburgh we got tickets for the “City Tour Hop-on-Off” bus and got on.  This bus gives a guided tour, with humor interspersed, about the city.  Very worth the money, you get to see the city and explore without walking it all, and from an advantage of above traffic (double decker bus).  I also did this with the kids in Washington DC, if the city you are visiting offers this I recommend it.

After stopping at St John’s Church, we got off at the stop for the castle.  We purchased our tickets from the bus driver so we could fast track and not have to stand in line forever — a very good decision once we reached the ticket line.  We made a pit stop on the way up the hill to the castle to buy sweatshirts.  Brrr!!  The weather so far has been 75-80, sunshine — what the natives were calling ‘hot’.  Today was low 60’s and rainy with cloud coverage.  I was cold in my spring clothes with short sleeves.  The store owner rang them up, and with his accent it sounded like he said “70 pounds”, he reiterated the price of “34 pounds” and I laughed because and said “take it off” to Peyton who had kept her shirt on after trying it on.  The store owner laughed and apologized, and restated the “34”.  Some of the accents (especially in Glasgow) are very hard to understand…but at least it’s a form of English. 

We explored Edinburgh Castle, the castle used in the movie Braveheart.  It has been changed to a Army Barracks, so a lot of it is off limits.  They did have a small portion redecorated to depict what it was during the era of Mary Queen of Scots.  It was interesting, we got to see the Crown Jewels and the ‘birthing room’ of King James.  

We finished out the tour of the city and started looking for food.  Peyton walked me up a hill to a restaurant and then states “This is where we got coffee”.  I personally was wanting more than coffee, I hadn’t eaten since 6:30, and it was currently 3:00.  So we looked around and I picked a Mediterranean restaurant.  When we were seated and started looking around, it was part of a scene from the Avengers new movie. 

We roamed around a little bit and made it back to the train station at 4:45, fifteen minutes into ‘rush hour’, so to save $ or from paying another 11 pounds per ticket, we will hang out until 6:30 to head home.

Then it’s time to pack and prepare for our flights home tomorrow.  

ERM

Scotland Day 4: Vacation 2018

After eleven hours of sleep, yes eleven, I woke feeling like I could enjoy the day.  I knew I was hitting a brick wall last night, but I didn’t realize how fatigued I was.  My feet have blisters, my legs have had muscle cramps and soreness, but my mind is rested. Carpe diem!! 

Last night after the graduation ceremony there was a family member of one of the college students that had a asthma attack, that resulted in the loss of life.  He had medical history, but when the family gathered to celebrate this milestone non of us even thought this would be the ending of the day.  Instead of gathering together to recap the day and the laughs, the students were faced with how fragile life can be.  It’s a reminder to us all to not take moments for granted, to embrace the time we have with loved ones.  Live, love, laugh…to the fullest!! (Prayers for this family)

Started my morning with the hotel breakfast again, I added the pork-n-beans to my plate (one small scoop) and they add some protein I guess. LOL!  Also ate a banana to hopefully assist in my leg cramps/soreness.  

Had to request washcloths from the front desk, they do not stock them in the rooms.  I had used the hand towel previously, thinking they had just forgotten them…but when I realized they just don’t leave them, and there is a sign saying “if you forgot your face cloths”, I put a request in to have some brought up.

Went to church at New Life (Harvest Bible College).  Great services, both of which iterated to preserver through tribulations and to hold onto our anchor.

After service we moved Peyton out of the dorms in preparation to her flying home Tuesday, then we headed out to explore.

We ate dinner at the Butterfly and Pig.  A hole in the wall place that can be easily missed if you don’t know where it is.  I found it on Yelp, it did not disappoint.  

We grabbed the subway out to west end to look at Glasgow University.  The architecture of these building is mind blowing.  I reminded me of Hunchback of Notre Dam era or Beauty and The Beast castle.    Then we happened upon the e Berrie Big Band concert in the park.  They were playing big band jazz…very neat to catch a show and listen to some good music.

A nice and relaxing day.  Tomorrow we’re heading to Edinburgh, then HOME. 

The story will continue…

ERM

Scotland Day 3: Vacation 2018

Hello avid readers (LOL), welcome to day three!  After getting a good six hours of sleep — which is good for this night shift worker in a foreign country without a fan for noise…who am I kidding, that’s good for me anywhere anymore.  I greeted my day.  It’s THE DAY, the reason I’m here, to be at my niece’s graduation…but I’m going to explore a little too.

The motel I’m staying at has breakfast available to guests, what a spread.  The only food that was questionable to me was pork-n-beans, sat proudly beside the eggs.  I like pork-n-beans, and I eat them at BBQ’s and fish fries…but breakfast?  I was excited to see ketchup and HP condiments sat proudly out to be used on my eggs.  I fueled myself and headed out to explore.

After talking to the desk clerk, and getting some ideas of what to see…I headed out to go to the Glasgow Necropolis (graveyard).  

Along my rout I came across a parade, or what is known as the The Orange Walk.  It’s a ‘demonstration’ of William Orange and killing Catholics.  The gentleman I was questioning about the parade said “it’s the opposite of your St Patrick’s Day, where they celebrate the killing of Protestants”.  He also said there was a lot more drinking and fighting on Orange Walk celebrations than St Patrick’s Day.  I enjoyed the band (I thought I was videoing one of the walks, but failed to have my phone on video). 🤦🏼‍♀️

I was able to explore the Necropolis and the Glasgow Cathedral prior to going to meet up with Peyton (she had texted with news that due to the Orange Walk Street’s would be closed and it may take longer to make it across town).

Graduation!!!  The service started at 1:00 pm, the house was packed.  It was warm.  They don’t have air, neither do they have fans to push the air around.  We had the superintendent of Great Britain and Ireland, Bro Francis, here who was the speaker to the graduates. 

After graduation we went down to the city center and looked around.  Walked Buchanan St, and ate dinner at Nando’s (a chicken joint).  My week caught up to me and I started crashing, it was time for rest.

Until the adventure continues….

ERM

Scotland Day 2.2: Vacation 2018

I have arrived!!!  I called a Glasgow to Hire car, I was told by the powers that be (Peyton) that it was cheaper than getting a taxi.  My driver didn’t pull up where the operator told me he would, so I have some random guy walking down the sidewalk screaming “Taxi for Eleisha March”.  LOL!!!  We finally got it figured out and I was on my way to the motel.  I arrived to the motel at 5:15 and just relaxed for a bit. By ‘a bit’ I mean like ten minutes. <hehe>

Then I scrubbed the scum off, twenty-four hours of traveling in airplanes can make one feel scuzzy, and grabbed another Car for Hire (this driver has been doing this for 10 months, he retired from the NHS, medical field, to help assist with his grandson that has autism.  It provides him to be available at a moments notice), and headed to meet my niece Peyton.  My diver also told me they are having ‘unseasonible’ temps right now…it’s 65-75 degrees.  They of course don’t have air conditioners in the cars or my motel….I’ll deal with the no humidity 60-70’sas best I can. LOL!

She was waiting on the sidewalk…a sight for sore eyes.  She moved to Scotland in August to attend Harvest Bible College, I have talked to her a few times but haven’t seen her since then.  I gave the ‘hug from grandpa’ then one of mine own.

Tonight was the HBC (Harvest Bible College), end of year concert ‘Lifted’.  They all did a good job…but, they had us sitting in the dark.  My head became heavy and I started nodding off. <LOL>. I ended up spending most of the concert in the hallway area where the lights where on, so I could keep my eyes open and alert. 

Afterwards Pey took me to a restaurant near by they all eat at; I had homemade Mince & Pea curry “like we eat at home” (as the owner stated).  

Tonight capped off a crazy long travel day, but the reward of seeing my niece made it worth it. 

The adventures will continue tomorrow, but for now I need some sleep.

ERM

Scotland Day 2.1 (“Is there a Doctor?”): Vacation 2018

So much happened with my flights alone, I’m dividing day two into two post. 😳 (2.1 and 2.2).

Well, with all the changes with my flights I ended up on a Dutch airline, KLM, everything was in a foreign language, including instructions — luckily I knew the basics of flying. <hehe>

They served food.  Which was good, since I was starving.  With delays, sitting on the plane, and running to catch my last flight across the pond I was slightly hungry.  The only other thing I had all day was a Starbucks panini, though it was good it had worn off by midnight.  I got dinner and breakfast, they were both fresh and tasty.

So you know when you’re watching a movie, and they are on a trans Atlantic flight, then the all page “is there a physician on board” is overhead and someone stands up and saves the day.  Well…at about 2:00 am Atlantic time the all page went out, some guy stood up so it was all good.  But it was taking forever…they had someone on the floor in the back.  Soooo…I went back to see if they needed help.  The guy that stood up was actually a ex-paramedic who was taking a blood pressure.  The patient had “sudden onset nausea, dizziness, and couldn’t remember how she got to the back of the plane”.  They denied medical issues, yet said they “had a water pill they took when their blood pressure got to high”. 🤦🏼‍♀️. We were a little limited (no EKG, no lab), so when the patient says “I’m feeling better” we had to take it at face value.  At least we didn’t have to make an emergency landing somewhere, and our person was breathing when we walked away.  For “compensation” they gave me a 100 euro voucher for a plane ticket, it was either that or 50 euro at the duty free store…but I have no extra space in my bag duty free or not. LOL.  I’m hoping I can buy a ticket under a different name and my niece or one of her classmates can use it.  The gentleman said they like showing their appreciation for people coming forward to assist…I almost told him to just give me a toothbrush and we would call it even — it’s been a long 24 hours. 

After seven of the longest hours of my life, we finally landed in Amsterdam.  I think my buttocks are numb for life. It was 7:00 am Atlanta time (my watch won’t change).  This airport is HUGE.  Luckily it’s all one piece and I wasn’t hoping on trains trying to find my connecting flight…and I didn’t have to run this time either.  Which was good…it’s about the size of Mall of America (or bigger) with every store imaginable there for people to shop in.

I was sadly mistaken that I would get a stamp in Amsterdam…apparently if you make it to their airport you’re good to go.  I was close to leaving and coming back…just to get one. 

After waiting 1.5 hours, I finally boarded the plane that would take me to Glasgow and my niece.

To be continued…

ERM

Vacation 2018: Scotland

Oh, where do I even begin…just getting started on this journey was a journey in itself.  I thought living in St Louis would make it an easier travel transition, Thinking that in retrospect makes me chuckle as I write this.  

My initial booked flight was as follows: STL – Detroit – JFK – Glasgow.  When I arrived my hour and a-half prior to departure for security purposes things were looking good though a little confusing.  My Delta app said I would be leaving from gate A2 yet the departure board said A3; luckily they were close together so I made camp to wait…and wait I did.  We were to leave at 4:48 pm, at 5:00 I was on the phone with delta making arrangements to change my flight because of mechanical difficulties that would make me miss my JFK connection.  

Second flight was scheduled as STL – ATL – London – Glasgow.  I went over, got my seat assignment and boarded the flight because it was to leave at 5:50 pm.  We boarded and sat on the plane.  My delta app kept telling me we were delayed, finally the nice captain came over the speaker and also said we were delayed.  They let us off the plane telling us, “the last flight tonight only has 80 seats left, there are 90 of you…decide if you want to stay in STL or ATL”.  EGHAD!! 

They let us off the plane at 6:50 to go and try to get a seat on the last flight.  I stopped at a different gate and told them this was my second cancellation and I was to be in Glasgow the next day, at this point  I was on the verge of resulting to tears to get something accomplished.  If you know me at all you know I’m a planner and a tad bit organized…I was beginning to stress a little, I have places to be and people to see.

My third, yes third, itinerary for this trip was STL – ATL – Amsterdam – Glasgow.  I was issued a third set of boarding passes and told they were doing the final call for my flight…luckily it was only one gate over.  I squeezed into my seat and took a deep breath.  When this flight actually started to taxi down the runway and took off, I was beyond elated.

I won’t be arriving when I initially planned, but I will be arriving.  And bonus of all this craziness I will get TWO stamps in my passport (to make up for my failed stamping last year in Canada), and I may get to see some of Amsterdam because I have a bit of a delay there.  Another bonus is that I pack in a backpack and didn’t check baggage…I’m afraid with all the changes in my itinerary my luggage may have gotten lost. 

I finally arrived in Atlanta, with 20 minutes to get from terminal B to terminal F.  They were calling my name on the overhead speaker as “last boarding call” as I was jogging down the terminal.  I arrived, slightly out of breath, but I made it.  Boarded my plane for Amsterdam and started my journey across the pond…final destination Scotland.

My journey is just beginning…finally.  Luckily unlike my normal trips I have no plans or specific places I need to be at certain times, except Harvest Bible College at 1:00 on Saturday for the graduation of my niece, Peyton.

Follow if you wish on this journey of mine…exploring my world!!

ERM