Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Another week gone by.

But what a week it has been.

Last I wrote, it was the eve before I was to leave for Boston to see Sara. That night I got the call that in the back of my mind I always dread getting. At 3:00 am, the phone rang.

"Hello, this is N."
"N from Boston..."

It was Sara's neighbor/landlord.

"I just took Sara to the hospital. She had severe abdominal pain. Here are some numbers for the hospital."

My heart sank. I felt so helpless as I frantically called the numbers. After some dead ends and being passed along, I finally got a hold of Sara. She couldn't talk for long, but let me know that they thought it was kidney stones.

I called around trying to get on an earlier flight to Boston without any success. I called the hospital again and talked to Sara some more. It was so difficult to hear the pain in her voice and to know that she was going through the ordeal on her own. It was going to get worse. After a few hours, she was released - it was kidney stones and they gave her some pain medication. She called a taxi, but it never came. It was snowing in Boston and it is impossible to get a cab in incliment weather. Our landlords and neighbors were at work and we don't know anyone else with a car. She ended up walking home - about a mile - in her pjamas (at least she had a coat), with kidney stones, and on morphine. I sat by the phone waiting for her to call me and let me know that she made it home. I was relieved when she did.

My next concern was to get to Boston. I had to lecture before I left for the airport. I had already called off class for the next day since I was going to be gone (I gave them an exercise to complete instead of lecture), so I did not feel it was right to cancel class that day too. I am not sure how I got through the lecture since I was tired and my thoughts were elsewhere.

Getting to Boston was not easy. I had to connect through Salt Lake City and my flight from there to Boston was cancelled because of the aforementioned snow. I thought I would have to stay in SLC and leave the following morning. The rerouted me from SLC to Las Vegas and then an overnight flight to Boston. I saw if I could get there sooner by flying to Providence or New York. I couldn't.

The flight to Vegas was late. The flight to Boston was late. But I finally made it.

When we landed in Boston, the world outside the airplane's window looked like something out of a documentary about the South Pole. There was snow everywhere and it was blowing across the runway.

It was so good to see Sara, although I could tell she was weak and not feeling well.

After a follow-up doctor's visit I decided that I needed to stay here longer than I had planned. Instead of flying back on Monday (yesterday), I am staying until next Sunday. One of my fellow professors is covering my lectures for this week and my housemates and one of my former students are looking after the dog. I was able to switch my ticket very easily because I will be flying during the Super Bowl.

I am very happy I stayed. We needed to be together after this traumatic event and I have peace of mind being able to be here as Sara reovers. She is feeling better, although she is still sore. Kidney stones are extremely painful. My sister had one about ten years ago. A woman told me on my flight here that she had them a couple of times and that they were more painful than childbirth. The cause? Probably dehydration. Sara was most likely dehydrated: it was hot in Chile, she got a stomach virus when she was there, and airplanes are notorious for dehydrating you. Having to stay a couple of days in Miami probably did not help.

So go drink a glass of water, it never hurts to be hydrated!

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