Friday–7 April 2017

Catching up…

Pam and I took a long trip starting on March 15th. We first drove to Utah to see the Utah gang. The trip there was uneventful; just a long drive. My glasses (used for reading and computer) broke the day before, so stopped by the local dollar store in Utah to grab some cheap readers.

We stopped in Baker City OR – about halfway there, as we got a late start. Stayed at the usual place, then got on the road the next day around 7:00am. The trip continued to be uneventful until we met the Utah gang at the Cracker Barrel – one of their favorites, and had dinner.

After dinner, we went down to Midvale UT to stay at my sister’s house. Free hotel, and all that. She wasn’t there; she had planned a trip with two daughters to see Nina (mother). Nina is 96, still going strong, and enjoyed their visit.

Saturday was a nice day, sunny and a little bit of a breeze. So we met both daughters and their families (Utah contingent, plus the CA group who where there for a week; thus the trip to see the whole gang) at Liberty Park in SLC. Nice big park, and a nice place for a picnic lunch.

Sunday was the baby blessing (newest granddaughter / CA gang), then a nice afternoon lunch at Stacy’s mother-in-law’s house.

Complications started at Linda’s house Sunday night. We came back from dinner, and went downstairs to get to the basement bedroom. Pam misjudged the last step, and fell on her knee. She thought she was OK, but an hour later couldn’t put pressure on her knee.

So, off to the local Urgent Care place, where they found a small fracture on the plateau of her leg bone, just under the knee. They gave her a knee brace and crutches, and an appointment with a local orthopedist the next day. So, crutches in hand (and under arm) she hobbled back to the car and Linda’s house.

Monday was spent seeing the orthopedist, who said that a cast was not needed, but to stay off her feet and continue to use the knee brace thing. That required a trip to the local medical supply place, where we rented a wheelchair for the month. (We have a wheelchair at home, plus two powered wheelchairs. But we didn’t bring any of them – plus the working one is in the shop. And the other power chair needs new batteries..)

We decided that it would be easier for Pam not to have to negotiate stairs, so checked into a hotel in Layton Monday night. Tuesday, we had a nice dinner with all (local Kneader’s, one of Pam’s favorite places in Utah).

Wednesday was travel day, this time via air to Katy TX, to visit Pam’s sister and mother. The usual travel hassles (but not too bad, since you get an escort and priority TSA screening because of the wheelchair).

Alaska Air (where we had some ‘miles’) routed us from SLC to Seattle then Texas. Deplaning in Seattle was difficult; they are doing some remodel work on the terminals there, and the arriving and departing plan required the old-fashioned stairways to the tarmac then more stairs to the gates. Not a good thing with a wheelchair and crutches. So we had to wait for a portable elevator from the plane to the tarmac, a journey into the depths of the terminal (we saw all of the conveyor belts for luggage), then a repeat trip to the departing plane – which also required stairs; although we had a ramp, and a ‘pusher’ to push the chair up to the plane entrance.

We were unable to get seats together, so Pam was in the back of the plane (aisle seat) and I was in row 14. She had a window-seat person that had a low-capacity bladder, which caused problems since Pam had to get up (with a broken leg) each time that person had to head for the head.

But, we survived, got the luggage, and met up with Pam’s sister, who took us to their very nice house in Katy TX.

(continued…)