So some of you have been asking, how the trip over was. In short, it was nightmarish. Since we got to SF though I’ve been able to parse bits of the trip and remember the good bits and the horrible bits.
The morning we left, just before Sharon ferried us to the airport, Pat was asking if we should cancel because I was feeling nauseous. This in spite of Doc Landers ordering me off the Xeloda, last Wednesday on the way to our wonderful PaperHeads getaway. That was so great to spend time with funny, witty, interesting and stimulating people who made me feel very special, and helped me through a really bad pain experience. We, jointly decided that it was time to break out the Durogesic patches (morphine) and seriously start with pain management.
Paulette, Lee, Sioux, Carol, Fiona, Nicky thanks for holding my hand, translating the googled package insert and actually getting the packet open and patch placed. Mostly thank you for making me laugh through it all, and drawing on your resources ( thanks Wayne), to establish that Tramper would not fight with Durogesic. Six of the best minds in SA at my disposal. That was an honour. Without that experience, i might have canceled this trip.
At OR Tambo my brother, Andy and his lovely family came to sit with us till we caught the London flight. Luckily I had a Checkers packet folded up in my bag, because nausea became active. Paulette had been working on Virgin Atlantic to try and get our economy seats upgraded, but it didn’t come off. We paid for extra leg space. The VA folk seemed to be reluctant to let me on board if I was too sick. Understandably, I suppose. The fact that we shared the flight with a school tour wasn’t enchanting, screaming, excited 15 year old girls was a bit hard to take.
Somehow we got to Heathrow. I spent a lot of time in the loo, with what I’ve worked out is ‘second day of patch’ -diarrhoea. Needless to say I was pretty washed out!
I’m a bit puzzled as to why the Harrow customs authorities insisted on us unpacking all our in transit meds and toiletries from the clear plastic zip bags we had and packing them into flimsy polythene bags instead. We didn’t quibble but sacrificed a tube of toothpaste to the customs gods.
Pat booked me a cubby bedroom, in one of the lounges, like a closet with loo, shower and bunk bed, tv, in the space of the average wardrobe. It was heaven to sleep till it was time to fly again- five and a half hours. Pat’s cell fritzed so she spent most of the time trying to sort that out.
The folks that assist one’s passage were a delight throughout, just blasting through queues, clarifying our confusion, getting us where we needed to be. Fantastic. We wouldn’t have managed without them.
The flight to SF is a blur of naps and bathroom visits. Luckily we were seated in the ‘blockhead’ where the kids in bassinets are usually, so we were close enough to have no drama or painful waits. They seemed to feed us something every hour. I managed the overran and two glasses of water and was a teary pain on the bum. Pat was a hero and must have been totally knackered.
Jose helped us of the plane with friendly speed and efficiency at SFO. There was no way I could have walked at that point. Seeing my bud, Karen with the wheelchair was the happiest moment I’ve had in years. I was close to a weeping fit with relief. She and Paris got us through the hectic traffic to our condo with such grace. And somehow we had groceries and dinner makings. I have no clue how that happened!
Our first day here was great. We stayed on the Castro Valley side of the Bay, and visited Berkeley for lunch and a walk on the pier. It was only on the way back from the end of the pier that I needed the wheelchair.
Yesterday, While Paris went of to do film festival stuff, Karen drove us around SF city on what she called the ‘nickel tour’. Seven and a half hours of SF traffic during Pride Week? Priceless. She had all the stories of living here years ago. We even saw her apartment, one down from where Janis Joplin lived in the Noe Valley! That’s where we stopped for a Peruvian lunch, having driven from the Embarcadero and along the Pride parade route.
Brought us to the end of the three bridges tour -Bay Area bridge, Golden Gate and one other, the name escapes me.
We’d planned to visit Fisherman’s Wharf via the BART today. Karen had to do film festival stuff so we were on our own. Pat and Cathy talked me into taking a rest day. I ended up sleeping from 12 to 5pm. Pat thought I’d gone into a coma!
I’ll have more energy for tomorrow though. We’re off to the screening of Paris and Karen’s movie, Last Call at Mauds, followed by a visit to the pub that used to be Maud’s. Sounds like fun!