I’m using my daughter, Carrie’s, format for this blog to share with you about my terrible, horrible, very bad trip. It all started with a letter from City Hospital in Saskatoon with an appointment for me at 9 AM on December 17. Why would they schedule an appointment for an out of town patient at 9 AM? I arranged to go up the day before, and spend the night with my daughter, Cindy, and I tucked the letter into my purse.
I am a bit paranoid when it comes to traveling so I went on-line and printed off a map with her address and even a picture of the house. I also wanted to drop some things at a grandson’s home while I was in the city, so his address was added too.
A road trip is no small thing for me since I have to take along all the stuff for changing the dressing on my feeding tube, my syringe, my pills and some ready to eat food. Oh, yes, and my boogie board since I can’t talk. I’ve traveled alone many times and never had problems. Until now!
It was a nice day and the road was fairly good but I was barely on the way when traffic threw a nice layer of dirty snow on my windshield. My windshield washer tank was empty. Bummer! The trip was uneventful and as soon as I got into Sk’toon I filled up with gas for the return trip. That was a plus with the gas price cheaper than in Moose Jaw. I didn’t think of washing my windshield or filling the washer tank. I headed out with directions in mind, turn left on Taylor and right on Grovsner AVE.
There’s a school on Taylor and there were cars, buses, hundreds of students on foot, and my windshield was blurry. I soon discovered that the street signs are often on one side, on one corner and the opposite side on the next corner, and with all the traffic I couldn’t slow down to read them when I did get them in view. I wasn’t going in the right direction, so I found a corner, waited for a break in the traffic, made a U-turn and inched back through the congestion around the school.
Eventually, after passing a couple Grovsner CRESCENT signs I got on the AVENUE and even the right block. That’s when I discovered I had left the maps and addresses at home. I drove up and down a couple blocks, made a U-turn, repeated, but didn’t recognize their house. I finally decided to ring a doorbell and get help (using my boogie board). The man was willing to help, but didn’t know my daughter and she isn’t in the phone book. Sometimes I hate cell phones! When I mentioned that any Alliance Church would know her, he sent me across the street to another house because they were Alliance people.
That lady there was very helpful too. Except she had just had eye surgery and had a hard time reading my boogie board. She phoned her husband at work and he knew where I was going and would be home soon to help me.
We spent an awkward few minutes together with our limited communication. When the husband came home, he rode with me ONE block to where I was going and then walked home. My plan was to pick up my granddaughter and take her with me to my grandson’s house. He lived on Preston, only a couple blocks away, same street numbers.
We got to Preston and I turned the wrong way again and was on a divided street with lots of school traffic. As soon as I could, I made a U-turn and got headed the right way. Trying to read the numbers on houses was even worse then reading street signs but a couple U-turns later we found their house. The one redeeming clue- their house was pink. We found it.
After a nice, but fairly short visit there, we returned to Grovsner. Did I mention that my daughter and her husband were in Regina so we missed each other but the grandkids looked after me.
My youngest granddaughter gave up her bed for me. It was interesting being in a pre-teen room. I woke up in the middle of the night to discover my watch had stopped. I’m a bit paranoid about time too (I have four clocks in my one-bedroom suite, plus time on my microwave, stove. computer and TV). It took me long time to find a clock in that room. Finally, a big red spider man helmet with red numbers showed me it was 3 AM.
The next morning I was off by 8 AM to be at City Hospital by 9. I’ve been to the hospital many times so I knew where I was going. Did I mention that I HATE cities that are built on rivers with bridges? I was within a block of the hospital when I suddenly found myself on a bridge headed back across the river. I ended up on the college campus, made another U-turn (illegal, I’m sure), back across the bridge and within minutes I was in the hospital parking lot. One circle through it and I knew it was full. I had to turn in my ticket, leave that lot and go into overflow.
The doctor I saw was new to me but what a great man. He met me in the hall, knew who I was, and wanted to see my boogie board. He knew how much it cost and where to buy one. He even stopped a couple of the staff to look at it. After a nurse did all my preliminary tests, she asked if I was worried: my BP was high. I told her it was the traffic!
This new doctor is in the process of expanding the MS/ALS clinic so I also had a session with the new speech and swallowing doctor too. That was an unexpected plus. I was headed home by 10:30 AM and the road was good.
At home I discovered I had missed a parcel delivery. Because some parcels have gone missing from our building. we’ve been told to check the box for a signature at delivery. I did that but I wasn’t home to sign for it so they took it away. Twice! I went on-line to locate the pick up site. Guess where I’m going tomorrow. REGINA! The address is in my purse! Family names, addresses and phone #’s are going into my glove box and fluid in my windshield washer.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” Or at least calm ‘him’ down after all the illegal U-turns. I’m just afraid my kids will never let me travel alone again. But then, their trips aren’t always perfect either.