Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Soggy in Chicago

Way cool light show through
the O'Hare Airport Tunnel.

Okay, so after a while, I'm going to have to take a break from these Chicago posts. Well, actually, I don't plan on going back unless some things change with the transplant clinic. Oh, I want it known and understood that I absolutely, unequivocally, love and appreciate and love the surgeons who gave me a chance to live free of diabetes and extend my life. They ROCK!

But at the appointment I had on June 10th, a day before I left to come home to Spokane, Washington, I was made to promise cooperation with the requirements set forth by the head surgeon in order to release me to go home. I did.
So on Thursday, July 21st, I traveled out to Chicago, saved money by taking the train from O'Hare to the city, (of which the air conditioning was broken and we were all dying of heat stroke) messed up my connection, and was left at Wall and Randolf St., two miles from the apartment I was staying at. And ... the temperature was 99 with a heat index of 115 degrees.

I was in travel clothes which included my jeans, had a heavy backpack to tow, and once again luggage to pull. I can do this. The exercise will be good after being on a plane. So here I was, roaming the streets of Chicago lugging luggage--again.

After the first mile, I was sweating so bad the water dripping from my face and hair blurred the GPS on my phone. I had to keep stopping to wipe the sweat from my glasses. I came upon a Baskin and Robbins and stopped for a scoop of ice cream and a respite in air-conditioning. I can't make the other mile. What to do now?

My watch displayed 4:50 PM. I called Lenee--the angel a couple of posts back. "It's perfect timing," she announced. I get off work in a few minutes and pick you up and bring you to the apartment. But I can't stay--have to get my daughter to soccer practice."

"That's fine with me. I'll wait on the corner."

Sweaty, armed with a backpack and suitcase, and dressed inclemently in jeans and a long sleeve shirt, I leaned on the corner pole. I'm pathetic.

Lenee arrived and dropped me off. I took a shower and changed into fresh clothes to settle down for the night. The complex had dinner to purchase from area restaurants that came on Tuesday and Thursday. I got pot roast and veges and called John to let him know all was well.

Again I appreciated a free place to stay, but this time was really tough. The apartment brought back scenes of lonely days and nights, the couch a reminder of how many days post surgery I laid on it weak and sick, and the memory of paramedics collecting me onto a stretcher when I had semi-passed out from a 104.5 fever. No worries--only a few days to stay here. I didn't fall asleep until 3:00 AM.

Friday morning, I got up early and had to catch the bus at 8:20 AM. I was exhausted but had to go get blood work for the afternoon appointment. I took the train back so I could stop at Starbucks and get an ice coffee--a large ice coffee. The train conductor announced there was a dangerous storm moving in with hail and dangerous lightening.

We arrived at the Clinton St. Station and I made my way down the gray, dirty steps to the street. I saw the storm getting close but figured I had time to get coffee and walk the four blocks to the apartment. Not. I waited on a short line and by the time I was handed my Venti, Iced Latte, 2% Milk, SF Vanilla, the storm had arrived.

A few buildings shielded me for a while but then the fierce rain pounded my unprotected self. I watched people's umbrellas fly away and did my best to run for the building. Once inside, the extreme air conditioning froze my clothing creating a pocket of cold air between my shirt and me. "I would have made it if I hadn't stopped for Starbucks," I joked out loud to the people standing in the lobby. No one looked at me or smiled. Such fuddy duds.

When I got up to the apartment, I laid my clothes on chairs to dry and took another shower. I had a few hours before leaving for my 1:15 PM appointment.

Next post: Oh why, Oh why, did I fly to the city, oh why, oh why, did I go?

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