Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fooken Ayslund

Maybe you should rethink that vacation my doctor said.

Maybe you should rethink that vacation physical therapists 1-4 said.

No! I said.

I mean, just because I'd been having shooting pain down my leg for months, was no reason not to go on vacation.

Because my squeeze the Cheez and I really need a vacation. A nice, romantic, just-the-two-of-us-and-the-millions-of-strangers-in-a-crowded-metropolis good time, the kind we haven't had in ages.

It'd been hard enough to find nine glorious days when my work schedule and his work schedule lined up. Hard enough to get past the panicky arguments in the travel section of Powells over where we should go. Hard enough not to drop dead at the cost of booking airline tickets, let alone the B&B, with the dollar sucking as it does on the world market.

Now that we'd done all that, nothing was going to keep me from going. Not searing pain. Not doctor plus physical therapist admonition.

When are you leaving? the doctor asked Wednesday morning, eying me in that M.D. means real doctor way they have.

The day after tomorrow I said, eying her in that Macaronimaniac means real maniac way I have.

She scribbled something doctorishly illegible on a piece of paper, and told me I was about to meet Pearl. Magical Pearl.

Pearl is so magical, not only could she read what the doctor wrote--but, upon reading it, she could get my deadbeat health insurance to approve a same-day MRI, and then magically schedule self-same MRI for within one hundred and twenty minutes of the time I stood before her.

Which is how it came to pass that by the end of that very day, the neurosurgeon had joined the chorus urging me not to go on vacation.

Something about a ruptured disc and a long flight and really who would want to go on vacation with Cheez when instead she could be having back surgery?

But surely, back surgery wasn't going out of style. I mean, I could go on a wouldn't-it-be-loverly vacation, THEN come back to back surgery. Or so I figured, when I went to bed Wednesday night.

Only to wake up Thursday morning to hear the nice man on the NPR saying something about a volcano in Iceland grounding all air traffic to Heathrow.

Granted, all the pain killers I'm on are making me kind of groggy, but volcano in Iceland?

People, it's got ICE right in the title. How much hot lava can there be, way up there?

Enough, we now know, to screw me, the Cheez, and millions of others out of the pleasure of defying medical authority.

Well, maybe not everyone affected was flying, or trying to fly, against doctor's orders. But still, it made me wonder when Pele the Volcano Goddess joined HealthNet's list of Preferred Providers.

Icelandic volcano. What are the chances? I wondered to my college roommate Little Orphan Annie, who'd spent eight hours the previous night flying halfway to Copenhagen and back again, thanks to Mount Nbdycnfrkinprounsit.

Slim she answered matter of factly, sucking down what was clearly not her first martini of the day.

Slim enough that when I told a co-worker, he responded Don't you mean, Greece's economy has failed, causing riots across Europe and that's why you can't go, because that at least is somewhat plausible.

Of course, Greece's economy--and the rest of Europe's--is screwed in no small because of the gross fiscal negligence of a certain other pseudo-European nation that shall go unnamed. Unnamed because none of us can pronounce any of its proper, or for that matter its improper, nouns.

It's been a hundred and eight-nine years since the damn thing last erupted Cheez noted you'd think that would give them enough time to send out a press release.

By Friday morning, we had both cell phones and an assortment of laptops fired up, trying to figure out if there was any chance of us going anywhere. Would all those hours spent poring over travel guides and boning up on Brit history by watching Anne of a Thousand Days and Mary Queen of Scots be for naught?

Well, at least the latter gave us enough appreciation for hard-drinking, hot-blooded Scotsmen to appreciate this guy in a Hooter's hoodie.

So that's what we're reduced to. Quoting a guy in a Hooter's hoodie. Which is what we do every day when we check the NATS update to see if there's any chance our rescheduled flight (for later this week) will actually take off.

I suppose it could be worse. The volcano could have trapped us once we were abroad. Like a certain someone who's probably done pining for the fjords after the flight ban left him to take a taxi home from Norway.

And I suppose it could still happen. The volcano could calm down enough for us to get to England, then kick up again, keeping us from leaving.

Note to our cat sitter: we just laid in 140 pounds of litter. Have a great time while we're gone!

Or all that Icelandic ash could just keep pluming its way across Europe like an Abba cover band. In which case, it's back to back surgery after all.


Anonymous said...

I had sciatic nerve problems years ago and never tire of telling people that it was WAY more painful than anything else I'd experienced, comparable perhaps only to having to listen to women describe childbirth. Walking down the hall -- I HAD to pee! -- I passed out from it, for crying out loud (I saw my hand fly up and I wondered, Who does that belong to?). Anyway, sorry to hear it.

-- rosenak

Macaroni said...

I agree that hearing women go on and on about childbirth can be a bit dull, but it's not really PAINFUL.

Oh, you meant what they were describing. Not having to hear them describe it.

The thing about childbirth is, usually at least it starts, way back when, with a fun part. Sciatic nerve pain just started from sitting in a cheap desk chair all day.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, you meant what they were describing."

No, I was going for the joke. Ambiguously phrased. My bad.

At work. Can't write complete sentences for personal matters.