I left Guam in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday the 21st and hopped on a seven and a half hour flight to Honolulu. During that flight I watched several consecutive hours of House AND CSI all while sitting next to a large man who smelled as if he had bathed in a mixture of his own vomit, tequila, and possibly several of those bottles of cologne from Abercrombie. Now, you might not think this so bad, we've all been there, right? Ummmmm, speak for yourself. The combination of all the medication I'm taking plus the fact that I had forgotten to specify gluten free meals for the flight meant this girl was just. on. the. verge. of upchucking on Tequila Guy. Turbulence plus pharmaceutical cocktail plus empty stomach just isn't the party it used to be, folks.
I managed not to spew. WHEW! I had a three hour layover in Hawaii and made a BEE LINE for the Starbucks. The guy behind the counter kept giving me really strange looks because, well, I'm not sure he had ever seen a giddy female pirate before. I understand the whole eye patch thing is a lot more catchy if I scowl, but you know, just not much of a scowler. As I savored every last delicious drop of my overpriced coffee, I became somewhat of an attraction for passing children. I guess smiles and a coffee buzz make for an approachable pirate. And NO, I did not ARGH! at any of them.
After that I have only three words for you: Pulled Pork Nachos.
The flight from Honolulu to San Francisco lasted about five and a half hours and this time I sat next to ANOTHER guy who reeked of his own stew of debauchery and body odors. Maybe the meds make my sense of smell more powerful. Which, by the way, it IS a scientific fact that women DO have a better sense of smell than men. If I were a super hero my emblem could be a giant Schnoz and I could solve crimes related to which Subway employee didn't wash their hands after using the bathroom. On second thought...maybe not. All I'm saying is: GUYS! Cleanse thyselves! Especially before you know you're going to be crammed like sardines in between a bunch of strangers. Once again though, I did not puke. There were some close moments though.
The last flight from San Francisco was only an hour and I had a whole row to myself, which, it turns out, is not as comfortable as it sounds. For the first time in about 17 hours I did sleep for a few minutes. I grabbed my bag and hopped a shuttle to the rental car dealership where I quickly realized I was in NO condition to be driving. I don't know, maybe it was something to do with the combination of sleep deprivation, medicine and the lack of a use able eye, but I was all: DUDE! WHOA! Did you just see that monkey fly past us? No? Whaaaaaa?!?! So I grabbed a cup of coffee and waited for my Mom to come in on the shuttle and take over the driving duties. Really, I prefer to be driven anyway.
Before I go onto to more mildly exciting details, let me just say: I LOVE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! I always have, I always will. OK, now that I got that out there to the faceless masses I can stop randomly hugging strangers. I think it's starting to scare them.
So after I scooped up mi Madre, although, I guess technically she scooped me up, (WHICH WAS AWESOME BY THE WAY! MY MOMMY! ALL TO MYSELF! YAY!) we went to the Naval Hospital and waited for a very. long. time. to be seen. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I am super thankful that they were able to work an already packed patient load around so that I could be seen. It's just that we looked rather pathetic slumped into each other asleep in the waiting room while all the octogenarians practically ran circles around us. Have I mentioned before that retinal problems are usually the affliction of the aged? No? Well, they are. Consequently, I am almost always the youngest person in the waiting room. So, it kind of goes without saying that I am well versed on all the latest issues of AARP and Birds and Blooms magazines.
When it was my turn to be seen it went kind of like it always does. One doctor had a look and then he was all: Hmmmmmmmm. Which inevitably led to all the other doctors wanting to have a look, which then turned to more hmmmmmm'ing and tilting of my head and bright lights shining into the back of my eye. That was fun!
The retinal specialist was the last to have a look. He confirmed what we already knew (that this is a reactivation of an old infection) and said that basically I have "satellite" infections or scars by the old ones and that the cataract isn't surprising considering the amount of inflammation I've had in my eye in combination with the amount of steroids I've had to take. Geez, you know, I sure do wish I had some muscles to show for all this steroid use, instead all I have is a moody disposition and increased munchies. Speaking of munchies, guess what kind of prescription I've threatened to get while I'm here in CA? I'm unna do, I'm not kidding. Ok, so maybe I am.
After everyone had a look, we discussed some possible treatment options. The retinal doctor added a couple more medications to my already impressive stash and said we needed to give it all a few months to work on the inflammation, because as I already know, that is a slow healing process. He told me that yes, surgery is an option later if the debris in the back of my eye doesn't clear up. A surgery to remove the cataract is also an option, but that would be a separate procedure since they are both pretty serious operations. We talked about our family's desire to have more children and the likelihood of that situation bringing on more infections. He told me that we could seek prophylactic treatment preemptively. And even though I know what the word prophylactic means, I couldn't help but giggle to myself as I pictured my eye with a giant condom dangling from it while I waddled around pregnant. People would be all: WHAT THE?!?! And I'd say: Just providing my eye some "protection" people, nothing to see here. He felt confident that, under normal circumstances, I could be treated in Guam with the standard course of meds in the event I have another reactivation. I guess at this point I'm OK with that as LONG as there WILL be a doctor there who can treat me.
So now he wants me to give the medication a few days to take effect (providing nothing new happens) and see me again on Monday. Which means: LORI AND JILL EAT, I MEAN TAKE SAN DIEGO! We will have three beautiful days to spend together, just my mom and myself (which hasn't happened in I can't even tell you how long). I miss my husband and my kids terribly, that separation, that very far separation is by far the most difficult part of this whole journey. But...this glass IS half full, as a matter of fact, this glass runneth over. And I am happy. Nothing can steal my joy. Because it isn't dependent upon my circumstances; it comes from a deep well within my soul. One that never runs dry. And that's all I got to say about that.
Thank you everyone for all the kindness and love and support over the last few days. I have the greatest friends and family, and I am thankful for ALL of you.