Monday, July 2, 2012
Sleepless in San Francisco
Very little sleep for me last night. I went to bed and fell asleep fairly quickly, but I woke up about 2 in a panic and never really went back to sleep after that. Why the panic? Was there a problem with Maggie? No. Did the nurse take ill? No. Were there burglars, raccoons, skunks or other invaders? no no and no. I was imagining everything that could go wrong when Steve and I go out of town later this month. I knew the worry would hit sooner or later and I'm glad it took so long to arrive, but it's here now.
Travel has been out of the picture for us for some time. Taking Maggie with us is unthinkable and leaving her behind is a logistical nightmare. We took a couple of trips when Maggie was little and we could carry her with ease and change her diaper without causing a public spectacle. Now she's bigger and has the trach and requires constant care. Taking our show on the road is not manageable, enjoyable or the least bit relaxing for any of us. Leaving Maggie behind requires an incredible amount of planning and scheduling of nurses, visitors etc so that Maggie is not completely bored while we are gone. It is expensive because we have to pay for the extra nursing shift out of pocket in addition to whatever travel expenses there are. It is easier to stay home and that's what we do.
But every once in a while, you just have to make plans and go. In the 18.5 years of Maggie's life, we have gone away for a single night together twice. Last year we threw caution to the wind and went for two nights for our 25th anniversary. We were just up the coast and could drive home in 3 hours if necessary - and it almost was. One of the nurses was hospitalized and I spent about 4 hours of our 48 hour getaway frantically calling every nurse on the list to get a replacement. I managed to pull it off, but only because one of the nurses took pity on us.
This year we are going for it. We are actually boarding a plane and heading to New York City and then to Philadelphia to attend a wedding. Steve and I have not been on an airplane alone together since 1989. That is 23 years ago - before the existence of Homeland Security or the TSA. You could bound onto the plane with shoes intact. I think it's time we tried this. We will be gone four nights and five days. I am really looking forward to it and I am scared out of my wits at the same time.
I have spent the last month or so working on this. I asked for and received approval for the cost of the additional nursing hours, so the cost is just the travel. I have been working on scheduling nurses with the admonition that they cannot cancel or get sick. The first layer of coverage is in place and now I have to work on a safety net - or an "on call" layer in case a nurse gets sick or injured. I have to lay in supplies and medications and make sure Maggie gets out a little bit while we are gone. Tim will be here, and he will be a huge help keeping Maggie happy, but we will NOT be able to turn around and come home if something happens.
Nothing will happen. Nothing will happen, Nothing will happen. Nothing will happen.
I don't think sleep is in the cards for July.