Vignettes: Fourth Sympathetic Block, Adjournment, Ballet, and a Blizzard

To an outsider, these trips to New York City may seem light-hearted, “glamorous,” maybe even fun, especially when sped up, when people walk backward, along when there is a catchy song playing in the background.

However, the truth is that I dread every trip. They are horribly painful, stressful, and expensive. I try to distract myself. I find happy little moments and share them with you.

This trip was possibly the most stressful yet. I am involved in several legal “situations” and I am not supposed to reveal any specifics. But, the purpose of this trip was the possibility of a deposition. Yes, I said “the possibility.” The way it works is that I am given a letter many months in advance of a date and a time, stating if there is a proceeding it would happen at then. But no one really knows if it will be adjourned until just prior. Location: somewhere (anywhere) in New York County.

Awesome.

So that I didn’t buy a plane ticket, plan accommodations, etc., for some nebulous thing that may or may not happen, I gave the trip a dual purpose and also scheduled my next nerve block.

The block, because I have the best group of doctors possible, went off without a hitch. It still hurt and was definitely unpleasant. But they have adjusted the placement of my IV line, “learned [my] anatomy,” and use the smallest possible big needle. Including recovery time, from IV in to IV out, the whole thing lasted just under an hour and a half.

I called my lawyer daily leading up to the impending date. As my luck would have it, a blizzard was going to hit on the same date as the deposition. Lovely. I was picturing humping with my cane and boot through the blizzard to some undisclosed location in New York County.

The deposition was scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday. At noon on Monday, my lawyer and I received word that it had been adjourned. For non-blizzard related reasons. Wonderful.

I had a full melt down, on the street, on the phone with my lawyer. This is too much. It is all far too stressful for me to handle. Just when I think I’m on the verge of getting a grip on my life, a blizzard (shit storm) comes my way. I tried not to think about the money wasted staying in the city for an additional 3 days, waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen. But, Jesus. So much money. Money that I don’t have. Money borrowed from my parents.

I called a friend and cried as I talked to her, walking (clopping) through Central Park. I slowly calmed down. Several little moments over the past few days dropped all of the clues I needed to realize it was time for me to find my way to a ballet class. It was a very basic class. Like both hands on the barre basic. In centre, “dancing” mostly consisted of  standing and wobbling while moving my arms and head. But, it happened. And, that ballet class diffused all of the day’s stress and sorrow.

Oh, yeah, that’s right. I’m a dancer, dancing is my outlet, my focus, my love. My determination to drive my CRPS into remission is even stronger now.

I woke up Tuesday morning, and wouldn’t you know it? Yup, there’s the blizzard. Super.

My original flight had been canceled, but the airline rebooked me onto a flight leaving Tuesday night. It was still scheduled and “on time” as of Tuesday morning.

I packed up, got myself ready, and I stepped out into the wind, sleet, and snow, bound for the airport. The E train was a block and a half from where I stayed. Let me tell you, that was the longest, most treacherous block and a half of my life.  My cane saved me a couple of times.

The airport was packed, but all of the people were camping out (literally, laying down, sleeping) by the kiosks. I assume they were waiting for available flights. I’ve never seen anything like it. I, however, being a ticketed passenger on an “on time” flight, hobbled past the campers and through the security checkpoint. I was almost 8 hours early for my flight, and I was the only traveler on the terminal side of security.

The food court was surprisingly open. I bought lunch and some snacks. I made my way to the gate area. Most of the shops were closed and gated, but some of the kiosks were open. There were plenty of airport and airline workers. I felt sorry for them.

Let me stop here for a second to tell you about the JetBlue pods. A very long time ago, I heard about sleeping pods in the JetBlue terminal at JFK airport. I fly in and out of JFK because the AirTrain makes my trips very easy. As you may remember, I switched to JetBlue last year after the alligator debacle on American Airlines. I’ve been casually looking for the pods to no avail ever since. I’ve joked about never seeing the elusive pods.

Guess what? The pods were two gates away from where my flight was scheduled to leave! I bought a tea from the girl at the adjacent kiosk. She said she thought my flight would be canceled; I said I had faith. I took my tea to my pod and I settled in.

I was really grateful for the pod because I was able to recline and elevate my foot. My foot would have exploded for sure if I had to sit all of those hours.

About five o’clock, I began to see other travelers. It was a very promising sign. Around seven, I saw planes landing. The airport was up and running. I was going to be able to leave. And then it was time to board. And then it was time to taxi.

And then it was time to sit and wait.

The plane had been left out during the storm. The engines were icy and had to run for a while. Then we had to drive over to be de-iced by people who must have one of the worst jobs in the world. A dude (male, or female) has to sit up in a cherry picker and squirt down the entirety of the plane. It sounds kind of fun, until you watch it being done in cold, windy weather. Our dude had to keep squirting and squirting and squirting because the wind was blowing the de-icing liquid away from the wings. I watched the frustration, knowing that shaky capsule was probably very poorly heated and poorly insulated. I felt very sorry for our de-icing dude.

We were an hour late to depart, but we made it. I arrived home after 2:30 am.

And, now, here’s my little video that accompanies my story. The video is a “better” representation of the truth, but the truth is still the truth.

Enjoy.

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