Saturday, March 14, 2009

What I've Learned

After i take a trip somewhere i manage to learn new things, either by someone directly teaching me or i find something to ponder and then "Google It" when i return home.

My last trip to Aruba in 2007 proved a learning experience as well. I learned about the Ocean's current at the Equator. Google it for yourselves and see what a fascinating tidbit that is! I also learned other things, but not nearly as important. My Trip to Aruba this passed week was no different.

If anyone really knows me, they know i want to swim with the dolphins. I know of a place near Aruba that offers this excursion. It's in Curacao, the "C" in the "ABC" islands known as Aruba, Bonair, Curacao. I learned that Curacao is not a "safe" island to visit, unlike it's neighbor Aruba. Recently, someone was killed there, i have yet to Google it. I have also learned that someone was attacked by a dolphin there recently. I was taught that dolphins over the age of 5-6 become extremely aggressive, not like their childlike and younger counterparts. Always good information to have when deciding on a dolphin swim, be it there or some where else in the world.

I also learned, that i can no longer fly. My fear of "whatever" is now crippling. My flight out of NJ was, for the most part, bearable. I didn't feel the panic until about 30 minutes prior to boarding. I tried to go it without a pill, but i couldn't, and that's OK. However, the flight home almost didn't happen for me at all. I woke up OK, but at breakfast is when it started. Sheer panic set in. of what? i have no idea, and i had absolutely no control, and no idea how to stop it. I had only 2.5 pills left, and almost 12 hours before landing back home; clearly not enough to get me home. After we returned back to our room to await our bus back to the airport, i was insane. Literally.. My body temp rose so high i was shaking, i couldn't get cold enough. i couldn't eat, i could barely drink water. I was freaking out. Now my instinct to protect myself kicked in. I had Kyle contact the desk for check-out times, travel times to the airport by taxi, and what the latest possible arrival time to check-in at the airport was allowable before we were denied entry to our plane.

I did the math in my head about my meds to try and spread it out over a time frame. Knowing when my worst absolute reaction would be during the flight, but most importantly, i had to get to the airport and on the plane.. fucking terrorists! had it not been for them i would be able to board in a last minute dash.. now i have to be there no later than 2 hours prior. That's the hard part... WAITING. So i took the 1/2 a pill... i had to... i had to calm myself down. It worked. i was able to rest and drink water and take nibbles of my bagel while i waited for the bell hop to retrieve our bags at 11:45am. I took another 1/2 a pill when the bell hop arrived as it takes about 15-20 minutes to kick in.

We skipped the free bus transfer (scheduled for 11:15am) and opted for a taxi that is a direct shot. 15 minutes got us to the airport. Once there, thankfully they had the AC cranking at the check-in area, as there were TONS of people and it was loud and busy and no one was moving.

After Continental check-in you wait in a line "outside" to check-in with customs. God was on my side this day because he brought the clouds that we never saw while we where there all week. It brought the air temp down and cooled the trade winds as well. I took a washcloth from the hotel and used the last of the water i had to soak it to pat myself with to keep me cooler. Though the panic is no longer evident because of the meds, i still felt so hot i wanted to pass out.

We got through customs check #1, went through security check #1, US Customs check and Homeland security check, and headed to the gate area. There is a bar there now! PERFECT! a little bud light with those pills and I'll be OK to at least get through the boarding process which i was fortunate enough to have an understand Continental rep at the gate and explained my problem and was given permission to board absolutely LAST, before they closed the doors. When boarding calls started i took my last 1/2 a pill, this would get me through to 1/2 way through the flight.

Now anyone that deals with Newark airport fully understands that you NEVER EVER land on time. EVVVVVEEEERRRRR. We took off 10 minutes after scheduled take off due to refueling, the pilot confirmed our 16 minute earlier landing than scheduled YAY!.. only to be thwarted the last 20 mintues of scheduled flight time. APPARENTLY, there was a problem at Newark airport that day and one of the runways is closed. OK now, lets just look at that statement from a paranoid person's perspective: Problem, runway, closed, we are in a holding pattern for possibly 15-20 minutes = HOLY SHIT! I don't have enough meds to get me through this. Now i took my last full pill when my TV monitor said we had 2 hours left in flight. I couldn't have scheduled that more perfectly. This little screw up just set me back 6 hours.. mentally. I tried to find something to watch on TV, and did, until they took that from me too. Why? because we were cleared to land! YAY!!
Immediately after clearance they retracted it and sent us into holding pattern #2. Which, comfortingly enough was over Kyle's house! lol now i know why there are always so many damn planes flying over! they are in a holding pattern! lol see i learned something new yet again! The jerk captain told us he would tell us when when were released to land but the jerk never did.. I call him a jerk because #1 he lied, #2 when you see the monitor tell you your altitude and it's much much lower than you should be you freak.. well at least i do because i have an issue apparently, but i managed to keep it together just long enough to realize that we were LANDING. I actually cried when all 3 where on the ground. I didn't cry because i was upset. I cried because i was so exhausted from feeling the way i was for so long that it was now just a short 15 minutes away from ending.

That it did, once the steward opened the door i felt cold (not because of the outside temps either, though very much welcomed), the shakes stopped, the feeling of pure terror ceased. I was home safe and sound and the plane made it, and i didn't have to make them land the plane or anything like that. It was over.

During this entire ordeal, the one person i felt bad for was Kyle. He didn't know how to help me. That has to be the most scariest and annoying thing. When you can't help someone that needs it. It's in his natural make-up to help others, He's been an EMT forEVER, he's also a LEO. He was powerless, as was I because i couldn't tell him how to help me, I don't even know how to help me.

During this last flight i learned that my attacks with flying have become almost uncontrollable. Which going into planning a wedding and a honeymoon is upsetting. Not for me, but for Kyle. I don't want to deprive him of a great honeymoon because i have an overwhelming terror of flying. As i type this my heart is palping and my blood pressure is up just recanting the entire experience. The even more troublesome part of the ordeal is the withdrawal from the medication.

There has to be a Dr. out there that can get me over this. I've tried with my shrink, and as awesome as he is he still cannot help. I don't want to be confined to this God-forsaken country for the rest of my life because i can't take a 4 hour flight to the Caribbean, and i don't want to deprive Kyle of a great honeymoon. He works too hard, and enjoys Aruba too much to tell him he cannot go because his bride-to-be is paranoid to fly for absolutely no reason. It's bad enough we don't go to the city with friends because i can't take trains or buses and crowded and loud places. There has to be something out there to stop this madness!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Everything happens for a reason. 2 parts

But WHAT is that reason?
Today i should be sitting on a white sandy beach in Aruba drinking some sort of alcoholic beverage.
Instead, I'm home, eating shitty Chinese food and tip tapping away on my keyboard.

Why? because God and/or Mother Nature and/or Father Winter decided to play a REALLY CRUEL game.. Make 12 hours of snow look worse on radar and cancel all flights. Yep, my flight was canceled.. next one out is AFTER Kyle's vacation is over. for all that know about LEO jobs.. you can't just "Call out" you have to get time approved. Usually too, the time has already been taken off by someone else.

Anywho, during my tirade after seeing the word "CANCELED" on my computer screen 8 hours prior to my flight's departure, i managed to find the anger my therapist told me years ago to find.. I had pure ANGER and RAGE, but at what? Life? God? Continental? Myself? well, definitely myself.. because NORMALLY i would have booked that flight on a Saturday or Sunday instead of a Monday due to airport chaos, but for some reason i didn't. Maybe it was Kyle's work schedule? He was, after-all, supposed to be working that weekend so i most likely didn't want to suck up his time. It could have just been the way the stars aligned when i made the decision, but I'm going with the former lol. After all, i do have a bad memory.

Regardless, the flight was cancelled, and my BFF Jess tried her damnedest to find an alternate for us as they are supposed to meet us "Tomorrow". I had it all planned out.. i was going to leave a note at the desk for her and her DH to meet us at our palapa where i would have a freshly made alcoholic beverage for them to enjoy and unwind to. But noooo.. that isn't going to happen. Sorry guys.. Love you both!

This is where part 2 starts:

Apparently, there was another plan that brewed that i knew nothing about.. amazing how oblivious i am.

During my tirade i was forced to hit my flying Valium (for the flight, it does not fly itself) because i was so mad i was going to punch my hand through a wall.. Very uncharacteristic of me, and normally when i do get pissed off i just spew bad words for a little bit and I'm done.. This anger never ceased, my explanation is that I'm so OVER-STRESSED at work and in my personal life that i just need to get out of this God-forsaken hell hole called New Jersey, and mingle with happy people in Aruba.. It is after all, the "Happy Island".

I finally passed out on the couch curled up in a ball with the TV on. Kyle, at one point, went to bed and didn't wake me. He let me RIP. I needed it.. thanks my love.

The next day started off bad, but my anger was calmer. Though i was spewing profanities at the Meteorologists on TV and everything else that pissed me off, which was everything and everyone. I was cranky, and i deserved to be.

At one point, i was in the office staring blankly at the airline's website yet again looking for an alternate. I called AMEX to get info on refunds etc., and spoke with my travel agent umpteen times. At one point i just became so exhausted that i shut all my open windows down and said to Kyle as i stood up from the desk "you have now witnessed first-hand, what my luck is like. You thought i was exaggerating when i told you this time and time again. Now do you believe me? I fended off illness for 2 weeks, i battled food poisoning this week, and now a reckoning force has won, preventing my plane from leaving this hell hole" and i started walking out of the office when he asked "where are you going?" i turned to answer him and he was on one knee. I questioned WTF he was doing. He asked "will you be my wife?" i responded in disbelief of what the hell was going on, until he opened his hand and there was the ring. The most beautiful ring i have ever seen. I immediately went from completely and utterly pissed off and hopeless to crying like a 2 year old and accepting his proposal.

I could turn it around and be pissed that his plan was thwarted and i was not proposed to in the place we both love more than any other place on Earth, but i will take it. Reason? Out of all of my tirades and anger and despair, the one thing Kyle knew would move my mood to positive was his proposal. He got the shorter end of the deal. The plan in which he worked so hard for was completely crushed. Though the end result is the same, it really does mean more to me now. He sacrifices so much for me, and he really does show his undying love for me. I truly hope that it never changes. He is the best thing my life has ever been blessed to receive. "I" am the luckiest woman alive, without a doubt.

So to answer your questions:
No date has been set yet.
We don't know when we are going to have kids lol!
We are working on a reschedule of the trip to Aruba.

But there is one thing i promise.. You will be kept in the loop.

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