Ann was saying yesterday when we were in the Atlanta airport – after an already long day of travel: “No one ever talks about how sucky the trip home is!”
So I will. It’ sucks. It’s long. It’s not really painful. But it’s – well, long. Really long.
I got up at 5:30 a.m. in Madrid yesterday. That’s a 9 hour time change from here in Oregon. We left for the Madrid airport at 7:30 a.m. from downtown Old Madrid. Got checked in with Delta. Got through security. Got a little breakfast. Shopped in Duty Free for about 15 minutes. Then we got on our plane at 10:10 a.m. It departed about 11:00 am. We arrived in Atlanta at about 2pm Eastern Standard Time – that’s a 6 hour time change from Madrid – so, that would have been about 8pm. We had to board our plane from Atlanta to Portland at 6:30 pm – so that gave us enough time to try and find some food, go potty, walk some, and sip lots of Starbucks Iced Green Tea (with extra ice!).
Here’s the thing about traveling as – for me, anyway – an 11 day post-op, is the fact that when you have weight loss surgery you burn lots of fat. And estrogen, my friends, is stored in fat cells. So, you’ve got all of this free radical estrogen at play – and the eternal day of travel about mid-way through the experience becomes the eternal day from hell!
Some of us get weepy. (I was – I missed my kids – BAD! And I was on the way home for heaven’s sake!) Some of us get cranky. (I had my moments.) Some of us get depressed. Some of us get goofy. Some of us get mad. We are amazing individual beautiful creatures, aren’t we? My goodness, God is an amazing Creator!
What makes it even more frustrating is the fact that it’s hard to get calories in when you’re a baby post-op and traveling. So you gotta go prepared. I took baby bells (they’re great little semi-soft cheeses wrapped in wax – they travel well). I took some very tender tea cookies – they’re bland and they go down well with hot tea, which is easy to get on a plane. I took cup a soups – again, hot water a breeze to get on the plane.
When we were in Atlanta we went to Chili’s restaurant hoping to find a post-op friendly meal. Didn’t happen. We tried to find soup. Um, not so much happening, either – much of anywhere. I did find a soup at one of the deli’s – it was truly awful. Things got prettier when I got my Venti Iced Green Tea, no classic, with extra ice at Starbucks. I started sipping, and then I realized, my fluid intake had been dismal thus far for the day. Duh! I was seriously dehydrated. Then I got to thinking better – and a little more creatively.
I am still on fuller liquids, but that’s nearly impossible when you’re traveling, so you gotta maybe bump it up to soft foods until you get home. We found a great little restaurant in the food court called Paschal’s – it’s apparently a well known restaurant in Atlanta – and bless their hearts for having a place in the airport! I settled on some chopped steak with lots of gravy and green beans. I nearly wept with joy over the green beans – they were so good! The chopped steak, in tiny bites and chewed carefully with lots of gravy was perfect. As soon as I got some protein in me things got amazingly better!
The last leg home is always the longest, for some strange reason. We had a delay out of Atlanta by about an hour, so that put us into Portland later than expected. But you know what? I didn’t care by then – I was just glad to be home!
It’s a long trip. Is it worth it? You have moments in the midst of it when you wonder why the heck you chose to go halfway around the world for surgery – then you remember Dr. Baltasar… Yeah, no brainer – totally worth it!