Sabbatical Day 31: Monday The Start of Return

Monday started with me sleeping almost to 8ish. I had no laundry and was again a bit lazy and reached the trains about 10ish. The look and feel of the trains are much different on a workday. By 10sih people are already at work, and those on the trains are mostly wearing masks and using their phones. Nobody hears anything as they all have earbuds in.

I was with Susie soon after chatting with security and the nurses on All Saints Day and 50 minutes passed 10 when visiting hours began. Susie was in the chair, dressed, and sleeping when I got there.

The PT folks, two of them, had worked Susie hard. Susie was very tired. The OT decided it best to move the therapy out to the afternoon.

Lunch came, and Susie thought she already had lunch. The days are merging for Susie, which I have also experienced in hospitals. It is really time to get home.

I decided to see the bookstore The Strand in NYC, so I headed out about 1ish. I walked the three long blocks to the 57th Street Station and popped on to the N train. I was soon at Union Station at Washington Plaza.

I was going to find lunch along the way to the bookstore. I discovered Carl Brenner’s Chocolate Bar within sight of The Strand. The restaurant serves food and chocolate.

I asked the waiter what was good, mac and cheese adding bacon (!) and mushrooms; I ordered it with a cup of hot chocolate. It was to die for.

I then managed to escape without getting any chocolate to go. Susie may not have chocolate with her racing heart.

Next to The Strand is a comic book and game store, Forbidden Planet. They had a full-sized Terminator in the window with gay pride flags. I went in and had a look. It is a friendly shop.

I had backpain out-of-nowhere. It made the trip to The Strand shorter than I planned and made the walk back to the subway and the hospital unpleasant.

The Strand is, like Powell’s in Oregon, a new and used bookstore. Used and new copies of the same book can be found on their shelves. They have four floors of books (the fourth floor–rare books–is still closed), including the basement. It is neater than what I am used to for used book stores. There were many good deals, and it was quite busy for a Monday afternoon.

I drank a whole bottle of water and got to the hospital, and sat for a while. I was better soon. Too many carbohydrates and not enough water and rushing a bit seemed to cause the back issue. It went away almost as fast at it started. I will be more careful.

When I got back to Susie’s room, I had missed her as she was now in OT. But she was back soon, and we chatted for a bit. The PT folks talked to us and ordered a walker to have with us when we returned home. They think Susie is safer with a walker, and we might need it for the airport.

I then called Wayne and Anne Weld-martin. We had an over-the-phone prayer for going home.

Susie’s dinner came and waited until about 7ish to head out. I met Kate at 7:30, and we had dinner at Westville Hell’s Kitchen. We just walked in, and they had a table in the very back. It was a cold but dry October day, so inside seemed a good idea.

Kat had a burger, and I tried the Cobb Salad. Both were good. It being Margarita Monday, I had one of those too, with Kat staying with just water.

We then headed to Columbia Circle, and I said goodbye to Kat and off on the 1 train, empty almost on a workday Monday.

I got a text from Clint from Susie’s family, and he is in NJ, so I will try to hook up with him on Wednesday. Clint is the husband of Susie’s niece, and thus like me, an inlaw, we stick together.

Returning to the apartment, I managed to reconnect to United Airlines and, via various twists of logic, have reanimated my previous reservations. I was given credit for the canceled flights (two of them) and added a flight home to my original plans. Really, it is like reanimating a long-lost travel plan, and it even uses the same designator codes. Thusly, we are now scheduled, again, to return to Portland on Friday, November 5 at 6:45PM EDT on flight UA1760 from Newark (EWR).

I received emails to match and nearly hyperventilated. It showed a round trip, but I soon understood that we had reanimated the previous trip, and the first flight was our original flight here and was already in the past. Just like many Halloween stories, reanimation is not without its scary moments!

This is a bit earlier than I hoped and will require attention to travel times and getting to the airport, but it is the only non-stop that arrives on Friday (there is a red-eye flight). Therefore, I will have to revise the “Escape From New York City” to be home at 10PM PDT and that our transfer from Mount Sinai West needs to be in the early afternoon.

I was about asleep when the phone rang. It was Expedia Travel Services who I asked for a call-back before I managed to do it all by myself. With the disaster that was American Airlines yesterday, they were still trying to connect me with an agent. I had asked for a call back as it was an hour’s wait time. The call was 90 minutes later, and the polite computer voice told me they still did not have an agent for me and asked if I wanted to wait. I let it go as I had managed to get the flights without help.

I hope that you are enjoying the story as we approach the epilogue, I hope, soon for this story. I cannot express our thanks to all the people that have helped us to get this far. NYC is cool and kind, not its usual reputation. Mount Sinai West is an inner-city hospital but works once you get used to it. The rehab department is happy and capable. NYC is an incredible place.


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