22 July 2009

Hospital Smells and More Traveling

I think it is my sentence in life to be a periodic globe trotter. And I love it.

I'm back from Hawaii, and when I say "back", I don't mean at home in Juneau. I am currently sprawled out on Kip's bed...in his parents' house in Seattle. Call me lovesick, but I prefer sleeping in his room to sleeping in the guest room--all the pictures and sports trophies and historical regalia and the slightly ridiculous amount of rosaries from every corner of the globe that are tucked in every nook and cranny make me feel closer to him while we're apart for three out of four weeks before our wedding. Now it's down to 16 days, and I get to see him in nine. At the moment, I am in Seattle but tomorrow night I'm leaving for New Hampshire to help my mom with the final planning for the wedding.

If I were a character in Harry Potter, my hand on the Weasley's clock would be perpetually stuck at "Traveling".

When I arrived on Kauai a week ago, Mrs. Cheshire picked me up and we went straight from the airport to the hospital (with the convertible top down, of course...it is Hawaii after all and we are not ones to ignore that fact just because of a stint in the hospital). As we walked down the sterile hallway I was hit with the realization that the smells of salt from the Pacific Ocean and ripening pineapples hanging outside weren't strong enough to permeate the hospital's whitewashed walls and I was left with nothing but The Hospital Smell. You know that smell--the one that is a curious mix of iodine, processed food, and bodily fluids. The one that is present in every hospital in the world, from Chicago to Cochabamba, or at least all the ones I've been in. The one that makes me simultaneously nauseous and reminiscent.
Or maybe I'm nauseous because I'm reminiscent. I sat in a room with that smell one November years ago, crocheting like mad to finish the blanket I'd promised my Grampa for Christmas but which I had to finish soon because he was the one lying in the bed and we all knew Christmas would be too late. But then again maybe The Hospital Smell shouldn't make me nauseous. After all, that smell was also present in the operating room where my new niece Alli was delivered by C-section almost a month ago. I had crocheted around that time, too, but this time it was a delicate yellow blanket for the beginning of a long, happy life, not the end.

So it's a tied game for me and the hospital smell. Or at least it was last week as I trudged down the scrubbed white floor in my flip flops, crochetless this time, and with that darn smell hovering again. We walked to the room at the end of the hall, and Mrs. Cheshire opened the door with a soft "Aloha!" Mr. Cheshire looked down from the Discovery Channel show he was watching about battleships, "Well hey! How was the flight?" I gave him a hug and put down my carry-on. Only two days before, he'd been in the ICU with a prognosis of ten days there and five more in the regular ward. Now, he was already in the regular ward and staring down his release, which came the next day along with firm instructions to take it very, very easy and to see a cardiologist back home in Seattle.

Hospital Smell: 1
Cindy: 2
I like the way this game is turning out!

After a few days of medically-mandated relaxation and one more trip back to the emergency room to check on a blood clot, the Cheshires and I are back on the Mainland and I'm not even bothering to unpack before the next leg of travel. Sorry for anyone who likes to see my Friday Photo Shoot-Outs of Alaska, this week it'll be the Globetrotter Edition, with photos from Hawaii, Seattle, Boston, and New Hampshire. Oh well, bon voyage!


GingerV said...

16 days! can't wait to see the photos. I love weddings, all the hope, the look to the future, laughter, love....commitment - the best time in your life.

Cindy said...

I can't wait either, and our photographer is incredible, so there will be photos indeed!!!