The End…at last!

The day we came home from Florida was pretty uneventful. We got up, had breakfast, finished doing laundry and packing, and tidied up a bit. My mother and stepfather were scheduled to come down 3 days after we left, so I washed the sheets and then remade the beds (I bet they would have liked to have known that *before*!). Our flight was scheduled for 4:30pm, so being an hour away from the airport, we left around 1pm. On the way out of town, we stopped at the post office to mail Megan’s postcards – yes, we’re those people who mail postcards on the very last day, knowing full well that we will beat them home. At least we mailed them from Florida!

All morning long, my right shoulder continued to bother me. Driving to the airport wasn’t too bad, but by the time we got there, turned in the rental car, and passed through security, it was really starting to flat-out hurt. As we walked through the terminal, I noticed that it was raining for the first time since we’d been in Florida. How sweet is it that the state of Florida cried when we left?

We were about 2 hours early for our flight, so we got some lunch, then headed down to our gate. We were so early that the flight scheduled out of our gate *before* ours hadn’t even left yet. Eventually, it was our turn to board.

Being scheduled for boarding group C, we were among the last to board the plane. If you’ve ever flown Southwest with another person, you know that this means – with the lovely ‘open seating’ policy of theirs – that it is *very* difficult to find two seats together. Megan and I were not able to sit next to each other, but luckily I found two aisle seats directly across from each other. I’m not sure what I would have done if we’d had to sit in two different sections of the plane. We *had* to be near each other, otherwise when the plane split in two after going 1000 miles off-course somewhere near Fiji, we’d wind up crash-landed on two separate parts of the island….Oh wait. That’s Lost. Nevermind.

The flight crew on the way home wasn’t nearly as entertaining as on the way down, and we just got the regular “your seat is a flotation device” speech. Boring! The flight itself was ok, but there seemed to be a lot more turbulence than we had experienced on the previous flight. Fun, fun, fun! At one point, when we were still maybe an hour out of Dulles, I looked over the two people next to me and through the 1/4 inch of window that I could see, and noticed – hey, that’s another plane over there! Hey, it looks like it’s flying in the same direction that we are! Oh hey, does anyone else seem to think that it’s getting closer to us??? I watched nervously – because that’s what I do – and about 5 minutes later felt our plane descend suddenly by what felt like a few thousand feet. I guess someone else finally noticed the other plane!

By the time our plane landed, my right arm was sheer agony. If I moved it even the slightest bit, it felt like bits of broken glass were grinding around in my shoulder. I still could not think of anything at all that I might have done to cause it trauma. How strenuous is lying on the beach?

My brother met us at the baggage claim area, and we sat down by the carousel that showed our flight number. We waited for what seemed like a really long time, and nothing came around, despite the fact that 2 or 3 flights were listed for that pickup area. Then, I just happened to turn around and see a bag that looked just like one of mine pass by at the next carousel over. And another one. And a third. Apparently someone didn’t know the difference between the numbers “13” and “14”, and had posted our flight at the wrong baggage claim area.

Bags finally in hand, we made our way out of the airport. The second I walked out the door, I was ready to turn around and walk back in, book another flight the heck out of here, and go back to Florida. It was COLD and CLOUDY and WINDY. Ugh.

We made it home alive. My cat acted like she was extremely happy to see me – for all of about 10 seconds or so. After that she completely ignored me. Typical. Megan and I were both exhausted, and because we came back on Easter Monday, we had school and work the next morning, so we went to bed pretty early. Unfortunately for me, going to bed was not synonymous with going to sleep.

I had taken 3 advil, but my shoulder at this point was just a screaming mass of pain. There was no position that provided any relief or comfort, and every time I moved, it was agony. I’m one of those people who can’t lie in the same position for more than 5 minutes at a time anyway, so needless to say, I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep that night. The next morning I had to call my boss and tell her that yes, I know I just got back from a week-long vacation…but would be out just one more day so I could go to the doctor and have my right arm amputated. Sure, I’d be there on Wednesday, no problem.

I had to have my mom come pick me up and take me to the doctor’s office, because there was no way I could drive my car. Just getting dressed for the appointment took me quite a long time. My primary doctor – after looking at me like I was crazy when I insisted that no, I had not done anything to injure myself, it was like this for no reason! – called and got me an emergency appointment with an orthopedist. An hour and a half and a shot of cortisone later, my inflamed-for-no-good-reason rotator cuff was feeling slightly better. I could at least sit without wanting to scream. We met my stepfather – who had gone to pick Megan up from school because we didn’t think we’d make it from the doctor’s office in time – and transferred her to our car. After a quick stop at Giant to get my prescription filled, we were on our way back home. I crawled directly into bed for a nap before the cortisone wore off.

The next day, my shoulder was still sore and had this strange ‘loose’ feeling – almost like if I moved it the wrong way or too quickly, it would pop out of the socket. BUT…the pain was much, much better, so I went to work. The day after that, it felt almost completely normal. It was a good thing, too, because I was starting to wonder how strange I was going to look if I had to walk down the aisle in my sister’s wedding a week later if I was unable to move or use my right arm!

And that, my friends, is Our Trip to Florida! The End!

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