After attending the fabulous and flawlessly executed destination wedding of a beloved niece, we left Key West last Monday and hit the road for a 2 day road trip to the Grand Hotel near Mobile, Alabama. A lovely old property that served as a hospital during the civil war and various other purposes before being turned into a resort.
The buildings got wiped out by several hurricanes over the decades, but the owners keep rebuilding it because the spot itself is so beautiful. It’s at the end of a peninsula over looking Mobile bay.
The area has a nice brand new hospital too. I got a tour of the emergency room last Monday night. I had developed a cough on the Saturday before and was drifting up and down the wellness scale feeling weak and dizzy. The night we arrived at the resort we had cocktails out on the patio of the hotel bar and watched the sunset.
Afterwards, Hubman took his mother for a walk around the property and reminisce. Mr. Husband and I honeymooned here as did his mother and father when they married 57 years ago.
I felt ok, relatively speaking, other than the annoying cough, so I went to our room planning to freshen up and change out of road weary clothes for dinner. My body had other plans. I started coughing violently and began tearing up luggage looking for cough syrup. I was coughing so hard that I was choking and started seeing spots in front of my eyes. Unfortunately the backpack that contained my medicine got left in the car.
I called down to the front deck and the twit who answered the phone said I needed to know the valet ticket number for the car. By this time I was coughing so hard that I was beginning to go into major panic mode. I hung up the phone and started staggering around the room trying to find my mobile phone to call Mr. Husband.
I found the phone, but the battery was dead because I had been using it to play games in the car all day so I couldn’t call him, silly me. Now I felt like I was drowning or choking to death. I called the front desk again and got a different person on the line and managed to gasp that I couldn’t breathe and needed help and medicine that was in my car. This person seemed to grasp that the situation might just be serious.
I learned something about myself. When I can’t breathe I start thrashing around knocking over furniture and throwing things around trying to find something to help. Our hotel room quickly took on the look of a space in which a wild party was still in progress. One part of my brain was standing off to the side musing, “wonder if this how Elvis or some Hollywood starlet died. Wearing nothing but a fancy spa robe, flailing around the room, like a drunk prom queen?” Glamorous, but terrifying none the less.
Fortunately, Mr. Husband arrived on the scene within minutes. He was not aware that anything was going on. By this time I was laying in the floor with my head in a waste basket because I felt nauseated. He claims I was “unresponsive.” I claim that dragging someone around the floor of a hotel room by their arm does not force them to respond, it just pisses them off even in their lack of oxygen state of mind. He was trying to get me to stand up. All I knew was that was not going to happen. I think I mumbled something about an ambulance.
Next thing I knew a woman introduced to me as a “loss prevention specialist” was patting me on the back saying that help was on the way and everything was going to just fine. I vaguely wondered if that was a job subspecialty now in the hotel industry. Make sure the guests don’t croak…on the property.
Things happened pretty fast after that, but it’s all a jumbled blur. The paramedics came and hooked me up to all kinds of gizmos and put an oxygen tube thing in my nose and away we went. I remember lot of people talking really loud like I was deaf and referring to me as Mrs. Blah Blah. That alone is scary. When people address me by my formal name I’m either in a lot of trouble or really sick.
It felt like I was watching a faulty TV and the sound kept coming and going. Heard a word here and there saying, embolism, heart attack, stroke. Part of me was thinking “Uh, that doesn’t sound good.” Another part of me was thinking “hey, will y’all just shut the hell up, turn the light off, a bring me a blanket, I’m freezing to death here in the backless nightgown.” And further more if you stick one more needle in me there will be bloodshed! Hey, that’s my blood. Put it back! Get this thing out of my nose. I’m tired of this, I want to go home!
They eventually shoved a tube in my mouth with steam coming out of it. That worked great and I perked right up because I could breathe. But never the less, the determined, dedicated staff decided to wheel me all over the place. They poked dye in my veins and then shot me through a tube several times. X-rayed me, thumped and poked and took more blood.
It was like being wheeled though the worlds scariest fun house. By they time they finished with me I firmly believed that the pit and pendulum followed by being shot out of a cannon were next on the agenda.
I was finally released with a diagnosis of severe acute bronchitis and a prescription for antibiotics and an asthma inhaler. Yay, lucky me, I lived! The whole experience put the fear of God in me to be sure. I am left with a loss of that feeling of invincibility that I’ve always harbored when traveling and life in general.
We left Mobile after a day of rest and drove a leisurely 200 miles to New Orleans. It’s a rather interesting test of philosophical fortitude to find oneself in a 5 star hotel in the exact center of party capital of the continental United States and be unable to drink or smoke or even get out of bed. At least I was out of town. Oh well.