Last Week, This Week: A Change In Plans – November 6-10

If you’re a regular reader, then you know that Last Week This Week is a look back at what I actually wore during the previous Monday thru Friday as long as it was a workday. If you read last week’s installment of this series, then you know that plans for last week were for The Husband and me to be traveling in an as yet undisclosed part of the northeastern region of the country. And if you follow me on Instagram, then you know that those plans abruptly changed early in our journey.

As a result of that change in plans, this week’s post is not as I had originally envisioned. Instead of sharing what I’d worn to work each day, I’d be showing my daily ensembles as we mozied on our way through Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusettes. What I do have to share with you are just a few outfit photos and a whole other tale to tell.

Monday

We’d started out from Hoboken with not much of a plan for the day other than we were headed towards Hartford, Connecticut.  While eating lunch in Greenwich, The Husband and I looked over our list of sights and attractions that we’d be passing by on our way and decided to stop in Orange at the Pez Factory and Visitor Center. It was a hoot and if you’re ever in the area, you should definitely make it one of your stops.

In this following photo, I’m showing how I’ve paired up two contrasting scarves to add “twist” on a typical look. Giving credit where it’s due, this is not an original idea of mine. I first saw Shawn, aka ladyinstripes on Instragam, sporting the double scarf look a while back and made a note to myself to incorporate it into a future post. In fact, I’d planned to make it a featured element.  I had brought several scarves with me for this trip and over the course of the week, I’d planned to wear them in pairs and then use those photos for my next Accessory To Style post. Alas, this is among many of the plans that have changed.

“Spur of the moment” was a bit of a theme for the day. We had no reservation yet for a place to stay that night but it only took a few minutes to book accommodations at a Hampton Inn in the Hartford area. After checking in, our attention turned towards finding a place for dinner. We were on our way to a diner we’d seen near the hotel when we spied a Goodwill in the same shopping center. Neither of us was exceptionally hungry so we opted to do a little thrift store browsing first. Among my souvenirs for the trip are the two skirts and crossbody purse that I found here.

After driving by the diner and seeing no cars in the parking lot despite the lit Open 24 Hours sign, we decided that heading over to another restaurant we’d seen near our hotel would be a wiser bet. The Dakota Steakhouse is pretty much what you’d expect from the name and exterior and it was better than we’d hoped. After a bit of dietary excesses over the weekend, I opted for broiled salmon with sides of broccoli and a baked potato with just a dab of butter and sour cream. The atmosphere and decor were on the rustic side and lodge-like but appealing nonetheless.

After dinner, we headed to a nearby market to buy some water, snacks for the road, and a greek yogurt that I could have for breakfast the next day (there was a mini fridge in our room). We also bought a pint of B&J’s ice cream which was enjoyed as I worked on a blog post and we watched TV later that evening cuz that’s what you do when you’re traveling, right? Fine, whatever.

Tuesday

Plans for this day had included a stop at the Connecticut State Capitol, a visit at the Mark Twain House & Museum, and perhaps another stop or two along the way with our final destination that evening to be at Foxwoods Casino. Instead, we made a pre-dawn trek to the Emergency Department at the Hartford Hospital and then flew back to Los Angeles later in the evening. For a day thrown into turmoil, I think that we were lucky to have had a few kind souls help us along the way.

Long story reasonably short, I woke up at about 3:30am because my stomach hurt and with a feeling like I might throw up. I wasn’t really nauseated but the pain in my stomach felt similar to times in the past when I had vomited. I got out of bed and went into the bathroom just in case. After a little while, the pain began to spread into and across my chest and upper back. At this point, I was fairly certain that it was my gallbladder, especially in consideration of the ice cream I’d eaten only a few hours earlier. A similar episode had happened about four years ago during a weekend trip to Las Vegas.  A pre-dawn trip to a local ER back then was when I was first diagnosed with gallstones.  We learned that pain will occur if a stone gets lodged or stuck in a bile duct and will subside if/when it dislodges.

The pain this time wasn’t quite as bad as that first episode but I’d still put it about a 6 or so on a scale of 0 to 10. The Husband was still asleep at this point and the pain had plateaued so I sat in a chair for a while contemplating what we should do and hoping that the stone would get unstuck. Despite my expectation that the pain was from a gallstone, discomfort in your chest can be scary and I wouldn’t want my assumptions to lead me to ignore a potentially more serious problem. The Husband woke up at about 4:30am to use the bathroom (as I expected he would) and he guessed right away what was up. He’d been urging me to have my gallbladder removed since the first episode but my doctor at the time said that I could wait and see if it continued to be a problem.

In the past four years, I’ve generally been more careful regarding meals high in fat. Subsequently, there have only been a couple of minor episodes of short duration and intensity so I hadn’t felt like having my gallbladder removed was a high priority. This time it felt worse and considering that we were 2,900 miles from home, a trip to the local ER seemed like a smart course of action. All in all, it took about 6 hours but a physical exam, EKG, lab tests, and an ultrasound confirmed that it was indeed my gallbladder causing the pain. A stone was lodged in the opening to the bile duct and it didn’t dislodge after a change in position or thumping on my back. The consensus of the medical team was that I would need surgery soon if not that day. However, since the lab tests and ultrasound showed that there were no other issues like an infection, other blockages, or compromise to liver function, they were comfortable with a decision to release me and that I could delay having surgery until after returning home.

I’d been given a dose of pain medicine in the ER so I wasn’t in much discomfort any longer and we filled the prescription for pain meds they expected I would need in the next few days. I was also advised to follow a low-fat diet. Now the question at hand was when would we head for home? Could we/should we continue on our trip for another 6 days as planned with the hope that I wouldn’t have another episode?  Or should we try to find a flight that would get us home that day or the next? Disappointing as it was, we opted for the “let’s get home ASAP” plan and fortunately, there was a flight later in the day from Hartford to Los Angeles with a connection in Chicago that could do just that.

Earlier, I mentioned that there had been a few kind souls that helped us along the way. The first one we encountered at the pharmacy. We are fortunate to have health coverage that will cover all of the expenses of the ER visit (except for a usual co-payment of $100) but we knew that we’d be paying full price on the prescriptions because the pharmacy was out-of-network. Realizing that we didn’t have an applicable drug coverage plan, the person that assisted us when we turned in the prescriptions said that they would try to get us a low price on the meds. Frankly, we weren’t really that worried but saving money is always a good thing. The cost for the two prescriptions wound up being a total of $13 which is likely less than we’d have paid at our usual network pharmacy anyway.

The next kind soul was the manager at the Hampton Inn in Rocky Hill. When we had headed out to go to the ER in the wee hours of the morning, we’d decided not to check out first and we told the night manager what was up. She said that she would relay the information to the day manager. Check out time was 11am and it had been our hope that we would be done and back from the ER before then but that wasn’t the case. The Husband spoke with the day manager after we’d been in the ER for a few hours to find out about extending our stay either for a late check-out or another night. All king-bed rooms were already booked for that night but she was willing to accommodate a late check-out or move us to a 2 double-bed room if needed. We had to push back on the time of our expected return twice but we did get back by 1pm. After a quick shower and gathering of our stuff, we were out by 2pm.

While I showered and dressed, The Husband spent the better part of 30 minutes on the phone with the airline to change the day and departure point of our returning flight home. This may seem like a long time but the original tickets had been bought using rewards points and we’d hope to minimize any added costs of changing the reservation. The customer service representative was very helpful and the arrangements were made without incident. Our flight was booked and we’d be heading home that evening. The two photos above and the one below were taken after we’d landed at LAX.

It may seem odd to lay praise on people doing the job that they are paid to do but in each case, it was done with courtesy and respect that did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.   I think that too often we only hear the horror stories about companies with poor customer relations when we should also be recognizing and encouraging the companies and businesses that excel at it.

Friday

There are no photos for Wednesday or Thursday because we never got around to taking them. While waiting at the Hartford International Airport, I was able to make an appointment with the general surgeon who had done my mastectomy for early Wednesday afternoon. Back in April when I’d had first met with her after my diagnosis of DCIS, I mentioned the issues I’d had with my gallbladder and jokingly asked if I could get a 2-for-1 deal. She said that she’d be more than happy to take care of my gallbladder but since it wasn’t a pressing need at the time, it would be better to wait until after I’d recovered from the then-upcoming surgery.

While at the hotel getting dressed on Tuesday, I’d eaten my non-fat greek yogurt and later I had steamed broccoli and a plain baked potato at the airport. I took one of the pain pills before we boarded our plane in Chicago for the second leg of the trip just in case and to help me sleep during the flight.  The whole trip back to Los Angeles was uneventful and we made it home before midnight.  I woke up Wednesday morning feeling more or less like my usual self and without any pain. I ate a very plain bowl of oatmeal for breakfast that day. So far, so good. The appointment with the surgeon went well and she was pleased the lab test results showed no other issues. Since my pain had subsided, it would appear that the stone was no longer stuck in the duct opening and had returned to floating around in my gallbladder. Nevertheless, surgery still seemed a prudent course of action and it has been scheduled for December 5.  I’ll end the story about my gallbladder at this point and continue with it in a few weeks.

The rest of the week was spent puttering around our home, straightening and reorganizing in my closet and our bedroom. I did my semi-annual shifting around of my footwear, stowing away warmer weather styles and making for easier access to my collection of boots.  All of the piles of clothing that had been scattered around were finally put away, added to my resell inventory, or bagged for giveaway.  I even rediscovered some items I had forgotten that I even had.   I took some photos of items for my Poshmark closet and happily, a jacket and a pair of booties that had been listed for a while finally sold. The photo below was taken outside our local Post Office before dropping off those items on their way to a satisfied buyer.

And there you have it, a look back at some of what I wore last week, our unexpected change in plans, and a whole lot more.  If you missed the post where I explain the reasons behind this new weekly feature (minus the link up), you can read about it here.

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5 thoughts on “Last Week, This Week: A Change In Plans – November 6-10”

  1. Rena, despite your gallbladder issues, you look so lovely in all the photos! I may have to try that double scarf idea. And wow, what a trip! I am glad you are having the surgery to prevent further incident. At least it is after the Thanksgiving holiday, right? If you recall, I had a tubal ligation and uterine ablation last year 2 days before Thanksgiving and I had a very rough time with the anesthesia and a lot of abdominal pain in the days that followed so I could not enjoy the fabulous Thanksgiving meal that friends had cooked for us! I am glad your pain has subsided and I will be thinking of you on December 5.

    Hugs to you, my friend.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

  2. OMG!, YIKES!, and CRAPIOCA!!
    You have an amazing ability to just ride the waves of a storm my friend!! I very much admire your calm,cool, and even humorous attitude in the face of some potentially scary twists and turns in what was supposed to be a relaxing, celebratory week with family and friends. You really kept your wits about you Rena! Sorry that you apparently won’t get to keep your gall bladder!
    I really like the photo of you and your husband at the airport as you were headed home. You actually look a little pale but still lovely even as you cope with a trip cut short. I hope you’ve continued to feel well my friend!

  3. Oh gee, I forgot to say how much I LOVE that cool striped cardigan your wearing as you mail your packages off to buyers! The stripes are unusual in placement and the sweater looks cozy soft too!

A comment from you would be lovely