A week or so ago, I decided to use one of my free round-trip United Airlines and go to San Antonio for the Valor Games Southwest. A couple weeks ago, I took part in the Valor Games Midwest, in Chicago. That turned out to be a breeze . . . except for the trip home.
We were going from the awards ceremony, back to the hotel to pick up our luggage, and head off home. The buses didn’t start leaving to head back to the Hotel, or the Airport until 3:30. I had to catch the 5:20 train back up to Wisconsin.
I was the first one to get on the bus – and the last to get off at the hotel. Our luggage was locked up in a room behind the desk . . . and there was no one around to open it – anywhere. Someone called the person in charge. She arrived, but didn’t have a key for the room…
When she finally returned, opened the door, and entered, the first things she headed for were my suitcase and CPAP machine. I shouted (?) that my stuff was right there and i needed to catch a train. She brought my stuff out, I loaded myself up on my wheelchair, and headed out the door and down the street.
After a few blocks, something didn’t seem right. I asked someone where Jackson St was. I was going in the opposite direction (!?). I turned around and headed the other way, trying to work my way around all the people just walking down the street. They all walked just far enough apart, I couldn’t get past. I kept saying, “”Excuse me, excuse me, coming by on your left!!”
They all appeared to be deaf. It was rush hour as well. I had a train to catch! Stressed?? I caught my train, in fact I had time to spare, so I decided to try the games again, in San Antonio.
I made my plane reservations. The hotel was taken care of. I have to be there a day early, because of an early event the next day. Now I had to find out how I was getting to the airport in Chicago – on a Sunday. Every service I called did not run on Sunday. I needed to catch a bus, but several miles away.
Normally that wouldn’t be a problem. But when you are traveling in a power wheelchair, it’s a problem. How was I supposed to get to the airport? Ok, what if I can change the reservation to depart from Milwaukee? Stressed?? It was getting worse.
I got my reservation changed to Milwaukee. I checked the bus schedule. The first bus left here at 9:20 am. My plane would already be gone by then!! Stressed?!
I made a reservation at a hotel near the airport, paid for it, and started breathing a little easier. Now what about coming back home? I had to catch the bus from O’Hare airport at 3:20. If I missed that bus, the next one would be at 4:20. If I missed the first bus, taking the second would result in a 4 hour wait in Milwaukee, and by the time I got back in town, the buses would have stopped running.
STRESSED?! Damn right I was stressed. It was so bad, I was sweating bullets.
Today, I was still carrying that stress around, and it affected my interactions with others, and I unintentionally was rude to someone. Stressed.
I was told that I needed to plan, compartmentalize my stress, and to make plans, become stronger physically, financially and mentally, to be prepared for my trip. Can I do all that? I keep forgetting things – which airport I am leaving from, what day I am coming home, where I’m taking the bus to.
I’m supposed to do all of that in a little over a month’s time??