I still can’t believe that we’re in 2018 already. Like seriously where does time go?! Another year gone, another year older. Another year of goals to achieve and experiences to experience??? I said that 2018 would be a year of experiencing new things, but what I didn’t expect to happen was that it would start off like on the 3rd day of the month.
Little did we know that the 8 hour drive was going to turn into a day and a half drive. My night shift nurse was telling me that the weather was going to be bad; that there was going to be a blizzard, but I was like yeah we’ll be fine, it won’t be that bad. Errr wrong. My mom always watches the news so that morning was no different. She heard the weather dude say there was going to be snow…..a blizzard was going to hit on the coast.
Things didn’t start off so smooth to begin with. My vent circuits get changed every week, so that’s what the nurse was doing in the morning before getting me up. But we were have slight technical difficulties because the circuit change wasn’t passing the test it does to make sure the tubing is functioning. So that took up like 30 minutes. Me getting ready didn’t take and I already had my bag packed, but just had to pack my million and one equipment stuff. Like seriously I have more stuff to take than the girls that travel with 3 suitcases for just a weekend trip, but I still manage to travel.
It was cold in NC when we left. 23 degrees cold tobe exact…….damn cold!!! We had passed Columbia, SC when we started to see flurries. We thought it wasn’t going to be bad because it wasn’t coming down too hard and it wasn’t sticking to the ground. Boy were we wrong. The further we got into SC, the more it came down. I was on my phone when my mom screamed (she panics easily) because a car in front of us that was in the other lane spun. It didn’t scare me, nothing really scares me. So we kept going, but now cars and even semi’s were going slower. The sky was gray as could be and the snow kept coming down.
We kept going because we knew that it wasn’t going to be snowing in Florida and we just wanted to get somewhere warmer. My mom was scared to keep going so she decided that pulling into a rest area and wait it out would be a good idea. I told her that with these tires on my wheelchair I was NOT getting off the car…..I slide all over the place with them and they don’t have the best traction. So we get to the rest area and she asks a family that was heading to Miami what their suggestion was. They said to get back on the interstate because staying at the rest area was a bad idea; we’d never get stuck. They said to go slow and to get behind a semi because they open the road up……they actually do.
Traffic was stop and go for a long time. I don’t know when we started going like this, but we were literally not even going 30 mph. I think it might have started around 3pm. All of a sudden we were at a stand still. It was 9:30pm when we saw a cop or some rescue car who was looking for people that needed to really get to a safe place. My mom actually called 911 because she was in full on panic mode; she was so afraid that my vent battery was going to die since I had been up since like 7am.….she forgets my vent’s being powered by my wheelchair batteries. First, 911 took forever to answer and second, they were no help; they said they’d send a cop out help us which they never did. I had to calm my mom down because she couldn’t even explain to the 911 dispatcher why she was calling and that it wasn’t an emergency. I stayed calm and I told her that if we had to sleep in my car we would and that we would just plug up my vent to the car……we’ve done it like a million times when we traveled as kids. I mean, I have to stay calm and think of backup plans because if I don’t life would just mean living in fear.
We hadn’t eaten actual food all day except for the snacks we had. I was smart enough to take my fleece with me even though somehow I wasn’t cold, just tired. The reason we were stopped was because they closed one of the bridges. A lot of people were getting out of their cars to stretch, some had dogs, and I know there were kids. Many were getting off the exit and going to the hotels that were near, but they looked like they were all booked because people were turning around. I found a hotel somewhere near Savannah so that took like half an hour to get to and we had to be careful because the roads weren’t as clear and wet. You have to understand that Southern California people don’t drive in snow. It felt like a never ending drive and the roads were empty, but we finally got to the hotel and we went straight to bed without eating.
Woke up the next day and another adventure happened. This time I think I even freaked out a bit. I got up and suctioned (I’ll explain what this is in another post) like I always do after getting up, but since I was so dry from being in the car for 12 hours the day before, I had a mucous plug stuck. I didn’t have my stronger suction machine with me and I couldn’t get the plug out with all the saline I was putting down my trach. I was turning purple and felt like I was about to pass out and my mom was ready to call 911 for a real emergency. I told her no and somehow I managed to cough up the damn plug. These things are so annoying and they happen more in the winter. I had a major headache, but I did what I have learned to do. We were able to get back on the interstate and once we passed Savannah, the road was clear like it had never snowed. We finally arrived in FL around 5pm.
So how about that for the first 2018 adventure? One things for sure, I’ll pay more attention to people when they say something about the weather. If this was my start to the new year, I’m sure it will be a good one with some fun and exciting things to tell you. No matter what, live your best life! I know I will!!!