It's been a while since I've had enough to say to make it worthwhile for a blog entry. I think this might qualify, but only if no one tells my wife Susan about it!
We'd been planning a trip to Poland for almost eight months. We have friends there, several major Art Academies, and hopefully a fair potential for business. Our long awaited trip began on October 2nd with a trip Vienna by way of Frankfurt. A couple of days later we were off to Vilnius, Lithuania for a weekend with relatives. All, except perhaps the weather, went well. On Monday we made two calls at the Art Academy and a retail store. As always, there was great interest in our materials, so we prepared to leave Vilnius with a very positive feeling.
Unfortunately, all of that changed at about 4:30 am on Tuesday. We were leaving for the airport to fly to Poland and begin our adventure. Susan and our host were ahead of me on the long walk down to the parking lot, when she missed a step, and sprawled into the parking lot. Now my charming bride is pretty resilient and rarely shows any reaction to pain, so I was a little worried when she was clearly in distress. A quick call for an ambulance, a long wait, a reasonably short drive to the major hospital in Lithuania, and a brief x-ray later, it was determined that she had broken her hip.
If you've never been in the situation, your life changes in just a few minutes. We were concerned about the fact that they wanted to do surgery almost immediately, concerned about the doctor's credentials, in fact I can't think of anything that we weren't concerned about. We were able to reach our kids at a semi-reasonable hour in Chicago to begin the process of problem solving. Graphic had just changed health insurance carriers a few days before, so there was no medical card available. We knew fairly soon that immediate surgery really was the best option, and we were going to have to pay cash for it.
Amazingly, she was released on Thursday afternoon - just a little over two days later. The doctor assured us that she was o.k. to fly, and our daughter worked with some very nice people at Lufthansa to get us booked out on Friday morning very early. Fortunately, we were using miles for our tickets, so we were able to get Business class seats, which meant that for the longest leg (Dusseldorf to Chicago), she was able to lie flat except for take off and landing. The entire trip took almost 20 hours, using numerous wheelchairs and one glorified fork lift, but she made it home like a champ. Everyone along the way was so incredibly helpful.
When she got home we made an appointment with an Orthopedic guy at our local hospital. We were able to see the two screws that were put in in Vilnius. They were huge! Importantly, however, our doctor said they did a great job in Lithuania, and the prospects for a full recovery were pretty good!