The ride home
As the Thrush began to clear up, soups and other drinks tasted more normal. My disposition improved and my energy increased. The weather was so much warmer in North Carolina than at home, Anne and I really enjoyed our walks. The natives complained they were having a cold wave, but it sure felt good to us. Not having to wear a bulky coat and gloves felt wonderful. I had some spring in my step, even if it wasn’t quite real yet. We did see lots of daffodils out and even some forsythia. It was a lot more attractive to us than the blanket of snow still covering Vermont. We were both getting antsy to go home, though. On Wednesday afternoon, I had another appointment to have my throat and belly checked. Both were looking good, and we were told we could go home. It felt weird to say good-bye to Samantha and to Deb. They had both been so important in this process, it felt like saying goodbye to friends.
We left High Point around 3 in the afternoon. We knew we had to drive the rest of that day and all day on Thursday, so we made plans to stop often so I could exercise a bit. I might have looked silly walking laps around the car when Anne stopped for gas, but we both knew it was for the best. At dinnertime, we stopped in Applebee’s somewhere in PA. Anne, who is tall and thin, ordered a big meal. By now, she knew that the sight or smell of food was NOT going to make my mouth water, so it was OK for her to do that. I only ordered French onion soup. The waitress raised her eyebrow a bit on that one! When our meals came, Anne grabbed my soup, skimmed off the cheese and bread and put it on her plate. That was more than the waitress could take. She came right back to our table and asked me if everything was OK. I assured her it was. The waitress did keep an eye on me, though. When we were done, she asked if we wanted dessert. I refused, asking if I might have a Saltine or Oyster Crackers. Anne ordered cheesecake. When the bill came, the waitress was really surprised when I took it to pay. See, the deal was that this trip should not cost Anne any money. After all, she was taking time away from her family and her job to do this for me. It really wasn’t a burden to me, either, since combined; we only really had 1 meal anyway.
The hotel where we stayed that night had a great buffet breakfast. Since I wasn’t eating, I slept a little later and Anne packed the car and enjoyed a big breakfast. When I got to the car, she encouraged me to check out the buffet to see if there was anything I wanted. I was afraid to try fresh squeezed OJ, as good as it looked. I didn’t dare have anything solid, so I only took 2 plastic spoons (for the yogurt I had with me) and a Styrofoam cup and lid that I filled with ice for my Gatorade. Anne joked that I was taking the term “cheap date” to the extreme. We left PA about 8 AM and arrived at Anne’s house around 5 PM. We made several short stops for rest room, gas, and gargling with Thrush medicine, and I snacked the whole time on yogurt, Saltines and Gatorade. I stayed awake the whole time which was the first time I didn’t nap since surgery. I really felt good!
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