Sunday, July 4, 2010

In Seattle for a Day, Kissing the Sidewalk

After spending a day traveling across the country and visiting Mt. Rainier, it was slow getting up the next morning.  But it was very important that we get up at a decent time because there were people to meet and things to do.

Rob and I were staying with an old roommate of his from college.  As a special treat, this friend Ray made breakfast for us.  Awesome french toast made with hearty bread and fried egg on the outside.  Yum.

After a leisurely breakfast, Ray took us to the car rental place and I picked up our car for the day.  Then it was time to go retrieve Jen (of MS Strength and HowIFightMS) and her mother who were also going to meet Diane, Webster, and Gretchen (MS friends and bloggers).   We made it to Diane's place much more quickly than I anticipated.

Although I already wrote a little bit about our meeting at Diane's, I'd like to add that it was a big step for many of us in bringing our online world to our 'in real life' world.  I suspect that there will be more opportunities to do similar meetings from time to time.  Pictured above (left to right) are Diane, Webster, Rob (my boyfriend), myself, Jen, Gretchen, and Mary (Jen's mom, who we all wish to take home with us).

After leaving Diane's place, four of us went back downtown to Jen's hotel where we met up with the elusive Braincheese.  Since nobody has seen Linda before, she presented herself as one of her cat profile photos.   From there we headed to Pike Place Market, a famous spot in Seattle for eating and shopping.

The walk was only 7 blocks or so but Rob and I took the rental car to park closer.  FINALLY, we found a garage which was somewhat affordable.  The walk was only 2 blocks before we arrived in front of Pike Place Market.  After trying to listen to a phone message (impossible with the sound of street performers and whatnot), Linda spotted us and we joined up once more.

Wouldn't you know it, but as we approached the market, in front of this Corner Market, I did a faceplant right there on the sidewalk.  Splat!!  This was one where I didn't even know I was falling until the pavement was much closer than it should have been.

I think my toe got caught on a small crack in the sidewalk.  We can't really blame MS on this one except that maybe my impaired peripheral vision contributed to the accident.  (I hate having to watch my feet while I walk!)

So splat.  Dang it.  Ouch.  I rolled over.

Somebody above my head was asking if I was ok (not sure who that was).  A vendor asked if he should call 911.  No.  I said, "I think I'm fine, give me a minute."  Linda, the nurse, was a calming presence keeping folks from hovering.

Although laying on a sidewalk is not a typical thing to do, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Then I sat up.  My feet and legs seemed to be intact, rotated my ankles around.  Good.  Then the spasm in my left calf attacked.  Ouch!!

I gave it a good minute or two, stretching and rubbing, before standing up.  So far so good.  Knees seemed fine, then I looked down at the hands.  Yikes!!  Two veins on my right wrist were popping out, swelling had already started.  "I think I'd better get some ice on that."

Quick thinking Linda got some ice from the fish vendor and a plastic bag from a fruit vendor.  I had a pretty good icepack which I kept on as long as the ice remained.  It made a huge difference and we went on with our afternoon.  We ate lunch at the Athenian restaurant, the oldest restaurant in the area.  The view was nice and we had a good time.  (I downed some extra baclofen and tylenol.)

After lunch Jen and her friend Norene really wanted to go up in the Space Needle.  Off to the monorail we go.  It was a good 4-5 block walk.  When we arrived Rob asked me, "how are you doing?"  My reply, "I think a seat would be a really good idea about right now."  We used the elevator and thankfully didn't have to wait too long for the monorail to arrive.

The views from up top the Space Needle were very nice.  Although the skies weren't quite clear enough for it, I tried really hard to see Mt. Rainier.  Just not possible, so I had to simply imagine it.  Maybe next time...and I do have a feeling that there will be a next time in the future.

After riding the monorail back to the downtown area, we started walking towards the hotel.  Rob asked how I was doing and I simply gave him my hand.  That's now become the subtle signal that I need a little help and he becomes my "cane" (the fold-up one I had left in my suitcase at Ray's house).  I'm not sure if I made it even 3 blocks before someone else asked how I was doing.  Then Jen said, "I don't know about you." 

So I gave in (or rather made a smart decision).  Rob and I sat on a short brick wall while the group continued on to the hotel and Linda got her car.  She circled around to pick us up and take us to the garage where our car was parked. 

Although each step had become very difficult, my will and pride wanted to keep going.  My inner being didn't want to surrender to weakness.  Arrgh.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by people who understand and who were watching out for me.  I am blessed that way much of the time.

When we got back to Ray's house, I was so very sore and tired.  My legs hurt.  My hands hurt.  My shoulders hurt from the impact and so did my left knee.  My muscles felt like rocks.  But still it was worth it.

I drugged up before going to bed (baclofen, gabapentin, tylenol, even some xanax) in a similar way to the way I had in Switzerland.  The pain still woke me up though several times during the night.

It was interesting the next day to see how I could (or couldn't easily) walk down the stairs.  Overall it took about two days before things straightened out, which was a good thing because we had stuff planned during the cruise.  Come on legs, get with the program.

I'll pick up the story with the cruise itself.  Until next time......
Related Posts:
The Rainbow Connection
Beginning of an Adventure
In Seattle for a Day, Kissing the Sidewalk
And They're Off!!
Whales, a Glacier, and Hottubs
On the Rails in Skagway
Blue Ice and Still Waters
Victory in Victoria, British Columbia
Who Knew Washington Could be HOT!!


  1. Sounds like an excellent time even if you did have to walk that far. I would have been right there with ya, my will is always stronger than my legs it would seem. I completely relate to your situation. Glad you perserveared! :)

  2. No shame in sitting, unless it's on the fence in an election. Thank God for drugs! I think you did remarkably well, especially after the face plant fall!

  3. Once I pushed myself beyond my limits and did a face-plant as in "fainted"....which is more embarrassing. I'd rather do what you did and pace myself after a an accident anyone can have.

    Lucky you, you got to meet some cool people!

    Oh yes, I use Alex "boyfriend cane" too. =)

  4. Good Grief, woman! No falling allowed! Glad you are ok. You are very brave. Sorry about the clouds. In 80s this week. Must say, if you gonna splat, doing so near the Seattle fish-on-ice is a smart idea.

  5. Wow, what a day Lisa! I'm glad you were able to see our fair city but sorry that included a close inspection of the asphalt. Also, sorry to have missed meetings the gang -- thanks for the invite.


  6. FACEPLANT ! ! !

    This story is about memory problems, attention deficit, reality shifting underfoot, and the memory of a writing ability long gone.

    I say that straight out, because there is no way I could "show it" "in my words," and still get the basic facts in...

    I can see how I could whip this into a sweet & sour little story, IF I DIDN'T HAVE THE CONDITION ABOUT WHICH I AM WRITING!!!!

    Last week my non-husband of 16 years left me for another woman.

    Ask anyone who knows Charlie, this is inconceivable, and I mean Cannot Be Thought Of.

    Ask anyone, and I do mean anyone; he is known and loved by people everywhere he goes, dammit.

    So I cried for a day & then took myself out for a whiskey - this phase will come as surely as the sun will set, so why not go ahead and have one now, in the daylight...

    Second drink was too much even before I could raise it to my mouth. So I left and started to cry and sob on 2nd St, where I am known to so many.

    A tiny old lady came to pat my shoulders (I hope), but I received her like a football tackle-er goes for the guy who throws the football...

    No, wait, I was the guy trying to throw the ball, she was the tackler-guy trying to pull me to the ground. Maybe.

    Little knock unconscious, and then when some kids wanted to put me in an ambulance, I said, "no, I'm okay, just take me to that bar on the corner."

    She had those crutches that hook on your arms? and I guess I seemed like a Amazon, two feet taller and only using a cane?

    WAIT this bit /\ should go a couple paragraphs earlier...

    and this is way too long, I will tuck this in my own blog, so ...

    Some days have passed, it is so hot & humid in the city and it all smells like piss and dog piss (yes, that is what I meant).

    Lisa says Faceplant and Lorraine bursts into tears...

  7. oops, how can I document my confusion and heartbreak while SO confused and heartbroken, this is why they say "write what you know, but you must learn DISTANCE from it."

    Ha ha ha, of COURSE I know better, but there are holes in my brain and I can't behave in the way that would clearly be best for me... even now, trying to apologize for going on a rant, I am gone again, rant-rant-rant...