The Gulf Coast (Week 14)

I made a trip back home last week and was greeted with this (ice). I forgot how cold it could be! I was quickly missing the tropical weather on the gulf coast.

The trip home was eventful. Of all the miles that I have traveled (driven) over the past year, I have not been stranded one time. I guess I was overdue. I was only 30 miles from home, driving in the hammer lane at night, and excited to have less than an hour to go when my engine completely shut off. I noticed that I was losing speed and could not accelerate, but the car appeared to still be running. No hazard lights on the dash, a quarter of a tank of gas according to the gauge, and no obvious reason that it was malfunctioning. I had to coast over two lanes to get to the shoulder. That’s when I realized that the engine was completely off. I put it in first gear and tried to restart it without success. Not cool. Mary was screaming in the backseat and Wookie was doing the potty dance in the front seat. To say that I was disappointed and frustrated is an understatement. Thank goodness I was so close to home. My husband was able to come help me. It could have played out much differently.

I made a site visit to a prospective facility and met with the CEO, board of directors, and nursing department. It was a lovely visit and I should know within the week if it is my next “assignment”. That trip was eventful as well. We arrived to the little town and found that our rental home had frozen pipes and was unbearably cold. We had both Pearl and Wookie with us, which limits accommodation options. We thought we were going to have to drive to the next town to find arrangements, but a wonderful host came through at the last minute and we found ourselves in a warm, charming little house. We had fun exploring the little town and met some wonderful people while we were there.

My husband had his follow-up visit with our PCP yesterday. She reports that he does not have lung sounds (not moving any air) in the collapsed region. This is not great news. It will have to be monitored closely and he will need more follow-up to ensure that the lung inflates and heals properly without further complication. He was frustrated with the news but has been incredibly patient with the healing process thus far.

Tomorrow I start one of my final weeks here on the gulf coast. This is the part of the assignment where I grow anxious. Part of the anxiety is related to having to tell everyone “good bye” and the other part is related to the uncertainty of what lies ahead and where the next assignment will be. Making arrangements to prepare and move this camper can be overwhelming. I usually start to feel better once I have a destination and a time frame to work with. Right now it is just complete uncertainty.

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