Monday, November 27, 2017

Peripatetic, with ear pain

At The Bean in Chicago with Ohioans
After the Mohs surgery on my ear , I had it in my mind that the next day I was going to drive to Needham, sleep over at Margaret's, and fly from nearby Logan Airport to Chicago early the next morning for the American Association of Journalists and Authors conference on non-fiction freelancing and content marketing. 

But when the anesthesia wore off, I was in so much pain that I had to take heavy-duty pain meds and therefore could barely wake up. A friend said he would drive me to the airport early Friday (a week ago) for my 8 a.m. flight. I was so zonked that I don't even know what time I put on my alarm, but it wasn't what we agreed on. I called him and said, "You sound like you're in a tunnel." 

"That's because I'm on my way to your house," he said.

You never saw me move so fast.

I would have to power through the conference. It wasn't good timing. I hadn't expected so much pain.

But I made it through the one-day event with help from oxycodone every four hours. The goal was to connect with new editors and by extension get new stories to write; I think it was a success but only time will tell.

I also wanted to learn more about content marketing. For some journalists like myself, it's hard to make the leap. Here is one definition: "It's a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services."

After dinner with Mieke in Chicago
As a bonus, I had dinner with an old friend from the newspaper (actually a cool young friend) and made friends at the hotel, spending some time getting to know a friendly couple from Ohio. I had expected to go with a friend and had therefore booked a couple of extra days. But it didn't work out, so it was fun wandering around Chicago one day with my new friends. I also took the fascinating Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise  on its last day of the season and went back to run along the river at twilight.

I flew back to Boston Tuesday, took an Uber to Margaret's, had a nice dinner, went to bed, and got up and got a ride to Dana-Farber for the light therapy on my blood (ECP) on Wednesday. Katie, having flown into Boston, got herself to Dana-Farber. I scheduled a ride to pick me up at 5 and take us back to South Hadley.

Katie got there earlier than expected, so I called the dispatcher at 4 to say I was done and to ask if a driver was available earlier. She answered in the negative. So we went down at 5. At around 5:15 when he wasn't there, I called the dispatcher again. She said that he was in front and would call me. 5:25, still no driver. 

I don't exactly remember how we connected at around 5:30. He said he had been there since 3:30 and had been calling and calling. Katie looked at the number. It turned out he had transposed two of the digits. It remained a mystery why the dispatcher hadn't notified us that he was available and why she hadn't checked in with him as to what number he was calling. 

Centerpiece by Katie
That left little time to prepare for Thanksgiving, which was to be at my house the next afternoon. But family and friends, along with inspiration from my mother, helped get it done. I had forgotten to get a centerpiece. Katie said that she would be like her grandma and go out to the yard and gather the makings...pine cones, branches, leaves, etc. She went for a run and came back with a few extra things. During my dog walk, I got a few branches for the finishing touch. 

From start to finish, it was a success. 

As I do every Thanksgiving, I wrote my donor Denise, and thanked her for my life.

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