It has been more than 10 years since Gord has taken 2 weeks holiday...in a row. Our holiday time is scarce, rare, and precious. Last summer his 1 week off went to helping frame the house. Thankfully we can now use his holiday time for real holidays :) He was determined to take his full two weeks off and I wasn't about to change his mind.
We had great plans and intentions to pack our trailer and drive/camp our way around southern Alberta. Beautiful campgrounds, The Calgary Zoo, and Calaway Park were calling our name. The kids would have a blast, and we could feel slightly backwoods-y camping. Camping with a warm bed, hot shower, and flushing toilet. 'Glamping' is the technical term they tell me.
One week before our scheduled departure we realized it was NOT going to work so we had to come up with a back-up plan. We are not 'spur of the moment' people...not even a bit. But we really had no choice but to re-think and plan everything. And somehow the conversation went like this, "Hey, lets go to Kelowna!"
That's it. One sentence and I was off to google every possibility I could think of. Somehow or other I came across a resort close to Kelowna that sounded marvellous. By the next day I had booked a 7 day stay and was virtually bouncing off the walls with excitement. 7 days by a beautiful lake and mountains, what's not to love?
The morning of our departure went smoothly. Everything was packed, kids were clean, and I was still bouncing off walls. Or I was until 15 minutes down the road and Gord started talking about what he thought were small side effects of a minor surgery he had done a few days prior to leaving. Somewhere between hearing about shortness of breath, tight chest, and achy arms/legs I had awful visions of our nightmarish trip 6 years ago...y'know the time I locked him in a cargo trailer and dropped him off at a hospital. Being stranded by the side of the road with a sick man and van full of kids was not really what I had pictured for a fabulous family vacation.
A few minutes of discussion led us to the conclusion that it was probably nothing, but we didn't want to risk travelling if we weren't certain. So off to the city hospital. We walked in, looked at the line and promptly walked back out and called a small hospital 1 hour directly opposite of the direction we had just travelled. Needless to say our kids were slightly confused and rather concerned that our holiday plans were in for another change.
A small town hospital really is the way to go. Generally they don't have a lot going on and they are friendlier and more willing to listen to all the questions I usually have. Within minutes of walking in Gord was hooked up to machines and they were running tests. I was relieved that they ruled out a heart condition but a blood test tested 'mildly positive' for blood clots. That ruling was enough to earn him an ambulance ride back to the city for a more in-depth test. Again, small-town hospitals take time to...say..give your kids an ambulance tour before their dad gets carted off ;)
With Gord gone for a few hours, the kids and I headed home to re-group and plan the rest of the day. They were bordering on disappointment and worry. The older two vividly remember our last bad experience and tried hard to understand. I felt for them; torn between two valid feelings. But they did me proud and controlled their disappointment.
Hours later Gord was free to go. Why the initial tests were positive we don't know, BUT I believe that all our family's and friend's prayers had a great deal to do with the changed diagnosis. It was with relief and thankfulness that I could let everyone know that all was well. As for our trip? Well, we got off to a late start but we ended up going to the little cabin we had previously booked. The cabin wasn't quite what I had hoped it would be. But it was clean and came with an amazing view of mountains, trees, and free range turkeys. After a bit of morning exploring we were back on the road..passing landmarks that I hadn't seen since Taylor was a baby.
I've forgotten how diverse the beauty of BC is. From rough jagged mountains to rounder tree-covered sloops. And I was thrilled when I spotted the beautiful Cedar trees. The trip went so smoothly, and there were repeated comments made about how thankful we all were to be heading in the right direction...with Gord in the vehicle. No trailer this time ;)