Injury and Logistics

For someone who is a good planner, I’m finding this week a little overwhelming. As I was still recovering from the stomach virus of the weekend, my husband and I learned that our daughter had broken her leg skiing. She had surgery in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Monday, and I headed out to see her Monday night.

ER Xray of daughter's leg

ER Xray of daughter’s leg

I got to her hospital room Tuesday mid-morning, hung around while the hospital staff assessed her condition, and we headed back to her apartment in Seattle Tuesday afternoon, arriving around 7:00pm. She will be on crutches for six weeks, no weight on the leg, which will be difficult, but she should be fine in the end.

Now, I live with the uncertainty of how long my daughter will need me and how to stay on top of my obligations back home while making sure she can cope by herself.

This whole experience has taught me the importance of logistics. Other than breaking her leg in the first place, everything else in the 48 hour whirlwind between learning of the injury and getting her back to her home went pretty well:

  • I found a reasonably priced last-minute ticket from Kansas City to Vancouver. (It was cheaper to get to Vancouver than to Seattle . . . even if I had made my connection in Seattle! Air fares are crazy.)
  • I got the essentials done at home before I left on Monday. I kicked myself for procrastinating on some of my to-do items, but at last I could leave home without fretting about immediate needs. (Other than buying groceries, which I did leave for my husband to do.)
  • The surgery itself went well. The surgeon called me midday Monday to let me know my daughter was fine, which I really appreciated. And she texted me just as my first flight was leaving, so I knew she was fine.
  • My flights were on time, and my tight connection was not a problem because my first flight landed at Gate 33 and my second flight left from Gate 32.
  • My daughter’s friends got her car and her belongings from Whistler to the Vancouver hospital, and left her car keys and the parking ticket with her. So when I arrived, it was easy to find the car and pack up.
  • The Canadian and American medical systems, while they don’t talk to each other perfectly, so far seem to be accommodating each other. My daughter has had to pay for some services out-of-pocket, and will have to work it out with her insurer later, but no one has balked at providing care or refused to cover anything yet. Thankfully, she has a good job with good insurance.
  • The road trip from Vancouver to Seattle went smoothly, despite my unfamiliarity with the roads and her car. We missed the worst of rush hour in both Vancouver and Seattle, had only a five-minute wait at the border, and it only rained intermittently.
  • There was enough food in her apartment for dinner when we returned. (But on Wednesday I’ll need to buy groceries for my daughter, as I did not for my husband before I left home.)

For all the things that have gone well so far this week, I am grateful. And most importantly, I am thankful that my daughter is young and healthy and will recover.

Central Planning . . . or Planning Central

I’ve written before about my planning abilities. They are being severely taxed this week, as we gather the family for my father-in-law’s funeral.

Throughout the week, we are coordinating the arrival at the Kansas City airport of my two adult children, and my husband’s sister and her husband, cousin, niece and her husband (with two toddlers), and two nephews.  They are arriving from Boston, Missoula, Richmond, Seattle, Spokane, State College, and Washington (D.C.).

That list is in alphabetical order by city of origin. I have another list by estimated time of arrival, cross-referenced with which vehicle and driver will pick up which passenger(s) to convey them to the small town in central Missouri where the funeral will take place, and whether they need an intermediate layover at our house.

(And, of course, the list also describes how we will reverse the process after the funeral.)

I have become obsessed with these lists. Something to focus on in a difficult time. My husband is traveling and can’t get home until Friday, and I want him to feel good about the arrangements the rest of us are making for his father. So I am compensating by becoming Secretary of Transportation.

But I don’t mind. I’ll handle travel.

And let someone else deal with the sleeping arrangements. Managing the logistics of age, gender, and marital status is worse than taking on air traffic control responsibility.