Monday, February 8, 2010

Many Miles

I'd started to think of our Mumbai hotel room as the editing desk for A Distant Miracle. How are Shannon and I supposed to feel inspired anywhere but here? What will we do without an ever present in-room dining tray? Without oddly random and relatively bad English-language television programming? Without the convenience of going to the bathroom a mere five feet from our bed? Ah well. Shannon and I will just have to suffer for our art and put up with being HOME!

Yes, home - where folks drive in single lanes and think 85°F is hot. Oh, and what a day to come back. The Super Bowl was scheduled for later that night. The Super Bowl!!! You can't get more commercially American than that. Shannon and I would have kissed the ground if she wasn't doubled-over in pain and I wasn't saddled with three bags and a backpack. This trip is over, baby!

My poor wife is officially a mess. We visited her doctor first thing this morning for a once over to ensure there's not some crazy problem lurking behind the scenes. Thankfully, no. Most of her symptoms are the result of the laparoscopy. The severe distention is caused by a few things: residual swelling of the ovaries from IVF, bruising from the surgery, carbon dioxide left over from use of the laparoscope and constipation caused by the use of anesthesia. Her throat pain is likely from use of the tracheal tube during surgery. The ear infection and sinus infection are bonus gifts caused by a bug she probably picked up at the hospital but who knows. For all of this, the cure is time - she'll be out of work and on bed rest for at least this week. Shannon just has to put up with the pain, nausea and general discomfort with the help of some newly prescribed pain meds, antibiotics and a DVR with multiple episodes of The Office, Brothers and Sisters, American Idol, Barefoot Contessa and 24. Oh, and lots of sleep, little of which she picked up during our last three or four days in Mumbai or during the 17 hour slog of a flight back to the States. Thankfully, she's now in her own bed, with family by her side, eating home-cooked comfort food.

Our last day in Mumbai, Saturday, was spent mainly as a time killer. The flight to Newark was at 11:40pm that evening, meaning we didn't have to be at the airport until 7:30pm. I begged and guilted the front desk into giving us a super-late checkout time of 6pm and then walked the streets to a local chemist for some decongestant, anticipating the flight could be torture on Shannon's ears (which proved to be true despite their use). Shannon stayed in bed 'til around 3pm and then screwed up the courage to waddle her way down to the pool for a last hour of sun. I, meanwhile, hit the streets once again and made my way to Hare Krishna Land (seriously, that's what they call it), world headquarters for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), about a five minute walk from the hotel. Then around 4pm we started the packing process, hitting the streets for mosquito-filled Mumbai International Airport a little after six.

What followed was almost 24 straight hours of sitting on our butts. One might argue this was in Shannon's favor - not having to do anything but sit. However, picture yourself feeling really sick and congested and then sit in an airport or on planes for almost an entire day. That is not a recipe for success. I managed to get some fitful rest on the cross-Atlantic flight but Shannon mainly counted the minutes.

It's over, we're home, the healing begins. Best of all, the trip was a success. Everything we planned for went to plan. R is resting and being cared for; Shannon is resting and being cared for. It's a crazy parallel if you think about it. Maybe this is nature's way of giving Shannon a (very compressed) empathetic experience of pregnancy. I'm not trying to spin things - I hope (we hope) Shannon never has to go through this again. However, what's done is done. And if this bit of sacrifice helps prime the karma surrounding R's pregnancy, we'll take it.


  1. Poor Shannon. The flight home must have been awful, but like you said, I have a feeling this is the universe telling you guys a little discomfort on your part = good news for R.

    Looking forward to that good news!!!

  2. Poor Shannon, I agree. Though I didn't go through it my niece was experiencing some major issues while Bill and I ran to the pharmacy (3x), called the clinic 2x, and just in the end realized that her ovaries were the size of mellons and we had to wait it out. Thank goodness she had a comfy room and the whole first season of Lost to occupy her time...oh and metamucil and butter noodles in the hotel room. CRAZY. It's all worth it, remember...

  3. I just caught up on all of this reading! WOW!!! What you've all went through was exciting, emotional and overwhelming. You are troopers. Now, how can we help? I'd like to send dinner some night this week or come and visit. I"ll get in touch via email so you can let me know what you need.

  4. So glad to read that you are home, safe and sound ... I'm sure that's the best place in the world (literally) for Shannon to rest and heal. I hope you both get some sleep and that Shannon is (with the help of good food, family and narcotics) feeling better quickly.

    We are all thinking of you and will continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers for your anxious two week wait.
    xo Lise

  5. Glad to hear you are back home safe.
    The return flight is brutal anyway you slice it. Now visualize doing it with two preemies who need to be fed every two hours or they will pass out from hypoglycemia, with a stop in a hostile Middle Eastern city whose staff amongst other craziness insisted on strip-searching the babies (2.5 weeks old, barely 4lbs each) and confiscating our passports until they cleared with Interpol that we were not kidnappers, then another lovely 15 hours to the insanity of JFK, all this mind you in ECONOMY. That is an experience we will never forget.
    Hope you get a big fat positive in the coming weeks.

  6. I am glad you are both home safe. I know you will start to feel much better soon Shannon. Our best to you both and now just rest and take care of yourselves. We send our love.
    Kristine and Marty