Blessings on your hat and the head beneath it.

Filed under: @ 6:01 pm

Valerie and Curt are right, it’s not fair to leave y’all hanging. And truthfully I didn’t do it on purpose, I always did plan on coming back and finishing the story.

Let’s see.

So we were in the ER at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe feeling like we’d both been set upon by rabid Sumo wrestlers.
After I finished having my hypersensitivity reaction and they’d convinced themselves that neither of us was going to spontaneously combust any further than we already had, the medical folks told us to go home (oh how I WISHED) and go back to bed.
Which we promptly did.

A profound nap later and we were addressing part B of this most clustered of fucks. Which is to say, we were trying to figure out how we could get home. NOW!

Andrew was sitting in his bed with his laptop and phone. Andrew was taking on the “how soon can we travel” and the “how in hell are we going to get from the airport to our home?” part of the issue.

Since I’d made the reservations I was the lucky stiff who got to deal with the plane tickets. Piled in pillows on my bed I was switching between my phone and my tablet.

I started with American Airlines. We’ve got tickets for July 6th. We want to see if we can move them up to July 4th. Shouldn’t be difficult, right?

WRONG! This might have been true in some universe but the multi-verse version of our reality was the “Wow you need a really sucky vacation.” one and it absolutely was not easy.

I spent an hour on the phone with the ticketing people at American Airlines. I had gotten far enough that we had new flight numbers, new times, and new seat assignments. Since we’d purchased first class tickets *and* flight insurance we weren’t even going to have to pay extra to change our tickets.
But when it came down to issuing the tickets the computer at American Airlines shit the bed.
Another half an hour passed while I improved my familiarity with the hold music for American Airlines ticketing.
The ticket agent with whom I had been working finally came back and asked if I’d booked my tickets directly through American Airlines.
Why no. No I hadn’t booked directly through American Airlines.
Which, of course, was the problem. To be able to change my American Airlines tickets I’d have to talk to the people through whom I’d purchased the tickets. Travelocity for the record. Why on EARTH would I think that I could change my airline tickets by talking to someone from the airline? Silly me!

So I went to Travelocity. I went to the “I want to change my plans” part of the website. Which told me I had to talk to the airline.

Much language.

Y’know that part of pretty much any website out there where you can click on a menu, a tab, or a button that says “Contact us”? You wanna know how challenging it is to find that section of Travelocity’s site?

Andrew ordered dinner while I was arguing with Travelocity.com. I finally, FINALLY found somewhere that I could go for live chat help and was promptly told I had to wait for the next available warm body to answer.

We ate dinner.

45 minutes later I was connected to a lovely person named Avinash in some place like Bangalore (I assume. I know that English is not this person’s native language at least.)

I proceeded to spend the next *TWO HOURS* on live chat with Avinash.
I was falling asleep in the interstices of my conversation with Avinash before we got everything hammered out.
But by 10 p.m. on Friday July 1st Andrew and I had tickets for a flight from Albuquerque to Phoenix and a flight from Phoenix to Seattle that would land us at home around 3 p.m. on Monday the 4th.
After offering blessings on Avinash’s hat (and head) we shut down the tech, plugged everything in to recharge for the next day and went. the. fuck. to. SLEEP!


Thank you Christus St. Vincent

Filed under: @ 5:14 pm

Friday morning came around and, in a passionately desperate attempt to get the EFF out of Santa Fe before we had to remove ourselves from the hotel and sleep in Meg’s back yard or something, we decided to call around and see if we could get an Approved Treatment sooner than Saturday morning.
At that point we really didn’t care who we had to run over to get there, we just. Wanted. Out. I can say with authority that I have never been so homesick.
So we called the health department. Who didn’t have any idea what we were talking about. They didn’t have doses of monoclonal antibodies to administer, why would we think they did? The person that I spoke with actually seemed affronted by the question.
We knew that the hospital that was just up the road from us wouldn’t be able to help. It was they that had told us to call their infusion center the day before. So we called the only other hospital in town, Christus St. Vincent.

Yes! We were told. Their ER did have doses of monoclonal antibodies to administer!

So we threw on garments that might have been classified as clothing and headed for the car at full steam.

Which, for the record, is a remarkably snail-like pace when one has Covid.

Andrew had far worse respiratory signs than I did. I had the fatigue and body aches more dramatically than he did. I felt like someone had spent most of the previous 24 hours trying to remove my bones and had stopped halfway.
Which is why Andrew drove.

Drove me up to the front door of the Christus St. Vincent ER in fact. I got out, flolloped myself up to the triage desk and said (I swear I’m not making this up): “I tested positive for Covid yesterday and I heard you guys have doses of monoclonal antibodies. I’m hoping you can either make me feel better or kill me.”
The dude behind the triage desk was remarkably sanguine about that statement. He printed me out a wrist band and told me to go sit over there.
Which I gleefully did. Standing up was not my favorite thing right then.

In the mean time Andrew was abandoning the car in the closest possible parking spot which might have been the “reserved for physicians” parking area. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

When Andrew flumped himself up to the triage desk and told them that he was a solid organ transplant recipient and that he’d tested positive for Covid the night before the dude behind the desk was not at all sanguine. Andrew got a wrist band and was hustled off into some (to my perception) mysterious back room in the blink of an eye.
15 minutes later they called my name and I shuffled into the room where they’d secreted Andrew. It looked like a re-purposed conference room, being large, airy, and separated from the rest of the emergency department by solid doors and windows, but at that point the only thing that really mattered was that there were reclining chairs on to which I could collapse.
Which I did.

Nurse took my vital signs and, having had the detailed story from Andrew a few minutes previously, only took a very brief history from me.
Nurse went to get the attending PA who, having gotten the detailed story from Andrew a few minutes previously, only asked me a few questions and told me that he’d already ordered me a dose of the monoclonal antibodies.
Prior to this experience I’d not realized that miracle workers wore ceil blue scrubs and Dansko work shoes.

Presently we had both had IV catheters placed. Some time after that the nurse came in with the drugs. 10mL followed by a 10mL saline flush then, since this is a relatively new drug and since Andrew is a solid organ transplant recipient, 45-60 minutes of observation.
The nurse filled Andrew up with *The Good Stuff*, filled me up, then went over to the computer work station do start in on whatever paperwork she had to do while keeping us under observation.

I had hoped to nap but within a few minutes I felt like someone had reached their fist in through my chest and was squeezing.
Then I noticed that my lips and the tips of my fingers were all tingly.
It was as I was saying to the nurse “Hey, am I supposed to feel like this?” that Andrew looked over, gasped, and said “You are BRIGHT red!”
Which is apparently a good way to get the attention of a nurse.

Nurse hooked me up to all sorts of monitoring equipment and, having assured herself that I wasn’t actually at a point where she’d have to trigger all sorts of alarms, went to go get the PA. Who brought the attending MD. Both of whom poked and prodded at me but since the reaction was calming down they decided that they didn’t really need to give me any sort of drugs.
I have the peculiar honor of having been only the second of thousands of people to whom Christus St. Vincent had administered that particular monoclonal antibody to have an immediate hypersensitivity reaction to it.


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