Food Blog Forum ’12 Part 1

Most of y’all that follow me on all the social media sites know about my drama over the weekend… however, I know you guys also have lives and may not have been socially networking at the same time I was sharing my drama excitement.  I have to admit, sometimes I will run into a friend and chit-chat, and then realize later on (via social networks) that something MAJOR just happened to him or her just  before our encounter. Then I feel bad for not mentioning the event that I was unaware of, but cyber- space knew all about. Has that ever happened to you?

Yeah, it sucks…

Anyway… over the weekend I was blessed to attend Food Blog Forum ’12 Orlando.  This involved hearing (and meeting) some of my most beloved cookbook authors & “blogists” , along with some wonderful foodie- socializing events and, DISNEY!!! Did I also mention a resort stay and family members were invited? How awesome.

But, sometimes when you plan on awesome-ness… other things happen to make you realize what’s really awesome in life.

The entire week prior to the event was filled with the fun anticipation and preparation of a mini vacation. This was going to be my 4 1/2 year olds first trip to Disney & my first trip to Epcot. Earlier in the week we picked up some princess swim goggles from the dollar store (score!) and she wore them the whole trip up…

Every time I’d turn around to peek at her from the front seat she’s squeal : “Diiiisneeeeey!”

I had butterflies for her.

So, we get to our destination, and we were thrilled our room was ready 6 hours early. Then, we hopped on the monorail and with the typical Disney  magic we were there.

I managed a total of three photos our entire 45 minutes there. The classic tourist shots with the castle..

One carousel ride…

About 20 minutes after this shot was taken, we were leaving Disney world by ambulance. Right out of Fantasyland.

Earlier in the day,when we first got there, my husband said he had a shaky feeling and wanted to eat. So we got some food and he said he was feeling a little better.  After the carousel he got some water and seemed to be on the mend, we went over to the Philhar-magic show that I had fast passes for and, after that he said maybe he just needed some sugar, and I got him a soda while he went off quietly in the shade.  I asked him if he wanted to go back to the room and he said, “No, you need to call someone”

My stomach turned to stone and my heart swelled in my throat.

My husband doesn’t ask for help. Ever.

Suddenly, I realized that this was serious.

I went up to the cashier and asked where a first aid place would be located. She said up on main street unless I needed paramedics she could call them. I looked over at my husband and asked if he wanted to head up to main street. His reply was , “No, call the paramedics.”

The stones in my stomach turned to a solid rock and it felt like I was going to vomit my heart.

We don’t have health insurance. This was really serious.

I turned to the lady and said: “Call the paramedics.” You hear that phrase so many times in movies and TV shows… it has totally different meaning when you speak it with your own tongue. To me, I felt like I was saying, ” Please get someone here to save my husband’s life”

Instantly, some Disney “people” showed up… I’m not sure who they were, some sort of executive types that must show up in situations like that. They were asking a lot of questions and my husband kept looking at me and asking where the paramedics were. Some ladies showed up to entertain my daughter and gave her a Minnie toy… people were walking by with curious and concerned stares…. I’m fighting the lump in my throat, and trying to act like this is something normal like weighing yourself at the grocery store for my daughters sake… then the paramedics came. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting it, but when I saw the stretcher I had another surge of emotion well up in me. I guess I was mentally prepared for the orange box and a guy with a stethoscope.

My husbands blood pressure was 188 over something else big… I can’t remember. They suggested we go to the hospital. The Disney executives asked what I’d like to do…

I knew that I couldn’t say what I wanted to… I wanted to go home and none of this ever happen, I wanted him okay, I wanted to go back in time and prevent this somehow…but, I knew that this was real and it was happening. I have to say, the Disney folks were beyond accommodating. They got my stroller to the Polynesian, and offered reimbursement for our for travel expenses to get back to the hotel when it was time.

I left my stroller and hopped in the ambulance with my daughter. I began to attempt to contact my friend who was also attending the conference. My phone wouldn’t work. I realized I had forgotten to paid the bill before we left town, and with Metro they disconnect you after being 24 hours late. I’m frantically trying to pay the bill, and it was so loud that the automated payment system wouldn’t decipher my words.  My daughter dozed in my arms while my hubby lay on a stretcher…. the ride was agonizing.

Where I live, there are billboards everywhere touting how short the ER wait is at local hospitals… we waited four hours. For a germaphobe like myself, four hours in the ER with a 4 year old was about as close to torture as I could get. I think I depleted one of the hand sanitizing stations while waiting. When my phone service finally came back on, I called my friend… for prayers and support. I tweeted and facebooked our location, to let as many people know as possible, since my battery was near dead, (although I had charged my phone several hours the night before) I knew it wouldn’t last the many phone called to family members.

I think they make you wait at ERs so long is so that you’re in a good mood once you’re finally called.

.. this was not a photo I expected to snap over the weekend.

Eventually, the doctor comes in and ordered x-rays, EKGs, and a CAT scan… or was it an MRI?-One of those. The nurse that wheeled him out said he’d be back within ten to fifteen minutes. So my daughter and I snuggled up on a chair together (to stay warm) and watched some NickJr, to avoid any reminding of anything Disney… for the moment. Time went by.. and by… I’m beginning to worry, that something happened in transit and nobody stopped to tell me. Another nurse came in and was surprised he wasn’t back yet. My mind began to unfold catastrophic events that could have taken place. My daughter slept in my lap and I waited. And waited.

Once he returned, he seemed in good spirits and  the nurse was informing me how one machine broke so they had to take him into anther department. “The nice one,” she said “We pump coconut fragrance there and it’s decorated like an island.”

“Only in Orlando” I presume in my head.

So, the family is back together in our tiny icebox of an ER room, and reality had sunk in. My husband’s health, the bill, the conference, and my daughters first Disney experience.  This was what were were anticipating all week- however, our anticipation was for something much different than how it turned out.  At this point, the anticipation really was better than the trip. Now we were anticipating weather he’d be admitted or not. His BP was steady at 152, but that was still high.. what were the tests going to reveal? You always hear about people going to the ER with a sprained ankle and coming out diagnosed with brain cancer… scary stuff.

About this time, my fellow foodies were enjoying giant shrimp and pomegranate martinis. I was longing for things to have turned out different. But, I also knew that I’d miss all the shrimp and martinis in the world – just to know my husband is okay, and to be able to go back to the resort hand in hand.

The doctor finally emerged from the frosted door with a stack of papers and an okay for him to be discharged. His BP instantly dropped 8 more points. And, we were able to laugh. For the first time in what seemed like eons.

I managed to make it to my seminar Saturday with probably the best excuse ever at why I didn’t show up Friday night. However, for myself it was the worst excuse ever. oh, how I wish I were were just playing hooky, and didn’t have the tale to tell.

It turns out it was some sort of panic/anxiety attack accompanied by high blood pressure issues. We’re both doing a lot of changes in diet and lifestyle to never be in the same situation again.  Things will get better, they  actually already are, just by knowing I have my man with me today.

Part two of this story is going to be much more cheerful, folks. I promise. I got to meet some of my favorite cookbook authors and blogger friends. I ate some incredible food, and I counted my blessings over and over again.





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