20 March 2007: In the air!

Category: Photos
Posted by: erin
Finally, we managed to finalize the arrangements for moving to Cleveland. Dad and I were both ancy all morning, until I told him to cut it out. I was the one that was allowed to be ancy, not him. (I don't delude myself that he actually stopped, of course, but he was amused).

I managed to get all my stuff packed and get out of the hotel and over to the TICU with my (actually Ruth's) suitcase around lunchtime (thanks to Melissa). Let me tell you, you get weird looks walking into the TICU with a suitcase. I must have asked a billion times to make sure the envelope with all of Dad's charts was ready, and that it had everything, etc. Kim and Lisa were very tolerant, as I was clearly jumping-out-of-my-skin-ready-to-go.

It was hard when all that was left to do was wait. I couldn't really sit still-- so I went wandering all around saying goodbye to all of the fabulous people at the Med (and there were quite a few). Some of Dad's nurses from the past week, notably both Vangie and Steph, came to say goodbye and wish Dad well. When the transport crew arrived with the gurney for the ambulance, we had quite a few people around to wish us well. Both Dad and I will remember that moment for a long time-- it was completely unexpected, and incredibly moving.

The transport crew arrived around 2:30p, and we headed away from the hospital to the airport, which was less than 20 minutes away (maybe only 10, I don't remember). The ambulance drove through a cool back gate, and we went directly plane-side. They transferred dad from the wheeled ambulance gurney to one suited for the small plane. Dad was lifted into the plane (which was a feat in and of itself-- the plane had a door built to allow the gurney inside and it was still an awkward maneuver), my suitcase went into the nose, and the rest of us (pilot, paramedic, nurse, and me) crawled in and prepared to take off.

The plane (from this company):
Air Amubulance plane in flight

The crew (and cockpit):
The flight crew

Dad (next to me)

The long view of Dad and the end of the plane!
The long view

The take-off and landing were beautifully executed by the pilot (Dad applauded), the paramedic and nurse were entertaining, and the trip was otherwise uneventful. We landed at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, and went by ambulance (slow, no lights or siren) to the burn unit at Metro.

Aunt Phyl and Ruth were there. At first we were all a little shocked by the change in visiting rules: in Memphis, there were 4 fixed visiting times a day, with 4 people allowed in the room at a time; at Metro, visiting hours last pretty much all day, but only 2 people are allowed in the room at a time. That took some adjustment. I was also taken aback by the sudden lack of Tennessee accents, and the return of northern brisqueness. You really can get used to southern hospitality.
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Eric wrote:

Go Mike! Hope all is well! We look forward to seeing you up and about again very soon! An observation: With less moving joints you now have an advantage at "Washers".
-- 29 March 2007 23:58:33
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