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Leading up to the date we had flights scheduled, I kept telling Micah, “we could just cancel and stay here. It makes me tired to just think about it.” I was going to be leaving him behind in Illinois to work, and taking all three kids out west by myself.
We would both look at each other, not liking that we were choosing to be apart, but the alternative wasn’t great either.
One big goal of this trip was to make a “clean break” from our possessions that had been with us in the place we were sensitized to mold and mycotoxins. We also wanted to get away long enough to see if an arid environment was enough to help health issues. Our hope was that going out west would be the catalyst for improving the symptoms the kids and I were dealing with.
Tuesday, May 23rd –
When I told Micah I was concerned about going through security and having nowhere to set Jotham while they patted us down, he went out and got a new stroller for me to take on the trip (I skip the metal detector as a precaution due to Jotham’s programmable VP shunt. Some would say it’s unnecessary, but I don’t mind the extra fuss for the peace of mind).
We packed a suitcase with necessary medical supplies, as well as brand new clothing and toiletries we would need upon arrival in Vegas. A friend brought some special backpacks filled with travel goodies and toys for the kids to occupy themselves on the plane ride. Beyond that I had the portable oxygen concentrator (POC), one bag of bare necessities (including batteries for the POC), Jotham’s pulse oximeter, and a small stroller to make getting through the airports easier.
Micah brought us to the Midway airport for our 9:45 PM flight, with our possessions carefully wrapped in plastic and stowed in the back of his car (to prevent cross-contaminating our new things). He assembled the stroller in the parking garage since we had left it packaged up until that point. We flew out at such a late hour because of the cost factor (our flights were 1/3 the cost of a daytime flight, which meant Micah could come out and visit us more than once).
The airline gave Micah a “boarding assistant” pass so that he could come with us all the way to the gate. A very kind lady offered to help me on and off the plane, and she even got several people to move so that there was an empty row at the front of the plane for all of us.
The flight was uneventful besides the exciting parts like take-off and snack time (highlights for Chloe and Toby). We like to fly Southwest, so the staff is always very kind, and this was no exception. All three kids fell asleep for the last hour of the flight, and we landed in Vegas just before 2 AM central time.
The kind lady that helped us onto the plane was headed to Vegas for a bowling tournament, and her son was with her as well. He was a tall, stalwart guy, and he was so kind and gentle with Toby. He picked him up and told him not to be scared, slinging Toby’s tiny backpack over his broad shoulder and carrying him to the baggage claim.
We found our checked baggage, and were greeted by the very hot, desert air as we walked outside to find the hotel shuttle. We had a hotel room reserved at a nearby La Quinta. The room was not great, and I had allergy symptoms start almost immediately after entering, but decided to stick it out since we’d be decontaminating the next morning anyway. We were all sleeping by 3 AM CST.