4 hours ago
Thursday, June 16, 2016
So I finally made it up to YELL on Wednesday 8 June after my presentation at BYU on the evening of 7 June. And now I'm home again. It was a great five days, yet miserable, due to illness. I did get to attend a couple of my ranger's programs, including his new Centennial Program. I also got to meet up with Loretta and her husband--they came to Ken's evening program and stopped by government housing the next morning.
Also, I did a three hour stint in uniform at the front desk and that is always a guaranteed fun time. The rangers themselves are hilarious and then there's the general public. I helped to swear in several Junior Rangers, I gently guided three twenty-something dudes toward the whole idea of securing lodging before they climb all the tall steep mountains they had in mind, and I assisted a family whose autistic son grabbed and threw his younger brother's prescription glasses at a resting bison near a thermal feature called Mud Volcano. He didn't care for the smell of the place and had a little freakout. Rafael asked Owen if he'd like to go on a little glasses retrieval expedition, because this family from California wanted their younger son to be able to actually SEE the rest of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks, and Owen accepted the assignment. He climbed over the side of the wooden fence while a visitor held onto his hand/wrist/arm and leaned off the wooden structure with the stick/grabber-tool they keep stashed out there for such purposes (the bison had finally left) and retrieved the glasses--which had been rolled on, stepped on, and otherwise bent out of shape. This was after Owen had radioed in for more information about the precise location of the glasses (because they weren't visible...no wonder, after the bison had rolled on them burying them in mud and dust). I went out to the parking lot to ask the waiting family for more details and fortunately the dad had both photos and video of the place so that we could tell Owen it was slightly to the right of the sign that had the name of the thermal feature and about eight feet back. I tell ya, visitors have no idea about the amount of manpower that goes into helping them sometimes. But we all like to keep the SERVICE in National Park Service! Oh, and I received a report of someone smoking weed in the vault toilet near the warming hut. One of the rangers said, "Of all the land here in Yellowstone with miles of trails and 80% of it covered in forest, WHY would you smoke in a vault toilet?"
So I got this really painful sore throat. I tried pushing liquids, soups with vegetables, and getting lots of sleep. No improvement. I tried calling the Lake Clinic which is just a mile from government housing. Yeah. An office call there starts at $200 and goes up. I decided that for less than $200 I could drive all the way home to my own doctor, get a prescription, and rest in our home with all the amenities. I hated to leave my husband, but sometimes you just have to take a timeout.
I believe I pushed myself too hard with all the end of the year obligations at school, summer collaboration, my final project at BYU, and packing for and moving to Wyomin'. Something got to me and I sometimes wonder, "Was it a germ on the handle of the gas pump at Boozer's in Idaho?"
I left the park and drove to just outside of the boundary in Montana where I could get cell service again. I called my doctor and made an appointment for 3:15 that afternoon. Drove straight there (with a couple of bison jams as photographed...a lot of little red dogs were slowing things down by nursing in the middle of the road...such good bison moms) and was informed I had bacterial infections in both eyes, one ear, and of course, my throat (swollen glands in my neck, painful to swallow, all the nasty). He emailed a couple of prescriptions for antibiotics so I headed for the store and claimed my meds along with some fresh food since our home was "closed" for the summer. I went home and filled myself up with those marvelous antibiotics and went straight to bed. That was around 5:30 p.m. on Monday. It is now Thursday morning and my suitcase is still in the trunk of my car. I'm starting to perk up, so I may just retrieve it today--big goals on the horizon.
I promised my doctor I really would be able to rest and sleep and focus on healing because nobody knows I'm here. I didn't tell my presidency or anyone. Only my husband has been checking in on me. I know I've been really sick because I haven't felt like reading. Just sleep, sleep, sleep, a little Facebook, a little Candy Crush, a little television, and more sleep. I also got around to showering last night.
That's how I kicked off my summer vacation 2016. Meanwhile, the ranger has been texting me great photos of all the stuff he's been seeing. And when we talk at night, I tell him the latest tv news because it takes a little longer for some news to reach Fishing Bridge. And he said the sweetest thing the other day. He drove to Cody for groceries and took the long way by driving Chief Joseph. He said, "It was pretty and stuff but it wasn't very fun because you weren't with me."
I'm coming, Honey! Just as soon as I'm able.