Monday, July 17, 2017

Capitals, Delays and Nuclear Medicine

I had an opportunity to visit two nation's capitals this last week. Washington DC and Ottawa Canada. I have been to these cities before, but never in the same week.  The bustle of the two cities is very similar as everywhere you turn there is another government building, memorials, constant construction and lots of people from all over the world.

Washington DC

My flight from Sacramento to Washington DC went through Houston and was without incident except for the delay from Houston to BWI (Baltimore). About 30 minutes late.  That would not have been a big deal but I was already getting in at midnight. This caused a cascade of delays that put me at my hotel about 1:30 am. I had about 4 hours of sleep before I had to wake up and make my early morning meeting. The meeting went great and gave me the afternoon before I had to catch another flight to Ottawa. I looked at getting an earlier flight but to no avail. I had to wait until 9pm to catch my flight out of DCA (Reagan National).

So I had the afternoon to take a nap or walk around DC. Since I was tired and it was hot outside (95 degrees with 80% humidity) I was prepared to get a nap, but Paige convinced me to go see the new Spiderman movie. I walked over to the nearest movie theater and for an afternoon matinee I paid $15 to see the movie. At least it was in a nice air-conditioned theater. There were only 5 other people in the movie (it was the middle of the day on a Tuesday). The movie was great, but it was eerie with the theater being so quiet.


After my movie I hustled back to the hotel and drove my car to the airport. With plenty of time I was able to get some work done at the airport. I was also watching as my flight was delayed 10 minutes, then 30, 60 then back to 20. I knew I might get stuck in Washington DC for the night. Luckily I was only delayed 30 minutes and arrived in Ottawa at 11pm. 

Every time I go to Ottawa it is an adventure to get through immigration. They are in the process of changing their process and procedures to make getting through immigration quickly. One of the new changes is putting in self-service kiosks that make it easy to process people. Since these are new they are still working out the kinks in the system. I ended up being red flagged for additional screening. Joy.

After waiting 30 minutes to talk to an immigration officer, I was asked a series of questions about why I am visiting, if I have ever been arrested, who I live with, and what I was doing in Toronto in 1994. Wow, they remembered that I worked in Toronto for a year and that Dallin was born there. I quickly finished all of their questions and headed to the hotel. Another late night with a little bit of sleep for the next day. Luckily I didn't have a meeting first thing in the morning and had a chance to sleep in.

I had  several meetings over the next couple of days but had some time to see parts of Ottawa. Some
of the things that caught my eye was the Changing of the Guard. I had the chance to see this from one of the buildings along the street of the marching path. I had know idea that Canada had a changing of the guard much like what I have seen in England. It reminded my that the US and Canada both had roots from England. Canada embraced more of their roots, while the American Revolutionaries did everything they could to cast off the oppression of the Kind. Funny how much we are the same and different at the same time.

Coming Home

After two days of meetings I was anxious to get home. I went to the airport with time to get through immigration before I got on my airplane. This is a nice perk of leaving from Ottawa. I go through US immigration before I get on the airplane. Luckily no incidents.  When I got through immigration I heard my flight from Ottawa to New Jersey had been delayed. This meant that I was going to miss my connection to Sacramento. I went to the flight counter and they had already booked me on another flight that went through Chicago. I actually got me home 1 hour earlier. I was very happy about that.  I caught my flight after feasting on fries with poutine and bacon. I had to have fatty foods for my HIDA scan the next day. That is my excuse and I am sticking with it. 

Nuclear Medicine

After arriving home, I looked at my original flight from Jersey and saw that it was delayed until 3am in the morning. Boy am I glad I got on a different flight. This actually gave me time to irritate my gall bladder a little bit more. I stopped at In and Out on my way home and picked up a Double-Double at 11pm at night. You got to love that In and Out stays open until 1am.

The next morning Paige took me to the doctor to get my HIDA scan done to figure out what is going on with my gall bladder. The whole week I actually felt pretty good. I was anxious to find out what was really going on with my "gut".  A HIDA scan basically injects a radioactive isotope into your blood stream and then they give you drugs that mimic eating fatty foods filling up your gall bladder and then giving you more drugs to force your gall bladder to empty. They take pictures and movies watching the function of the gall bladder.

Good news is that there is nothing wrong with my gall bladder. Bad news is they don't know where the pain in my gut is coming from. That means more tests. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime I am actually feeling pretty good.