Last time we met, I was trying — and failing — to get to Europe earlier this month; just the latest in a string of traveling blunder. Well, getting there was only part of the story.
My friends and I were in Paris for a little over a week. The eight of us were split up into two apartments. We can literally say that we saw Paris… Notre Dame, Pere LaChaise Cemetery, The Louvre, The Catacombs, Musee D’Orsay, Sacre Couer, been there, done that! We ate the cheeses, and even had an anxiety inducing visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower (hey, it’s really high!).
And for good measure, I did a 5K race, despite having a ginormous blister on my foot all week — the announcer seemed to take some glee in repeatedly announcing that I was the final finisher of the race. I even randomly ran into someone I knew in high school who is now living over there.
Alas, all things come to an end… and that’s where this story begins!
When it came time to return back to life, my friend and I Ubered to the airport and patiently waited the three hours to board the plane. Despite a week of hearing French — note, I didn’t exactly speak French while in Paris. I would blurt out whichever language computed in my brain first. Sometimes it was Spanish. Other times English. My friends especially enjoyed when it was Mandarin. And occasionally, French would come out.
I couldn’t understand the agents at the gate, so I told my friend that I had elite status it was probably okay for us to just board — you know, as one does. We showed our tickets to the gatekeeper directing people to the boarding line. She sent us to the priority lane and we walked up to the gate. The agent swiped my ticket and paused. Literally, I think we both held our breath, praying nothing else would happen.
“Let me check your seat,” the nice Parisian woman said.
“My ticket says 10F,” I said, trying to be helpful.
“Oh, it looks like you have been upgraded. You’ve been upgraded to 1E,” she said with a smile.
My dumbfounded, also known as Captain Obvious, “So, is that first class?”
“Yes, moron. It’s the first row,” said my friend.
She also ended up getting upgraded to an exit row. But as we boarded, we parted ways. Her going to where the commoners sit and me going to the only place that I feel I should sit from now on. (Once you get a taste for being fancy, you can’t go back. What can I say?)
Champagne was offered instantly, and I gladly obliged. I mean, it would be rude to say no, right?
We got a three course meal for lunch. To be honest, I can’t tell you what the first course was. I think it might have been a tuna steak, but realistically, it could have been Fancy Feast cat food. Either/or, maybe a mixture to cut costs? Fun fact: First Class has more free breadsticks than the Olive Garden!
I watched some movies on French Netflix that aren’t available on the American Netflix. But, alas, I still wasn’t able to sleep. I laid with my feet up on the foot rest for almost nine hours, except for when I went to the bathroom.
This felt like some kind of karmic retribution for our trip to Europe and I was more than happy to accept.
Of course, I instagrammed this because, well, I am a millennial. If it’s not properly documented, did it really happen?
The train home from the airport was uneventful. I took Monday off from work to recover and went back on Tuesday. About halfway through the day my left calf started to throb. Obviously, it was a sign that I shouldn’t be back at work!
I brushed it off, figuring it was a knott from shifting my weight on my foot due to the blister. That and all the walking on vacation (we averaged about 20,000-25,000 steps per day), it’s surprising my leg didn’t just fall off. But by Friday, it still hadn’t gotten better. I tried foam rolling. I used a softball to dig into my calf. Nothing worked to get it to stop throbbing.
So, I broke down and went to the doctor. She was checking me out and was saying that she thought it was a muscle strain. But since I just flew home and had a nine-hour flight, she wanted to send me for an ultrasound. Apparently, something happens over the Atlantic Ocean, where if you think hard enough legs can get pregnant!
Well, surprise! The ultrasound came back positive! That damn flight gave me a blood clot in two places. Mother trucker!
This led to me having to go to the ER Friday night, just in time for the midnight crew — which included a schizophrenic off of his meds, trying to physically fight someone no one else could see, a woman on FaceTime without earphones talking about how she had been locked up and arguing with the person on the other end that she was actually in the ER, and then there was the guy sleeping next to me who had a drooling problem. As my friend perfectly described, I was basically like Brenda in “Adventures in Babysitting.”
I’ve now been battling these blood clots for almost two weeks, taking multiple injections each day, plus pills, and am not allowed to do anything strenuous. While on the blood thinners, which will be for three months to make sure the clots are gone and don’t come back, I’m not allowed to drink. Although that first day after finding out I had the clots, but before getting the call to go to the ER, I did go to happy hour. My thinking was that alcohol thins your blood, so I was really just trying to help the process. Apparently it doesn’t work like that. Who knew? Actually, it seems everyone but me knew that.
When I instagrammed that I was in first class, I had a lot of people text to say that my travel blues had ended. Alas, that bitch karma came back and bit me in the ass.
Never one to stay down though: If I get clearance from the doctor, I am scheduled to help my brother bring my 18-month-old nephews/godsons to Chicago this coming weekend for Labor Day.
What are the odds it’ll be a smooth ride?
Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome. His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”
You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob