After administering to my ailing dental patient and getting a speeding ticket on the Grand Central parkway, I entered my house at 3:30 a.m. The problem: I was scheduled for an 8 a.m. flight to San Francisco. It was 20 years ago and, unlike the present times, you could get there 45 minutes before takeoff. We were traveling with our friends, the Greenes, "California - here we come."
I was bleary-eyed as I looked for my seat on the plane. Three hours of almost-sleep is not recommended for those who wish to be alert and bushy-tailed. I was hoping to recapture some rest on the five-hour trip to the coast. My seat was in the exact last row and it was cramped, uncomfortable and misshaped. Human legs obviously were not considered when this plane was built, as there was no place to put them comfortably. Only five hours to go in this torturous position!
The most exhilarating part of arriving at a new and interesting destination is the rush of adrenaline and the urge to experience everything at once. My three traveling companions threw their bags into the hotel room and ran out immediately to swallow up the "City beside the Bay - San Francisco." After all, we had gained three hours on the clock and they were raring to go.
I, on the other hand, after my sleepless night and cramped plane trip was feeling no lustiness at all. My head was spinning and I began to get funny messages from my chest cavity.
"Was I having a heart attack?" they asked me.
"I don't know," was my truthful reply.
I could feel their unrequited energy, but I was having a problem. "I don't think I better go running around," I mumbled.
Usually, I was the mercuric traveler, but not this time. They whisked me off to the emergency room of St. Francis Hospital deep in the huge Chinatown of San Francisco.
The attendants at the hospital immediately placed me in a wheelchair.
Within 45 minutes they took me to five departments and administered at least a dozen tests on my body. I marveled at the short amount of time that had accomplished everything. At a New York hospital, all those tests would have taken three days.
As the physicians pored over my test results, they placed me on a gurney and left me alone in the hall. It felt wonderful to just lie there. All the commotion was over and I was absolutely blissful just lying there. A few moments of rest, "Ah, it's wonderful."
I felt my strength returning and my mind eased. I knew I was not having a heart attack and all I needed was a few moments rest lying on the gurney. As I slowly recovered, Sue Greene approached the moveable bed. She looked distraught and worried over my terrible situation. Almost with tears she asked, "How do you feel?"
As she leaned over, I whispered into her ear, "Make reservations at a Chinese restaurant. Let's all of us get the heck out of here."
Just a little rest is sometimes all we need.