the sick pilot

Why is it that you plan out a day, but when the day actually arrives it is nothing like you planned.

This day in particular I needed to paint one, if not two rooms in the new house.  The carpet is being laid July 13th, so we got some work to do!  Well, the other night I got a call that my uncle was admitted to the hospital. So, that morning we got up and headed to the hospital...sure we had painting to do, but my uncle was more important.  By the time we got home it was about 3pm, but not after a stop for lunch at Skyline Chili (note: Skyline Chili).

I quickly changed into my painting gear, headed off to Sherwin Williams for three gallons of paint (one for CC's room, one for the toy room and the last for the closets).  I then went to the house, painted the remainder of the upstairs hallway and then tried to tackle our master closet.  It was about 5pm or so, and after struggling with some stripped screwdrivers I called it quits.  I mowed the lawn, which took about an hour or so, and then headed home.  I do want to mention that while mowing I actually saw a bald eagle in flight...VERY cool!

I got home around 6:30pm, just in time for CC's bedtime.  I walked into Ben and CC eating dinner.  Steve told me he wasn't feeling well.  "Uh - oh," I thought.  He went into the family room and rested.

Fast forward a couple hours and Steve was still not feeling well. I put the kids down and went to mow the grass.  By the way, mowing two lawns in one day is a pain in the ass!  I got done around 9:20p - just in time for my in-laws to show up at the house, as they were staying the night.  They got settled and I got a glass of water.  My mother-in-law and I then sat at the kitchen island and all the sudden we hear "uhhhhh........buawwwww......." Yes, Steve was finally getting sick.  All I could think of was "he has a 5:25a he going to make it?" and "good thing I didn't have the chili!"

I went upstairs to make sure he was okay.  As we all know, when you get sick you finally start feeling better.  He fell asleep shortly after.

Sure enough the alarm went off at 4:25 and he was out the door on time.  I am assuming his plane went out on time.  He was feeling fine, but just a little dehydrated.  Nothing a bottle of water won't take care of. 

The thing about a sick pilot is that you can't have one.  Steve once got sick enroute.  Yes, as he was climbing out he got sick.  His poor F/O was stuck in this little cockpit with this puking guy not five feet from him.  The plane he was flying had one lav at the back of the plane.  Imagine Steve excusing himself and passing 50 passengers with vomit all over his tie.  So, he was stuck in front.  Once Steve landed his trip was dropped and he headed home. 

Or how about the flu of 2003.  I got it first.  During my multiple trips to the bathroom that night Steve just kept thinking "poor girl" and "thank goodness it isn't me!"  Ah, he spoke too soon.  He had a very early show that morning.  His alarm went off, he walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower.  Sure enough, the flu hit him like a ton of bricks and instantly he got sick.  As soon as he was able, he called crew scheduling to call in sick.  Because he didn't give a two hour notice it was noted in his file, or something like that.  But, I can guarantee that you would NOT have wanted him to fly that day.

How about ear infections?  A normal person could take some pills and be okay.  Not a pilot.  Steve still gets ear infections still and it would be incredibly painful for him to fly with one.  On a flight once I was sitting next to a little boy that had an ear infection and all he could do was cry...they are that painful in the air.  I know a pilot that wrenched her back while moving her flight case (those things are HEAVY) and she was out a good while as she recovered.  I also know pilots that are out on medical leave since they are taking certain prescription medications.

Steve is feeling better, but I doubt he will ever eat Skyline again.  Day 1 of his trip took him to the Dominican Republic...what better way to recover than poolside in a tropical destination.