Two very different trips

By Mir
July 10, 2008

The fun and excitement and travel and near-death experiences just NEVER END around here. Not everyone could be me, you know, and that’s both because it would be confusing to have more than one of me AND because you need an iron constitution to survive my life. Just in case you were wondering.

So I’ve had this great Love Thursday post planned since last week, back when we’d gone and spent the 4th of July doing patriotic things like letting the children handle fire.

(Yeah, see, I thought I understood patriotism when I lived in New England, but that was before I moved to Georgia, the Let Your Kids Set Off Their Own Fireworks state. Silly me!)

Oh, we didn’t really let the kids set off their own fireworks. At least I think we didn’t. Actually, I have no idea, because I refused to participate in the fireworks extravaganza, opting instead to stay inside like the delicate lady that I am. With Joshilyn. And Kira. And some wine. We all express love for our country in different ways, you know? I express mine with Pinot Grigio.

No, what we did was send the men outside with the children, where they watched things blow up and played with sparklers and probably didn’t touch anything more dangerous than a (highly supervised) match. I hope.

Otto came back inside with this picture:

(Sam, Monkey, Chickadee, Maisy)

As soon as I saw the picture, I thought of Love Thursday, of course, and so that was all I intended to share with you today.


Welcome to the fun that is my life: Yesterday, Otto and I boarded a plane for Boston, and we settled in with our iPods and after a while I got drowsy and turned mine off and took a nap.

I woke up some time later a bit groggy.

Have you ever woken up and as you’re clawing your way back to consciousness you just have a feeling of WRONGNESS? I’ve had it before—when I woke up in labor, when I’ve woken up and someone is missing who shouldn’t be, etc. Yesterday I woke up with that feeling. With alarm bells.

And you know, I was on a plane that appeared to be staying in the sky as designed, so as I blinked my way to alertness I couldn’t put my finger on the problem.

I looked at the woman to my left, and she was reading a book. I looked at Otto, on my right, and he was doubled over with his head in his hands.

I woke up. “What’s wrong? Otto? OTTO, WHAT’S WRONG?”

He turned to me only slightly, one hand still firmly clamped over his right eye. “I don’t know,” he said. “My eye hurts.”

Here is what you need to know about me and Otto and pain thresholds. If I bump into a dust mote, I will say “Ow!” If I have a genuine injury, I hope you’re prepared to listen to me complain about it for the next month, loudly and often. If Otto were to, say, have a limb severed in an accident? He would shrug and pick up the rest of his leg and say, “Well, that stings a little. I’m just gonna walk it off.”

So when Otto complains that something hurts, I LISTEN.

I also listen when he appears to be turning green and gasping in pain. As he was.

As usual, I’m TOTALLY AWESOME in a crisis. I immediately began to hyperventilate as I peppered him with questions. Otto continued squeezing his head and trying to breathe.

“It’s just the pressure change!” I babbled. “It’s a sinus thing! I’m sure it’s a sinus thing. You should try swallowing! And chewing some gum! And you should take this advil, here, take this, and also, can you squeeze my hand? And stick out your tongue? Because I AM A LITTLE BIT AFRAID THAT YOU ARE HAVING A STROKE.”

He wasn’t having a stroke, of course, but that didn’t change the fact that he remained green and shaky for the remainder of the flight. I think it was only my threat of taking him directly to the nearest emergency room that caused him to finally declare that the pain was going away. Once he was feeling normal again, naturally I had to KILL HIM.

Happy &#%#@$ Love Thursday. I’m delighted to be here up north with family, even if Otto did just take ten years off of my life.


  1. suburbancorrespondent

    So…wait…what happened with the eye? Did I miss something?

  2. All Adither

    Is he okay now? What ever was wrong? Poor Otto.

  3. Mir

    Sinus pressure, we guess. Only Otto would feel that as shooting pains in his EYE. He’s special.

  4. Leanne

    Weird! That happened to my husband too on our last flight to Florida. I wonder what causes it? I get the ears, but the eye?? hmph

  5. Tammy

    Glad to know he’s ok. I lurve that pic of the kids w/the fireworks–PRESHUS!!

  6. Jacqueline

    Well, I guess it makes sense, all that stuff up there is connected. I had tonsillitis once and was convinced that I also had an ear infection (what with the throbbing pain in my ear and all), but the nurse told me (after I made her double check my ear), that the problem was just that my tonsils were swollen enough to be pushing on my EAR and making it hurt. My last semester of undergrad was so much fun.

  7. BethR

    My husband has some sort of chronic swallowing problem which occasionally causes his esophagus to spasm (it goes away on its own but it’s very unpleasant for him when it happens) and he frequently feels the worst of the pain in his teeth of all places. I think in the head/neck area all the nerves are interconnected. I’m glad he’s feeling better!

  8. Holly

    Sounds like a lovely flight, ha! I’m sorry it happened, but hey, at least it wasn’t something far worse, right? LOVE the picture by the way, Otto is a great photographer!

  9. RuthWells

    Yikes. Glad it resolved itself.

  10. Aimee

    Um…OW. Poor Otto. Perhaps a large package of sinus meds is in order for the flight back? Yummy, yummy sinus meds.

    By the way, I do believe that it is now considered un-American to celebrate the Fourth with anything that sounds FOREIGN. And Pinot Grigio? That sounds French! And Italian! Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  11. Mother of Two

    Hi… Um.. just wondering… how long are you going to be in the North… and is Otto doing anything for the sinus problem before the flight home????? I get the pain in the eye when it comes to my sinuses and it feels as if someone has taken a huge ice pic and rammed it straight through my eye, so I am sorry for Otto!

    ~ Tell him to try the Netti Pot~ It’s a more natural treatment, clears the sinuses very quickly – you can pick one up cheap at the local drug store.

    Love the picture… Otto’s pretty good with a camera!

  12. StephLove

    Poor Otto! I hope he’s okay on the flight back. Nice picture, btw. Did C get a haircut recently? I thought she had long hair.

  13. SoMo

    Was it like when fake boobs explode because of pressure?

  14. Megan

    I’m with Otto. It only hurts if you pay attention and hospitals are for weenies. Why yes I am a terribly empathetic mother!

  15. Brigitte

    Hmmm, I suppose it COULD be possible, as my sinus issues often make it feel as though there’s some gremlin in my skull trying to shove my eyeballs out from the INSIDE. But keep watching him!

  16. Visionsister

    My sister recently went to the eye doctor because she had an itchy eye that would not stop. Turns out there was a piece of glass in her eye! No idea where it came from or how it got in there. Once they got the glass out her eye healed right up.

    I guess I’m saying that it wouldn’t hurt to have someone take a lood at Otto’s eye, just to make sure it won’t explode on your flight home or anything.

  17. Cele

    I sympathize with Otto, especially when he knows another plane flight is coming soon.

    The picture reminded me of my childhood, when all the parents in our neighborhood planned the fireworks at the same time, it turned into a testosterone grunt fest of phosperous and gun power. My dad apparently having the biggest grunt, because there was always applauding from around the block when he was gone.

    This year we did fireworks the night after, and our neighbors all shut their doors. I guess it doesn’t translate across the decades.

  18. Dani

    Warning: Unsolicited Assvice below!

    Please have someone look at his eyes before you get back on the plane. You can’t rule out the idea that the change in altitude may have caused something to happen behind his eye. OR, he just needs to clear out his sinuses before getting on the plane next time. No harm in having it looked at, no?

    Enjoy your trip! I’m headed to Rhode Island tomorrow, myself!

    Awesome picture of the kids. :)

  19. Ceramom

    This happened to a friend of mine… partially detatched retina in the back of the eye. Otto gets checked. Your job is to make sure that happens soon…..

  20. Sheila

    Happy Love To Scare The Hell Out Of Us (And You, Too) Thursday!

    Hope he gets checked and all turns out well.

  21. Daisy

    (More unsolicited advice) Eye pressure can signal all kinds of things, including but not limited glaucoma. It can also be a simple sinus infection or summer cold settled in the upper sinus area; in that case, I recommend Benadryl or nasal spray.
    Hope Otto’s feeling better.

  22. Lindsay

    Awww, very scary when that stuff happens. My husband gets really frustrated with me when I freak out on his behalf but it’s just really scary when they make noise to indicate something is wrong and then withhold ANY FURTHER INFORMATION AS TO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. So, I hear you. Have a nice weekend.

  23. Vane

    Oh poor Otto! Glad he feels better. And that picture? Is awesome!

    Enjoy Boston!

  24. Theresa

    Love the name of your blog. Your post made me think about my experiences with Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts. We had to sign a million permission slips whenever my daughter was going to do anything with Girl Scouts. With Boy Scouts, it was the exact opposite. I don’t think I ever signed a permission slip unless they were planning on handing my son a loaded weapon. Guess it’s just a different mindset.

    Theresa Schult

  25. Em

    My husband flew with a sinus infection about 10 years ago. He still says it was the worst pain of his life (he’s never given birth, my husband). He’s kind of a whiner though. He gets man colds. I am not so much into the sympathy unless its for me when I’m feeling whiny. We’re a fun couple.

    I hope Otto’s head feels better before the flight home.

  26. Hip Mom's Guide

    Love that photo, and I’m still laughing about the Pinot Grigio. That’s one helpful hint I’ll be sure to remember!

  27. Kathleen

    If it was in fact sinus pressure, I can provide some advice for the future. Sinus pressure once partially ruptured one of my eardrums on a flight. It was exceptionally painful and isn’t something to put on your lifetime to-do list. The doctor I saw afterwards told me to stay off planes for two weeks (to allow the eardrum to heal a bit) and to do the following going forward:

    1. Before a flight, take sudafed.
    2. Also before a flight, use a nasal spray, like Afrin.
    3. If you feel the pressure building up, keep opening and closing your mouth in a yawn-like way. It helps the fluid in the tubes drain. (Though it feels awfully silly.)

    And that’s what I’ve done ever since. It hasn’t eliminated the pressure entirely, but it’s never gotten as bad as it did that day.

  28. Berni

    From what you described, I’d say Otto had a migraine. Mine starts with pain behind my eye. If I don’t take my migraine meds, it gets waaaaay painful, I get very very queasy and greenish. The change in pressure on an airplaine can trigger one for me. Most of mine are caused by hormones, but there are ALOT of migraine triggers. Just my guess, since it sounds exactly like what I’ve gone through.

  29. Flea

    Oh ow. Flying is already so much fun these days. My Hunny flew from FL to CA with wisdom teeth inflamed, once upon a time. I’m trying to remember … something to knock him out, I think.

  30. Pamela

    Awesome picture of the kids!! Those moments are so precious.

    Hope Otto is okay – sinus pressure problems are horrible. I whine like a baby when mine hurt and take lots of meds.

  31. Michelle

    My family has at least 5 horror stories involving eyes that range from the inane to the “Oh my God what is that thing???” (One of the stories involves a buckle around the eye. Which then shrinks and expands with the weather.) You should probably see if you can get Otto to have the eye checked before the flight back. It’s probably sinus pressure and you’ll feel stupid for going to that much effort. OR it could be some horrible & hideous nastiness. Wouldn’t that be fun?!?

  32. kk

    Loved the picture the story and all the tips from readers.
    I am a new addict to your site – and have introduced you to my family & friends…I have to laugh as earlier today while on the phone we were again cracking up thanks to your wit! I agree Otto should have a few meds in hand for the return and perhaps a glass of Pinto Grigio is on order for you:-) !

  33. Laura

    I just had this happen for the first time on a flight from Boston to Seattle. I was really congested due to allergies and I seriously thought my eye was going to explode and/or pop out of my head. My doctor attributed it to sinus pressure, but it scared the living daylights out of me!

  34. mama speak

    my guess is also migraine, but i agree go have a doc look at him puleeezze!!! we lurve otto don’t let anything bad happen to him!

  35. Andrea

    This happens to my hubby EVERY TIME WE DESCEND ON AN AIRPLANE. The first time I was a wreck, running around the airport looking for medical help (found=only defibrillator.) He always takes a decongestant while in flight and it seems to help. He FINALLY asked his doctor about it last month, who was not alarmed. He thought perhaps it was a nasal polyp, but a CAT scan revealed a deviated septum and nasal irritation. Has he gone back to the doctor to get the meds to treat the irritation?? No. Urgh.

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