Day 5: Change of Plans

Monday, 12 April 2004
Gulf Shores, Alabama

Plans shifted a bit after Jen took ill. Shortly after I finished my last entry, her back pain (from the car accident back in October) worsened and combined with stomach pain that only served to worsen her back. Long story short, we met a park ranger, two park fire & rescue men, and a couple of EMTs that night, in addition to the friendly staff of South Baldwin Medical Center.

We spent a few hours in the ER before they sent Jen home, feeling slightly better, doped up on a pain killer (the mighty Demerol) and anti-nausea medication. Seems like a stomach flu combined with her regular back problems made for one rough night. (We’ve since learned it might have been a gall bladder attack, but the verdict is still out.)

Karen and I spent the morning on the balcony with the view and a couple of good books while Jenny slept it off. Every so often, we tried to get her to drink something and eat a few crackers so she could take the pain medication prescribed by the doctor. Meanwhile, Anne was en route from Chicago to New Orleans, and we were supposed to be driving there to pick her up. Since Jen didn’t seem well enough to leave alone—forget about riding along in the car—we decided to have Anne rent a car and drive down to meet us in Gulf Shores. By the time Anne arrived around 5 that evening, the weather had clouded over and the wind had turned chilly. The three of us left Jen sleeping in the room and went down the road to The Spot for dinner. Another excellent seafood meal.

Lasting Impressions:

  • Watching the northern gannets fishing in the Gulf, diving into the water with a Blue Angels-type spin as they hit the water.
  • Watching the water continually change over the course of the day, as waves changed direction, height and color, breaking fast, slow, close and far out.
  • We briefly saw the gator (is he ever big!) in Ward Park, sunning on the shore.


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