We had a crazy last couple of weeks in Washington State, as we went to donate blood and both failed the hematocrit. We took iron supplements to bring it back up and mine climbed 4 points allowing me donate next time. However, Dave’s remained the same despite the iron supplementation after falling during three tests this year. This had us concerned enough to consider cancelling our flight out! We got a CBC test done and received the results while visiting friends. A further drop. Both red and white cell counts low. A bunch of other figures that meant nothing to us. Luckily our friends were able to get us a rush appointment with their doctor in a few days to go over the CBC. He said it was early to get too worried but should be followed up by a hematologist to be certain. We managed again, to get a rush appointment in another few days and had yet another test done by each of these doctors.
Our travel plans involved mass transit from Port Townsend to Crown Hill (Seattle) on July 3rd, and a flight to SF on the 4th. The appointment with the hematologist was on the 2nd. If good news, we could still make our flight. If not, then at least we were already close to medical facilities. We have no problem with the quality of care in Turkey but the language barrier makes for potential problems.
So we made our preparations on the assumption of good news, which we got. He said it was probably just a nutritional issue – lack of B12 and/or folic acid. The numbers were not dangerous. Spend a few weeks dealing with the diet and see if the numbers improve. If not, consider a bone marrow biopsy. To the diet – returning to vegetarian instead of vegan – we added Silva meditation and a treatment by our healer friend. Dave suspects that it is due to some supplements he was taking, so he stopped them.
So we wrapped up our travel preparations, made it to Crown Hill; had a wonderful laughter filled evening with cousin Bill, and the luxury of delivery to the airport instead of mass transit.
Flew down to SF and had nearly a week visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. I got to play in the garden and go for walks as well as lots of conversation. We were limited in luggage capacity on the trip down and were maxed out, but were allowed an additional 100 lbs on the next leg of our journey to Turkey. So one of the week’s activities was ordering more stuff needed in Turkey and rearranging all the packing to accommodate the additional weight and different baggage rules. Dave was glued to the computer more than even HE likes, but he got a LOT done. Amazon promised two packages would arrive 2 days before we flew to Turkey, but one was “damaged in transit” and returned for refund, and the other. . . We were driven to the airport by my brother at 2:40PM, and the package arrived at 8PM – 48hrs later than promised.
Speaking of “damaged in transit”. We ordered some special tools for the repairs in Turkey from McMaster-Carr. They arrived in 3 separate packages over two days, early in our stay. BUT, the 3rd small box arrived with the end torn almost completely off and no content to be seen. Empty except for the packing slip! Would we have time for a replacement? OH NO!! They were critical parts.
However, while Dave was explaining this to the Customer support person, he noticed that the "empty box" rattled when shaken! Upon closer inspection, the 5 small carbide burrs were hiding, obviously terrified, in the far end of the large box. Dave coaxed them out and calmed them down and all was well. At least for them. It could have been worse, we only lost 8 non-essential items. Not good, but we can make do.
The flight to Turkey was the nicest flight we have been on for quite a while. As I wrote to my brother:
Door to door was close to 24 hours. On July 10th, we spent half an hour or more waiting while a lone check-in attendant worked with a single couple, but then everything sped up and TSA was a breeze this time with pre-check thanks to frequent flyer miles. (Though it has not always helped in the past).
Arrived at the very new, Gigantic airport in Istanbul and spent an hour walking with the help of moving sidewalks from one end to another. Had to go through security yet again, but it was quick. Up and down escalators, convoluted route, and finally ended up in a section of the airport that loads people onto buses to get to the plane!
Brand new airport and they are using buses! Seems poorly designed in terms of getting people from gate to gate. There was a gantry next to the plane so I gather that that part is still under construction and the buses are temporary – but the waiting area looked mighty permanent, so I’m puzzled. Anyway, they managed to feed us a snack of a sub sandwich with beverage even though the flight aboard a Boeing 777 was only 53 minutes!
The earlier 13 hour flight included a proper decent evening meal for supper of smoked salmon & grilled artichoke; and moutabel, tabbouleh (no idea what that is); plus grilled chicken breast w/ broccoli, carrot, potato gratin, rosemary butter OR mascarpone and spinach canelonini w/ creamy parmesan sauce; plus raspberry and chocolate brownie; and a breakfast of cheese omelet, cooked veggies, fresh fruit, and assorted cheeses and a bun. There was also help yourself cheese sandwich or marble cake in the galley between meals. All good. Best catering I can remember. Both flights were Turkish Air. Ask yourself exactly how you can serve 400 excellent cheese omelets 10 hrs into a 13hr flight? They were nice and hot, but not rubbery and the fruit was cold. Magic.
Seats were decent sized, etc. All in all, a nice experience – especially considering how chintzy most flights have become.
Our Taxi driver was there waiting for us and, having taken someone else to the airport, gave a discount for the trip back to Finike – a two hour drive for 40 Euros! We were only able to verify that we even had a ride a minute before he found us. Until then we had not been able to check for a return e-mail and were unsure what was happening.
We made it to the boat about midnight the 12th (10 hour time difference), got the luggage all aboard and crashed till around 10 AM.
As of today, the 16th, we are still getting over jet lag and adjusted to the heat. Getting communication back up and running. Marina Wi-Fi is iffy and we are unsure of how much phone data we can use. Usually there is no problem but sometimes you can’t buy additional data after running out here in the past. But, rules might change.
Robn and Dave