Here are a couple more entries from the notes I took while traveling:
Tuesday, September 10
Glacier Bay. The ship proceeded during over half the day up this narrow bay which is supposed to be around 1,000 feet deep. It was glacier cut in the last ice age. As we came to each of four different glaciers, the ship pulled up with its bow facing directly at the glacier face. We could go on deck in an open area at the bow to get a relatively close-up view of the glacier and to take photos. Unfortunately, the weather was either very cloudy which gave the pictures little depth or such bright sunshine that I could not see anything but my own reflection when trying to take pictures with my phone.
Sam was not able to go out to take the pictures (he’s a MUCH better photographer than I am) because he seems to have picked up some sort of bug: lots of congestion, coughing, and a fever. The ship’s medical personnel came to check him out and brought some medication for him, which seems to help. However, in such a crowded area as this ship, they have to be very careful about illness and so he is confined to our stateroom for a couple of days.
Wednesday, September 11
Sitka. Again, we are not trying to go ashore, and since Sam is confined to the room, we’re ordering meals from room service. I tried o walk around the deck this afternoon, but they had parts of it blocked off. There was a sign that three laps of the deck is equal to one mile. That gives you an idea of the size of this floating monster. But we hope they will release him in time for us to go to the musical performance this evening.
Thursday, September 12
We’re arriving at Ketchikan this morning, early. Seems like a bigger place than most of the little towns we’ve stopped at so far--or maybe it is just spread out along the waterfront and so we can see more of it.
Sam’s fever is gone, but the cough is still with us, and he is still confined to our stateroom. Since I don’t like to leave him here to twiddle his thumbs alone, so am I most of the time. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing as much of Alaska, or even as much of what there is to see on the ship as we would like.
But so far, the water has been quite calm and smooth and the ship is so huge that we can hardly tell when we are moving. The scenery out our stateroom glass door is beautiful.
About 11:30 the medical staff called to say Sam could leave the room. Don’t know how they arrived at that conclusion since they have not been here to check on him today, but we’re glad!
Back in Arkansas:
I am using a few of the photos I took with my phone in spite of poor quality. Sam just was not up to taking pictures the rest of the trip.
He had a really rough time getting through airport security in Dallas and then transferring from the Alaska Air terminal to the smaller area where the commuter plane we took back to Hot Springs.
We got home Sunday evening, and since he was still feeling really weak and tired the next morning, I called our doctor and when I described the symptoms, they said we'll see him at 10:00 am. When we got there, they did a lot of tests and decided he needed to go to the hospital, so we went there where they have cardiac specialists. I had no idea prior to this that weakness and tiredness were symptoms of heart problems!
When they hooked him up to monitors at the hospital, they found that his heart rate was hovering in the low 40s--much too slow! Wednesday morning they installed a pacemaker, and Thursday I was able to bring him home. So far, the incision for the pacemaker is healing nicely, and he is gradually regaining his strength. But so far all indications are that it is working well, doing its job, and he should be back to normal soon.
Maybe someday we'll decide it is possible to take another trip, but not yet!