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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Paris (France), With Pain Pills

No, this entry isn't about Paris the poodle. It's a snippet of the Paris portion of our women's trip to Europe. 

There is so much to see in Paris that I really believe you'd need to either spend a really long time there, or go back multiple times. Writing about being there is much the same; I couldn't possibly put it all in one simple blog post. I am hopeful to be able to go back to Paris sometime in the future. But whether I end up going back or not, I'll still have my many memories of going to Paris in springtime. When we  got to Paris, we had been traveling for almost two weeks, so we were starting to get worn down and tired. My sister, with whom I shared a bedroom on our travels, was experiencing a lot of pain in her knee and hip, and was taking a goodish amount of pain pills. All of us were exhausted and had pained feet, but were still running around like madwomen. 

One evening when we were in our hotel after another fun but tiring day, Liz was wondering if she should take a sleeping pill to make sure she got some good rest. As the person who bunked with her the entire time, I can assure you that she suffered no shortage of sleep. I felt as though I had been transported back to my childhood, because she had reverted to her old habit of crowding me to the point of almost making me fall out of the bed. So, as I said, she was wondering whether or not to take a sleeping pill. I told her to make her decision based on when she had last taken a Vicodin tablet. We all quizzed her on when she had taken her last dose. She assured us that she hadn't had one since about midday, so we all agreed that she would be safe. Apparently Liz had forgotten about the two Vicodin she had taken right after we got back to the hotel.

When Liz was lying in bed getting ready to fall asleep, and I sat in a chair with my legs on the bed trying to get some relief from discomfort, Liz was talking to her daughter on the phone. Suddenly I realized that she had fallen asleep while talking, with the phone clutched to her face. I pried the phone out of her grasp because I still needed to call Trent, and told her she'd fallen asleep while talking to Becky. She wanted to call her again, and again fell asleep in the middle of a sentence. While I was talking with Trent, I realized that Liz had taken sedative on top of painkiller and was potentially in trouble. So I decided to sit in the chair until I was sure she was okay. Her breathing was shallow and her sleep very deep, so I just wanted to make sure she didn't go any deeper into the void, so to speak. 

Marie and Julie offered to let me sleep in their room, and I confess I told them  an untruth (okay, a lie) and told them I was comfortable with my feet up. I didn't think it was necessary for everyone to miss out on their sleep because I was worried about my sister. At about three o'clock in the morning, her breathing became normal, and I felt free to go to sleep. The crisis was over. I gratefully slipped into slumber after my hours of watchfulness. That is until my sister commenced her usual morning routine. This routine consisted of rattling as many pill bottles and plastic bags and other noisy things as humanly possible, while innocently claiming that she was trying to be as quiet as possible. "Oh, I didn't wake you, did I? I was trying to be really quiet so you could sleep!" 

"No problem, Liz, I know your fake-quiet routine. But I'm okay, I got two whole hours of sleep after making sure you didn't OD from taking pain pills and sleeping pills at the same time." She seemed to think it was hysterical that I had been keeping a vigil at the bedside, hoping that she wasn't going to die on me, while Marie and Julie felt sorry for my struggles. Not only would I have lost a sister, but I'd be the one who had to tell her husband that she had done a Jim Morrison in Paris, only without the bathtub. Liz spent the day stumbling around Paris, fully rested and energized, while I stumbled around Paris exhausted and being cranky with my sister for being irresponsible with her medications. The crankier I got, the more hysterical she found it. 

If I should ever find myself in Paris with Liz again, I will do my best to enjoy myself, and I will still be watchful over everyone's well-being. But I can tell you one thing for sure. I will be monitoring the pills taken in Paris!