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I'm sitting here in the hotel bar waiting for folks to gather for dinner, and thinking back over my weekend at the con.  Overall I had a great time, though as usual there were both low and high points.

My trip began January 19th, when I flew out to Las Vegas in advance of the Inauguration.  I wasn't really interested in being in DC for the inauguration on the 20th, and the thought of flying out along with the hordes of people who came to town for that left me shivering.  I had some vacation time to burn, so took advantage of the holidays and skipped town early.

Vegas was great - I got to hang out with aerowolf and dachwuff, though much more of the former than the latter.  I spent basically the entire time there with Winged (aerowolf), including spending hours upon hours with him at the tables, gambling on craps and blackjack.  Craps isn't really my game, but it's his, so I followed his lead and made the "safe" bets.  I'm not sure any bet at craps is "safe", but we both did pretty well overall - after being up significantly at one point before hitting a losing streak, we both left the table ahead.  At the blackjack tables, we weren't both quite so lucky.  Winged wound up losing most of his stash, and at one point I was on a losing streak as well (thanks in large part to the jerk sitting next to me who kept making all the wrong moves), but managed to hold in long enough for the tides to turn back in our favor, and I eventually left that table to cash out having doubled my original 'investment'.  Hey, given how the market's been doing lately, I think investing in blackjack may have been smarter than investing in the market!  Thanks, Winged, for making my stay in Vegas enjoyable regardless of what happened at the tables.  It was great spending a few days with you!

Wednesday, I flew from there to San Jose, to meet up with pelt.  I hadn't seen him in about a year, and even that was only in passing.  It was good to get to spend some time with him again - he really is a sweet wolf.  Thank you so much, Pelt, for your hospitality and company.

Thursday morning, Pelt dropped me off at the home of a brother Mason, who brought me to Santa Clara Valley Daylight Lodge's Stated Communication.  This was my first visit to a California lodge, and though California's first lodge was originally chartered under the Grand Lodge of DC, its ritual was vastly different from ours.  It was, however, strikingly similar to that of the Grand Lodge of Hawaii, unsurprising considering they were once the Grand Lodge of California and Hawaii (and still have a PGM who insists on being referred to as PGM of the GL of California and Hawaii.)  Regardless it was an interesting meeting.  I was a bit apprehensive about the Past Master who was my host dropping me off at the FC hotel, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to explain it to him if we drove up to a crowd of people wearing tails and fursuits.  Fortunately the con hadn't quite started yet, and the front of the hotel was, for the most part, unremarkable.

The con itself was much like any other con - bouncing around greeting folks who I hadn't seen since the last con, sharing news and hugs, updated contact info, room numbers, etc.  I did a little bit of fursuiting on Thursday, and garnered many great compliments on my new suit (thanks Whiteyfawks!)

Friday's events included wandering through the Dealer's Den buying stuff (a book or two, and a sketchbook commission), and perusing the art in the Art Show.  There were a few pieces I was considering bidding on, including some for myself and one for a friend, but I never got a chance to put in any bids.  See, I like doing my bidding on the last day, after I see which pieces have a lot of interest from others.  The more people bid on a piece, the higher it's going to go in auction.  By knowing what's going to go to auction, I can plan better for Sunday, the day of the voice auction.

Saturday...  Yeah.  Saturday was one of my more memorable though not one of my best con days.  See, I woke up with a headache.  Now, normally this wouldn't be a big deal - I've woken up with headaches before.  I pop a few Advil, and they usually go away or at least subside enough so as to not be a problem.  This time I wasn't quite ready to wake up, so I tried going back to sleep.  Tried, being the key word.  See, this headache wasn't your garden variety headache - nor was it a hangover, as I'd had no alcohol the night before.  This headache was a migraine, and the building nausea soon had me darting for the bathroom, where I proceeded to do what nauseous people do.  Twice.  Once I was done, I went back to the room to eat a few pretzels, to see if I could keep enough down to be able to take Advil to stem off the headache.  Only, instead of walking I more stumbled, as I was suddenly light-headed.  I munched down a few pretzels, then lay back in bed to see if this was going to work.  Nope!  Another dash (stumble) to the bathroom, followed by more of the aforementioned nauseous person activities.  This time when I was finished, I stood up and noticed that my headache had gone away.  Great!  That sometimes happens with a migraine, once you take care of the nausea, the headache goes away too.  I was still feeling lightheaded, though, so I lay back in bed to rest for a bit. 

Then the nausea returned.  Again.  Another stumble, another vomit (this time mostly bile), and my headache returned with a vengeance.  It was about this time that mrianti, my roommate, came back upstairs to get me for the fursuit parade.  He walked in the room mid-hurl, and immediately recognized something was not quite right with the world.  At this point I knew all the vomiting had dehydrated me, and unable to keep anything down there was little chance of me recovering without intervention.  I sent him off to find someone with a car to take me to the ER, while I lay there curled up against the porcelean, leaving my tribute...  over, and over, and over again.  He came back a few minutes later, unsuccessful at finding anyone who was available.  By this point, my vomiting had gotten worse, and more frequent.  I finally caved, and asked him to call for an ambulance.  Probably not necessary under normal circumstances, but lacking a way to get to the ER on my own, I had to have a ride from someone.

The hotel sent up their security manager to check up on me while the medics were en-route.  He asked a predictable set of questions - any drug use? alcohol? allergies? pre-existing condition?  The medics arrived in a remarkably short time, and asked the same questions.  They then loaded me onto a stretcher, and wheeled me through the hotel to the front - through the crowd that had lined up along the halls for the fursuit parade, and in between a group of suiters.  I wonder if there are any pictures of me out there?

The first attempt at starting an IV to get me fluids failed.  My veins had constricted due to the dehydration, and she was unable to get an IV started in my left arm.  As we approached the hospital, she tried again in the right arm, and finally got it started as we were pulling into the parking lot.  We were delayed there, briefly, while a woman waited for a parking space to open up (yes, she sat there, blocking the ambulance with the lights flashing, so she could get "a good spot"!) Thank you, Jennifer and Mike for taking care of me in the ambulance.

Once we finally got inside, they checked me in pretty quickly, had an orderly set me up in a curtained room, and had the nurse come in to check my vitals and run through the same slate of questions I'd answered twice previously.  The doc came in a little while later, went through the same questions, discussed treatment options, and gave me some Imitrex (sub-cutaneously) for the migraine and Phenregan (IV) for the nausea.  A few quick X-Rays to check out my neck (I'd been having neck pain for a little while, and there was some thought that there might be a spinal problem contributing to the migraine), a nap, and I was feeling much better than when I'd gotten there.  The doc gave me a set of prescriptions, and sent me on my way.  It was after 8pm by the time I got back to the hotel.  It was around 1pm when I originally left.

Saturday night I didn't go to any of the parties or dances or anything.  I was in bed early, to recover from my very tiring day.

By Sunday morning, I was back to feeling 100%.  I had a light breakfast of french toast, then got into suit and was bouncing around (and rollerblading around) for about four hours - including participating in the Critterlympics (fursuit olympics).  Afterwards, I got many, many compliments on my fursuit, and on my rollerblading in it.  Hey, I had a great time, and if other people enjoyed watching, well, I guess that's part of the point behind fursuiting!  I was orignally having second thoughts about bringing my blades to the con, but I'm glad I decided to take them.  They take up room in my luggage, but it was well worth the experience.

Sunday night, more parties.  Monday was mostly saying goodbye to folks, as there were no major con activities.  Now it's Monday evening, and I'm sitting at the bar in the hotel lobby waiting on folks for dinner.  Whoops, kaysho's here, and it's time to go!

Shouts to everyone I saw here - I won't name names because I don't want to unintentionally leave anyone out.  If I spent time with you at the con, you know who you are!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Woof... glad to hear you're okie. You think it was some sort of 24 hour bug or food poisoning?
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
No, it was a migraine. I have a history of them. This was just the worst I've had.
Jan. 27th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you were O.K.!
Jan. 27th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
You are not allowed to bring that bug back here.
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
It wasn't a bug, it was a migraine. They're not contagious.
Jan. 27th, 2009 04:47 am (UTC)
I'm glad you are ok. You had me worried and stuff. It was awesome seeing you there. ^_^ Wish we had hung out a bit more.
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
I had a great time with you out here, too. :)

Dehydration usually takes a few days to get to that level. You probably didn't drink enough while you were in Vegas (in fact, I know you didn't), and you probably didn't try to make up for it when you were in Cali.

(In fact, dehydration is one of the leading causes of migraine.)

I try to always keep some Pedialyte or such either on-hand or relatively easily purchaseable, since I tend not to drink enough either and that's the easiest way to get something that the body won't reject that I've found. (If it tastes too cloying, you can dilute it, but it really is the best concentration there is.)

Jan. 27th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
I hadn't had any alcohol in Cali, and had plenty to drink (I was fursuiting, I make sure to drink lots extra when doing that.) I wasn't dehydrated prior to vomiting.
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
We missed you tonight!
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
I saw them wheeling you out during the Fursuit Parade (I was in the hall by the elevators) but didn't realize that was you. Glad to hear you're okay!
Jan. 27th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Sounds like the Noro Virus to me!
I hope your better!
Jan. 27th, 2009 06:29 am (UTC)
My God, I had no idea! You were great in suit when Tony and I saw you on Sunday, wow. I am glad that you are better and your suit looked absolutely awesome. :)
Jan. 27th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Glad things worked out ok.

Tell me about this suit of yours. I'm curious. Any pictures?
Jan. 27th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wow! What a story! I'm glad you came through it just fine.
Feb. 2nd, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
What an eventful weekend you had there. Good to hear you recovered to enjoy the rest of your trip. My convention weekends tend to be drab and a tad dull with nothing very eventful.

Now, could those of us who couldn't show up at the convention see your costume? :D

-Mr. Mutt
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )