As much as I enjoyed our vacation, no getaway is complete without a few mishaps. Our day driving to Hana was, well, an adventure. Prior to that our first mishap occurred within the initial 24 hours of our trip. We flew to Hawaii on American Airlines from LA direct to Maui. Our flight was delayed (with us sitting forever on the plane on the runway). It made for a very long day/night before we arrived in Maui. Especially since we had Mr. and Mrs. Irresponsible parents sitting near us. They had a crying baby (the entire flight) and never tried to comfort the child at all, in any way, whatsoever. If I were that baby I would file for emancipation from my parents now! The flight was not, however, what I am referring to.
Prior to leaving I discussed the trip with my doctor. I have never gone 10 days without The Torturer since my car accident.
Would I be in more pain without him? Less pain? Would I regress? What should I do on my own while gone? We went over all the … ho hum, details before I left. In case things got bad over there my doc refilled my ongoing prescription for pain pills. I hoped I wouldn’t need them. After all, I wanted to be sipping tropical cocktails and you can’t drink if you’re taking pain pills. (Unless you want to end up like Anna Nicole.) My plan was to have the pills there for emergency use, but to hopefully bring them home untouched. I’ve gotten somewhat used to living with pain at this point anyway ….
We got to our condo around midnight on the day we arrived. Being wired from the trip, I started unpacking even as those around me nodded off to sleep. Imagine when I opened my cosmetics case and found … no drugs. They were gone. Stolen.
I guess I should have known better than to pack them instead of keeping them with me in my purse. However, we were rushing to leave and I had congratulated myself on remembering to take them at all. It never occurred to me that someone would steal them. I immediately flashed back several months prior to my doc telling me that the, very strong, drugs they use for me “have a very high street value”. He also told me people “melt the pills and shoot them up”. How do you melt a pill? All these conversations flashed quickly through my head as I stared at the empty compartment in my case.
Then I got mad. Angry, not because I had an immediate need for pain relief, but pissed that someone would steal from me. Clearly they had known exactly what they were looking for … nothing else was taken but the drugs “with the high street value”. I know it sounds cliche, but damn – I felt violated. That was my suitcase, my stuff that some asshole had rifled through. I’ve gone through hell for two years and some ADDICT decides to take my drugs? Or maybe even worse, some asshole in a drug ring takes them purely for financial gain?
The next day as the kids eagerly headed out to the beach, I was on the phone with my doc back in Orange County. He flipped out. I thought I was angry? He began ranting about “Class One” drugs, street values, the immediate need for a police report, and blah, blah, blah. And oh yeah, he called in a replacement prescription to a drug store about 30 minutes away from our condo. Is this how I wanted to spend my first day in Hawaii? Talking to my doc in Orange County? Driving a round trip hour for a replacement prescription? Arguing with a Hawaiian pharmacist that, yes, I really do have medical insurance. And ,no, I don’t know why their computer is having trouble finding it?
The amazing thing was the response from American Airlines.
Briefcase flies all the time and is therefore, very high up in their honors program. Usually customers like Briefcase are catered to. Not this time. It took four phone calls, constant re-routing of those calls, and several days to even connect to someone willing to give him the time of day. The airline’s response? Basically no response. It wasn’t until Briefcase insisted on an “incident report” (as they call it in the airline business) that they agreed to provide one.
American Airlines suggested “it was probably the TSA” employees not American Airlines personnel who stole the drugs.
There’s a nice thought … those folks that are protecting us from explosives and terrorists? They’re stoned? And if not, let’s blame them for the drug theft anyway. The drug theft where clearly the thieves knew exactly what drugs they were looking for, and stole them quite efficiently. The impression we were left with is that American Airlines will do exactly nothing about “the incident” other than email us a report stating that we “allege” something was taken.
Add this to our nightmare delayed flight to Maui and is it any wonder the airlines have so little consumer confidence?
I finally made it to the beach that first afternoon in Maui after dealing with the stolen drug issue all morning. I sat down on our near-empty beach, looked out to the horizon and saw the most beautiful view. The stress of the morning instantly went away and did not return for the remainder of our trip. The way the sun was reflecting off the water made the image before me appear like an impressionist painting, but it was real. This is what I was looking at:
I made it through our trip without ever taking a pain pill, but I had them there with me (like a security blanket) the remainder of the trip. When I was in pain I focused on the crashing of the waves, the softness of the sand, the warmth of the sun, the brilliance of the stars, and okay – maybe the rum in the Mai Tai, rather than take one of the pills.
Somewhere a junkie is shooting up my meds and missing out on the beauty and reality of life.
Have you ever had something stolen while traveling?