10 years ago today. Woke up to the news of a bomb or something in NYC, then saw the planes, and the buildings on fire, and things got worse from there. I was due to start a brand new job the next day and sincerely wondered if I need bother.
Rich called from South Texas, he was with clients. The clients were stranded due to the no-fly rule and needed to get back to Canada ASAP. Rich was volunteered to drive them back. He was leaving that day. it would take at least a week. At the time he had already been gone over a month, managing his crew, so it would be at least 6 weeks of him having been gone by the time he would get back. I was kind of used to it, but it seemed so much worse this time. And I was worried about him driving all the way to Canada from South Texas.
As the day progressed i got more and more stressed. I felt kind of wierd. It all seemed so surreal. It looked like movie footage but I knew it wasn't, but my brain couldn't really reconcile that fact.
At one point I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed a fullness in my upper lip that was unusual. As the day progressed my upper lip got bigger...and bigger. Soon it was about 4 times its normal size. I couldn't talk normally...I sounded like a character out of Fat Albert.
I called my friend Julia and asked her if maybe she could take me the the hospital, as I was having some strange reaction to something. She kindly accompanied me, after teasing me about my pronunciation of things. It *was* kind of funny, really.
The hospital was not too busy, everyone was glued to the TV, but they saw me and quickly and half-heartedly diagnosed stress related hives and gave me some anti-anxiety meds. They helped, but not fast enough to get my upper lip down by the next day.
The next morning I showed up at the new workplace at 9 sharp, with a gigantically puffy upper lip, (my new boss said, curiously,that I looked different from the interview), a husband on a cross-country international road trip for two weeks, and a country that would never be the same again.