When I head to Houston, I’m going to be carrying all new gear!
Sorry, no Greater Regional Memorial Hospital has decided to sponsor the Funky Heart. (Well, no hospital or other organization has offered yet… maybe someday!) The reason is a little more mundane than that: I’m getting older, and my carry-on is getting heavier.
As far as I know, I am the second oldest living person with Tricuspid Atresia. My Cardiologist told me that I was his oldest TA patient a couple of years ago, then I met a group of other Tricuspids at the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s national convention in Philadelphia. Most of those people were in their 30′s – except for Pam, who is *AHEM* years older than me. (I’m not stupid, I know you don’t reveal a woman’s age without her permission!) So at 43 years old, I think I’m the second oldest person there is with this “fatal” disease.
But my laptop seems to be getting heavier and heavier with every step. It’s a good machine, it just has a few years on it and it weighs in at about five to six pounds. And my computer case is just that, a case, and there isn’t much room for my pills. My ticket and flight schedule – all the paperwork associated with a trip – fit in a folder that slides into the case easily, but my pill containers barely fit, especilly if it is a longer trip. And the Eleventh Commandment states, Thou shalt not pack thy medicine in thy checked luggage; lest thy bag go to Detroit while thy go to Denver. So I wouldn’t mind a new laptop case, either.
The carrying case came first; I got a Swissgear ScanSmart bag. Instead of a case, the ScanSmart is a backpack – it’s bigger and deeper and has more storage space. And it is light, too! I would highly recommend this bag – you don’t even have to take the laptop out of the ScanSmart when you go through airport security. The Transportation Security Authority (TSA) says that you don’t have to remove your laptop IF the laptop is isolated so that the x-ray unit can “see” above and below the laptop. Open a zipper on the ScanSmart and it lies flat like a clamshell; one side contains all your gear and the other side contains the computer – and nothing else. No problem at all for the TSA. (Of course, they do reserve the right to search any package or bag. Hopefully mine will make it through without any questions!)
And next came the computer – I had to look a little bit before I found the one I wanted. I finally purchased a Toshiba Netbook that weighs two and a half pounds. It works great, but I don’t know all the little tricks and shortcuts that make it work better just yet. That has me a little worried – I hope to be blogging from the conference in Houston, not reading the instruction manual!
Of course, getting older is a good problem to have and something I am looking forward to. If events had occurred as some top doctors had predicted, I would be a 12 inch long grave in the cemetery behind my church, long forgotten by just about everyone.
I’m really looking forward to my impending “Ol’ Man!” status!