Friday, January 01, 2010

A big bust /

No, no, not like that.  I didn't have breast augmentation surgery, or buy a new push-up bra, or meet Pamela Anderson at a Science Fiction convention.

Hey...wait...I got your attention though, didn't I?  If my male readership increases by 76% this week (as I suspect it might), I'm going to start every post from hereon in with a completely inappropriate, breast-related title:  "Twin Peaks" (about a ski trip I've taken), "The Bluetit" (which would obviously be an exploration in British ornithology), "Staying Abreast" (of all kinds of issues -- it's important).  The possibilities are endless.

Sorry.  I'm on a cornucopia of prescription medication.  I'm finding things funny that really aren't.  Eg.  The green tea I just ordered is in fact red.  Ha ha ha ha HA HA HAAAAAA.  Yep.  Wow.

I'm going to try and write this post without sounding full of self-pity, but I am currently sitting in Heathrow Airport after the worst vacation I've ever had (well, it's tied for first with the family vacation we took to Jamaica when I was nine.  I burnt my face off and my parents weren't speaking.  That one was pretty bad.)

I arrived in Italy late last Thursday night with the following goals:  visiting my mother (which I accomplished), relaxing (nope), shopping (nope) and seeing the Italian countryside (noooope).  Instead, I had two days of vacation, then started having sharp chest pains which radiated down my left arm.  I didn't want to go into hospital (always a wise choice when you think you're having a heart attack) so I waited it out.  In the middle of the night, I woke up in crazy amounts of pain and had to take an ambulance to the hospital just outside of Lucca.  It was a bumpy ride and I kept getting the giggles (well, the crying giggles...criggles?) because it sort of felt like a Leslie Neilsen movie.  Also, the last time I was in Italy, my mother had to take an ambulance and I rode with her.  So ridiculous.

[Okay...just to explain...I wrote that part of the post over a month ago and then got on a plane and forgot all about it.  I'll finish it off now!]

When we arrived at the hospital, I was seen right away (one of the benefits to having a mother who lives in the middle of nowhere) and the grumpy doctor did an ECG, took my blood pressure, and told me that it wasn't my heart.  Good news... but that's all he said!  I went in on a stretcher, and left on foot.  In a LOT of pain.  He gave me codeine -- which I later discovered I was allergic to -- and made fun of me in Italian, not knowing that I could understand him.  (I took a language class in preparation for my "vacation".)  My mother and I were then told, at 4 o'clock in the morning, that we couldn't stay at the hospital, we couldn't take a taxi because there wasn't one, and there was no other way of getting home.  So we walked.  For forty minutes.  In the dark. I suppose I came across as a "difficult American tourist" or some stereotype like that (I'm Canadian, of course, but I'm guessing Dr. Awesomepants didn't care) and the doctors thought I was overreacting.  I WASN'T!
Anyway...the vacation was a bit of a bust.   Just a bummer, I realize.  Not a tragedy.
I flew to England after a week in Italy and saw five more doctors there, trying to get a diagnosis and stop the pain.  Did I mention that I never get travel insurance because there's no need for it?  Oooooops.  Now I know.  Won't make that mistake again.  Ever.  Ever ever.
At this point, a few weeks after the fact, I'm still pretty frustrated because I'm not exactly sure what the injury is.  I know that it's something to do with my ribs; I think it's muscular; that's pretty much it.  I've been seeing a chiropractor -- who, thankfully, has introduced me to a machine known as The Thumper (my favorite invention since The Sandwich Maker) and that seems to be helping a bit.
All this to say:  I mentioned a few weeks back that I couldn't post for a while due to a top secret mission.  The mission was that I was going to surprise my friend Jessica who is attending theatre school in London.  I was going to show up at her door and freak her out. ( "YOU THOUGHT I WAS IN TORONTO!  I'M IN ENGLAND!!!  BLAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAA!")  I knew that she would read my blog if I posted about my trip, and I knew that if I blogged, I wouldn't be able to resist talking about my trip.
So that was the big mystery.
Needless to say, the surprise didn't happen because I couldn't get out of bed!  I got to see her, though.  And she carried my bags at Heathrow!  All day!  And she is a dear, dear friend who I would trust with my life.  (Thanks, Jessica, if you're reading this instead of doing a term paper.  I love you.)
Onward and upward:
I started rehearsals for Sondheim's Assassins on Monday morning, directed by the incomparable Adam Brazier.  It's terrifying and exciting and wonderful.  The team is AMAZING.  Totally humbling.  And no egos!
And I have to play the trumpet.
Ohhhhh dear.
All the best to all of you in 2010!
Now to make some New Year's Resolutions:
1) Sleep more.
Uh...that's all I've got so far...



Blogger Ren said...

I don't know that men searching the web for things both inappropriate and breast-related would really stop for "A Big Bust." It's a bit too subtle.

One of my secret fears is ending up in a hospital in a foreign country. I could be bleeding out and still say "Give me a second; I can walk it off." Even without the financial stress from the ordeal, the hospital is just one place you don't want to be attempting to navigate cultural differences. So, yeah, that would pretty much ruin my vacation too.

New Years resolutions are best when you know for sure they can be accomplished, or that failing at them would mean you had much bigger issues that not living up to your resolution. Such as, "Don't die," or "shower regularly." Maybe it's setting the bar low, but any sense of accomplishment can only be good, right?

5:41 AM  
Blogger Misty aka s_aurius said...

Sorry to hear your vacation was a bust, but I'm glad to know that you're beginning to feel better.

New Years was a bust for me as well. I was hoping to get to spend it with my husband, but I ended up spending it on a C130. I was actually on the plane getting ready to take off for Iraq when it turned midnight here in the middle east.

I guess I can say that it will probably be my most memorable New Years ever. Especially since we've been hearing small arms fire all day and there were a couple of mortar attacks just before we landed. :p

6:28 AM  
Blogger BethyNYC said...

I hope you are feeling better and that they figure out just what happened! Assassins sounds like an amazing experience, and even if those of us who are far away can't go, I hope you post the production information for local people!

Happy New Year!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Brian Schwartz said...

So sorry for what you went through. I'm glad to see you're doing well again! Hopefully a return visit in the future will go much better unless you're starting to think there's some Italian curse over you. Good luck with the rehearsals. Happy 2010!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

There is nothing more frustrating that a mystery pain. Even without the mystery, it becomes the focus of your world.

I hope it goes away soon and that you can soon have a redo of the vacation from hell.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Elyse said...

First off, and most importantly, glad you're okay (relatively speaking) and that it wasn't a heart attack. Mystery pains can be a real, well, pain (sorry for bad pun), but am glad to hear you're back home. Yes, getting sick or injured abroad can be a frightening experience in itself.

Although the vacation was a bust, you can look at it this way - it's writing material!

1:08 PM  
Blogger ysabelkid said...

I like your resolution. It's one to which I aspire this year, hoping that more sleep will help my brain function better.

Sorry to hear about your mystery pain and your vacation going bust. But thank goodness your mom was with you! It couldn't have been pleasant walking around in the dark with a mysterious pain making itself known - but how much scarier if you were on your own? I live across the country from my mom, and though we don't talk all that often, I always yearn for her when I'm not feeling well (she's the best nurse in the world so that's no wonder). Not sure what I would do if she were in a different country.

Hope The Thumper sorts out your pain once and for all. And here's to long bouts of really good sleep!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Carron said...

Hi Kate - sorry to hear about the owies. Please check this:

I have it - it hurts like crazy and the first time I got it, I thought I would die.

Happy New Year to you - I hope all goes well with your new production - it sounds fantastic.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You don't need a "Big Bust". Your beautiful eyes are sure to attract male readership.

I hope you feel better, and it is inspiring to see that you have a sense of humor amidst pain and disappointment.

If you need some trumpet lessons or advice, contact me...I teach trumpet in Orangeville ON.
For some useful information on posture, see:

8:50 AM  
Blogger Fran said...

Kate sorry to hear your Trip to Italy was not the one you were hoping for or wanted. But am glad you are back home here in Toronto and on the road to recovery. Hope you never go through that again.

Good luck with your new role. Happy New Year Kate.



12:55 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

Really sorry to hear of your sucky holiday and health bumpiness...and yet there you are still entertaining and creating phrases such as 'criggles'

Good luck in 2010

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy new year ! Have fun !

11:40 AM  
Blogger Gé Henning said...

Wow that was a story to read. I hope that you soon will feel much better and that a next vacation will we a happy onforgotten one (try The Netherlands) ;-)

Have a fine 2010 and that some of your not mentioned wishes will come true.

Keep following you on twitter with heerbol.

1:21 PM  
Blogger koreen (aka: winn) said...

Hope things turn around health-wise. (From a fellow mystery-pain sufferer.)

Good luck with the movie and...

... Happy New Year. =)

6:14 PM  
Blogger omglawdork said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that your vacation was not so awesome. :( I'm sure you'll do a great job in Assassins, though - I can't wait to read the reviews! :)

9:56 PM  
Blogger Arctic Goddess said...

I can commiserate (is that the right word?) about rotten vacations, having lost my passport in San Diego and having to go to L.A (only consulate nearby)to get issued a piece of paper saying that, yes, I was indeed a Canadian. I also have not bothered to get medical insurance for out of country. I'm not tempting fate any more. So, a New Years resolution for me is, all travel outside of Canada will be accompanied by my birth certificate, in case I lose my passport again, and proof of medical insurance.
Maybe your resolutions should follow along the same lines.
Happy New Year, Kate!

1:03 AM  
Blogger ©Tsuki said...

I didn't come across your blog due to your title 'A Big Bust', but due to Wikipedia. I was browsing the Stargate Atlantis cast, looking for your brother more so, and then wanted to see what other films and such you'd been in. Thus, I came across your blog and then went through a fiasco of trying to remember my login e-mail, my google e-mail, rather.

I've never been to Italy, though I'm 25% Italian, amongst other nationalities. I could vividly imagine the chaos you went through though. I'm a writer, myself, so picturing it was easy, the pain, I couldn't imagine that. Only I've ever felt that was terrible was, hm, no I can't say breaking my arms was painful, because it wasn't. Lets see....I'm sure somtehing painful has happened, but I can't recall what it was.

Well, in the very least, you can say that you made it back alive. That's an upside to your vacation, right?

Ah, I'll stop bothering you with my rambling now.

Happy New Years! I hope you had a fantastic morning, day, evening, night. Hopefully you can accomplish your resolution, my friends tell sleep is for the weak, but it's a desired necessity in everyones lives...Unless your like most PC/Video Gamers and hopped up on Mtn. Dew.

Oh and, you're a good actress. :) Cheers.


6:17 AM  
Anonymous Gus Hinojosa said...

Sad to hear about your ordeal. Glad you're doing better. Hope someone can find what the injury really is. Take care.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Curtis said...

Oddly enough, my father went through almost the exact same health situation over Christmas. He got up out of bed around 3:30 AM to go to the restroom, felt a very sharp pain in his chest radiating through his left arm, then collapsed unconscious. We took him to the hospital in the middle of the night and the, also, very grumpy doctor said it wasn't his heart and had no information at all other than that to tell us (after him not showing up for over an hour and a half when my father was possibly undergoing heart problems.)

Needless to say it was not a fun experience, as I'm sure yours wasn't either.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

Not on Twitter so I'll leave my good luck for Assassins on this ere blog thingy....Break a leg and all that and have bucket-o-fun :D

3:40 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

Hiya Kate.

Kate I would go and see you in these plays if you would give us more of an advance notice. It takes me a bit of time to rally my older sisters together, plan a night out with them and go and see you in these plays. Kate next play more of a warning please. I like seeing you in plays you're awesome.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Small Infinities said...

Yikes! Glad to hear you're okay, or at least that it wasn't any worse. Did you ever figure out exactly what was causing the pain? I've never considered travel insurance before, but it is sure sounding attractive now!

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please please please. Update more regularly. I love your blog!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Gruff said...

It definitely sounds like costochondritis, which like Carron I have also had. It feels just like they say a heart attack does but it is actually the muscles between the ribs that are inflamed (iirc). Strong anti-inflammatories did the trick for me.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Travel Insurance said...

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3:03 AM  
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7:51 AM  

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