This past week was filled with up’s and down’s.  We were in the process of packing for our Smoky Mountain spring break when on March 31st we found out my Uncle Raul had passed away.  Plans changed.  Life changed.  Uncle Raul was gone.  Family members started showing up from all over.  My parents drove up from Tennessee.  My brother and his wife spent the night with us.  I took some time off work and drove my parents to visitation.  Before the funeral my aunt got into a fender bender.  I picked her up from the accident drove her to Jackson to pick up some of her clothes and brought her back to Adrian.  Needless to say I didnt get much sleep.  I dont think many of our family members got much sleep the days before the funeral.  It was hard saying goodbye to Uncle Raul.  After the funeral we headed down to Tennessee.  We made reservations in Florence, KY to crash for the night.  When we got to the hotel they sold our rooms.  We found another hotel nearby.  The rooms were a little scary.  I said I was getting up early to get an early start.  After wolfing down a few complimentary bagels and watching a bare footed Indian man set off the smoke detector we split.  Back on the road, the traffic was light.  We made good time and got to my parents with the sun still high in the sky.  We went for a walk around the neighborhood.  I cracked open a few beers.  I started to itch.  Monday morning I woke up with hives.  After some swearing I drove to the nearest pharmacy.  I held in my hand a package of Benadryl and a package of Zyrtek.  I bought the Benadryl.  It didnt do a thing.  I went to a walk-in clinic and was turned away.  Swore some more.  Drove to Maryville Hospital.  BP was high so got in quick.  Dr. gave me steroids.  Tuesday morning woke up to snow on the ground.  Swore some more.  Went fishing anyway.  Caught three nice trout. img001072Rash was gone, but heart was pounding out of my chest.  Called the pharmacist at the Hospital.  They told me to stop taking the steroids.  Wed morning rash was back and worse than before.  swore some more.  Called hospital and they told me to come back for to be re-evaluated.  Spent 5 hours in the hospital on a beautiful sunny day.  Swore some more.  The only good thing about it was the Hooters waitress sitting across from me in the waiting room.  I thought…There is a God.  Dr. gave me some Zrytek.  It worked.  Spent the evening driving through Cades Cove.  

img00110Vacation started on Thursday.  Hiked to Ramsey Cascades.  Friday woke up to thunder and lightning…you gueessed it…swore some more.  Rain stopped.  Hiked to Grotto Falls.  Saw two bears.  Stopped by Happy Hiker store in Gatlinburg and bought a shirt “allergic to Cities”….how ironic is that?  Never did find the cause of my hives/rash.  I think it may have been the sheets at the nasty hotel?  I’m not sure.  Dr. said I may never know.  Well, I’m home now.  The rash is gone.  I told Kayleen I need a trip to the AuSable River.  Trout season starts soon.  Better take my Zyrtek.