If you're just now joining us, first go here.
After getting settled in at Miller Children's, I gave a history to Vincent's nurse, confirmed what antibiotics they'd be continuing, and was told that the pediatric specialist would be in to examine Little V in about an hour. I took Vlad (who'd really been acting like a champ, considering he was jet lagged, being hauled from airport to hospital to another hospital, and had slept through dinner on the flight from Tokyo) down to the cafeteria for some ice cream. When we got back to the room, Vincent's pediatrician was already in there... and he was... different.
I have a theory that some of the most highly specialized and intelligent physicians have to have some form of Asperger's or something... because while they're excellent in their particular specialty, when it comes to normal forms of human communication and interaction, some of them are a wee bit lacking. Little V's doc was no exception; he spoke to an area just above and to the left of my forehead, and he kept smacking his hand on his thigh as he spoke.
And speaking of speaking... remember Sloth, from the Goonies? If you can imagine Sloth's voice with a bit of an Indian accent and a lisp, you're on the right page. I was absolutely dying to ask him if he wanted a Baby Ruth.
Nevertheless, he was an excellent doctor; he adjusted The Emperor's antibiotic dosage, ordered cultures of his blood and urine, and told me he'd be back in 24 hours to evaluate Vincent's progress. The short version: lungs cleared up, no growth in the cultures, and the next day Little V was cleared to fly.
Which brings us to LAX, and now we meet Ajeeira the Evil American Airlines Agent. At this point, Husband had arrived from Korea, we'd each snatched a couple hours of sleep on those cozy hospital armchairs, and we approached the AA desk with all of our carry-on luggage, Husband's two checked bags, Vincent wedged in a carseat that was gifted to us at the hospital, and Vladimir sagging under the weight of his backpack, which contained essentials such as Spiderman, T Rex, Big Show, a Viking Shield, and one sock. There were two agents there, a perky goatee'd gentleman named Kirk and a Satan-disguised-as-an-AA-agent-wearing-red-glasses named Ajeeira. Naturally, Ajeeira was the first one available, so we approached her desk to ask about my and the V's checked bags, and how to get on a flight from LA to St. Louis.
Well, first she wanted to know why we'd missed our previous flight; after I'd explained where we had been, she said she needed to look up our information. While she was typing, I asked if she could tell us where we could pick up our checked bags that had been on the flight from Tokyo to LA. She told us that they would have gone ahead to St. Louis, even though we hadn't gotten on the flight. As I thought that was rather odd, considering we hadn't cleared customs or anything, I pointed out that it made more sense that our bags were there at LAX - which is when she started to get shitty. I asked her to simply LOOK UP the number on my claim ticket, and she interrupted to tell me that "there is a process we follow here; a procedure" to which I replied "it will take you two fucking seconds to look up my claim." At this point, the conversation proceeded to go a bit downhill; my voice was raised, which didn't please the TSA peeps cruising around the area, Husband was still trying to diplomatically explain to her that since we didn't get on the flight, especially after having been overseas, there is no way our bags should have continued on to St. Louis, and Ajeeira (who was sounding more and more like the outsourced "customer service" reps you get when you're trying to call your insurance company) kept saying over and over that there was a PROCEDURE, and by-fucking-Allah she was going to follow it whether it made sense or not.
At one point, Husband put me in time-out over by the bags we did have, and went over to Kirkster, who was not only quite kind and helpful, but managed to silence his coworker by giving her something else to look up. He put the Vs and I on priority standby on the first flight the next morning, directed Husband to Southwest, and then gave us directions on how to get to the USO at LAX so we could shower, eat, and rest.
And no, the tale STILL isn't finished. I'll continue in another day or so, but in the meantime, take ONE guess as to where my checked bags were.