Take the first flight out they said. Get there on the first day they said.


It might be the sleep deprivation talking, but I think I’ve just been hazed.

I woke up this morning at 3:30 to catch a 5:45am flight to Arlington, Va. for the National CRT Conference. While I’m thrilled to be here and put faces to voices (I’ve spoken to many a provider over the phone), I’m even more excited to crawl into my king size bed.

I remember going over the details of the trip weeks ago with Liz. She told me we editors usually take the first flight out on the first day of conferences. However, after the morning I've had, I can't imagine anyone doing this twice on purpose.

As I was booking my flight, I registered the 5:45am departure time, but I didn’t really understand the implications. And how could I? I had gotten a full eight hours of sleep the night before and could not fathom this kind of exhaustion.

When I arrived at the Hyatt, there was room at the inn, but the inn had not been cleaned yet. This was not my first rodeo. I knew my chances of checking in at 8:30am were almost non-existent, but I was holding out for a miracle: either the room had not been let the night before or its occupants left at dawn’s first light and housekeeping just happened to get an early jump on the day. It was and they didn’t.

Roomless, I adapted to my new identity: well-dressed vagabond.

I used the bathroom lobby to wash my face, brush my teeth and do my hair, and ate a bagel with cream cheese on one of the large couches in the atrium—bagel crumbs and all my possessions scattered around me in a protective circle. Had I an HME News magazine, I would have covered myself with it for warmth and good measure. 

It is now 3:40 in the afternoon. I’ve sat in on some great sessions, I met some great people and I’ve drunk 50 liters of Diet Coke. I am no longer a vagabond. I have a room. And I am going to take a nap in my king size bed.