Running out of time to write this morning, but here’s the gist:

The drive down was one of the worst I’ve experienced. The rain poured the whole time; the car wheels threatened to hydroplane repeatedly. Normally, I enjoy the scenery and the mellowness of the 101. This time, my entire body had stiffened by the time we reached SF, where the rain continued to fall. We picked up my brother and hit a little Mexican eatery. The food was decent – the veggie burrito had actual vegetables – but not exciting by SF standards.

Nick and I stayed with our friends in the Inner Richmond, as we always do, waking up at 6 a.m. to make the endoscopy appointment. The air around the reception area stank of cigarettes. The guy helping us apologized for the smell, said security was on it. (What would they do, I wondered, pose like movie cops and fire air freshener at the offending areas?)

Watching Nick go under wasn’t as traumatic as I expected; the nurses and doctors at UCSF offer information and reassurance before I even have time to ask. But the brisk business of attaching monitors, holding the mask over his face, still wasn’t easy to watch. I stayed brave till he was out, but then my face must’ve dropped, because when she glanced at me, the nurse said, “Are you OK?” I nodded, even as the tears sprang to the surface.

The time passed quickly. As I wrote the last sentence in my notebook, the doctor fetched me. All went well. He shows no sign of celiac, although the diagnosis was not one hundred percent definitive. We’ll know for sure today; even then, he may have to repeat the procedure in three or five years.

But he woke up crying from the pain and stayed hurting all day. Thank goodness for the kindness of our friends. Having a place to go, a cozy futon with pillows and blankets, a giant TV to play games and watch movies on, a kitchen to cook and store snacks in – all these elements combined to make Nick comfortable, enabled me to take better care of him than I could’ve on the road or in a hotel.

When he felt up to it, we walked to Green Apple bookstore and wallowed in the pleasure of too many great books to choose from. Well, I wallowed; Nick fell into a Captain Underpants comic and stayed there. As long as the Tylenol and Sucrets squelched his pain, Nick was OK. We had dinner at Q, our usual spot (Nick gets the mac-n-cheese with tater tots on top). We had breakfast at the Crepevine, also our usual spot. (Both highly recommended. I will try to post in more detail about their food sometime.)

His diabetes appointment went GREAT. He couldn’t be doing any better. Let me repeat: He couldn’t be doing any better. I loved hearing that.

The drive home consisted of hitting traffic out through the entirety Sonoma County, an expensive-but-worth-it stop at Trader Joe’s, and a drive home through snow flurries and more rain. I was sure every time that the seemingly endless parade of semis coming around the curve at me would hit ice and slide right into us, but we made it home, safe and sound.