The Adventure of going to Toy Fair 2019

Cowabunga Corner is a place where we can have fun and share the things we love.  One of the many things we love is toys!  Often we try to share stories about Toys, be it Blind Bag openings, interviews with amazing Toy people and reviews of the neat things coming to the market.  Be it Ninja Turtles or not, toys bring happiness to people and we love that feeling!  And there’s no better event to cover on the subject than Toy Fair.  Though the last few years my health has been too poor to make the trip, which was almost the case for this year.  But things changed making it so Miki and I could make the trip.  Here is the tale of how we almost did not make it to Toy Fair 2019.

Last year with some help from Metalhead, I got inspired to edit toy videos.  And doing so I managed to get one Blind Bag video scheduled per a week, which helps meet one of the requirements to be approved for Toy Fair.  I got excited thinking that maybe I could return to Toy Fair in 2019, knowing that was being done.  In the beginning of January 2019 my mind was set, I could go to Toy Fair.  But at this time medical also kicked in for me.

I have not had real medical since 2004.  Meaning I barely ever would go to the doctors, I almost died because of this in 2012 when one amazing friend got me to the ER, where we were told another 48 hours and I would not have lived.  This is a serious subject, I do not want to rank up bills that I can not pay.  And I do not believe that living in debt is really living.  I would choose to stay home and suffer through whatever pain I was going through instead of going to any doctor.  Making it so getting insurance is a big deal to my family and I.  My mom wasted no time in getting me doctor appointments.

The doctor appointments went for two weeks straight.  X-rays, Ultrasounds, EKG, Stress Test, EEG, and so much more.  Some tests came up clean while others found things wrong.  Though each doctor appointment lead to another, including one appointment I was dreading.  I had to meet up with the doctor who gave me surgery in 2011, while I was still under worker comp for my CRPS/RSD, and let him know how the pain has returned.  Last time we saw him in 2016 he said there was nothing he could do for me, and how surgery on my neck where the wire is would kill me.  I did not see a reason to go see him, and died when within 5 minutes of talking to us he made up his mind that it was time to change the battery in my chest.

I felt so sick with this news that I began shaking when I returned home that day.  I cried and could not calm down.  It was supposed to be every 9 to 12 years, when it’s only a little over 7 years.  It was too early.  I still feel the wire, so the battery still works.  Why would I have to change it out?  I cried, though the surgery date was set for February 7th.  When I saw the date was only a week before Toy Fair, I made up my mind.  There would be no way that I could do Toy Fair so close after having surgery.  This depressed me even more, as I was looking forward to seeing all of our friends.

It was a week before my surgery when I got an email inviting me to the Playmates Toys event at Toy Fair.  35 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Kevin Eastman was going to be there.  What an event.  I stared at it and thought of how badly I still want to go.  I started getting some of the stuff together to apply to go.  But the stress and fear of the surgery prevented me from replying to anything from Toy Fair.  My mind would race as I debated the idea of going, even with having surgery.  I wanted to go so bad that the idea became closer to reality with each day.

Two days before the surgery I got a phone call by the company that made the spinal cord stimulator that is inside of me.  The lady who called wanted to test the wire, then informed me that what I have inside of me is a ‘dinosaur’ and that this new battery will help with my pain control by leaps and bounds.  The way she talked about it excited me, taking the depression about the surgery away. 

February 7th, my arrival time was 5:30am with a 7:30am surgery.  When I woke up from the surgery I was in so much pain I could not talk.  The nurses were around checking me trying to get me to respond to them, but that awesome lady from the company who gave me the news about the battery was there.  She informed them that I could not talk till that was turned on, then she turned it on.  Sure enough I was able to start talking and was released to go home.  I was home by 11am and slept for two days.

The surgery worked, my pain was so much better that even though I had a cut in my chest that’s healing I am healthier than I was before the surgery!  I feel GREAT!  Saturday night I submitted the application for press for Toy Fair.  Monday morning both Miki and I were approved.  So the plan was to leave on Wednesday, only weather did not work with us.  I pushed our leave date for Thursday.  Then we got the news that we would not have a place to stay while in New York.

I posted on Facebook asking for help in finding a location.  We did have a backup plan, which was not something we wanted to do, but would if it came down to it.  With only days before leaving we got contacted by a friend, who had a place where both Miki and I could stay in New York City during the entire time of Toy Fair.   I won’t give names as they deserve to have privacy on who, how and why.  Though I will say THANK YOU SO MUCH!  You know who you are! 

Thursday Miki and I left on the trip, sure that we would make it to Toy Fair.  We took Battleshell, my 2016 Kia Sorento which I got after settling out of Worker Comp, so I would have a safe ride that meets some medical needs such as heated seat and steering wheel.  Being so new, I did not fear taking my car as it has always been good to me.  We stayed one night with a friend in Mentor, Ohio and started the rest of the drive to New York Friday morning.   We were suppose to arrive in New York by 5pm, things were all going as planned.  At least we thought it was.

That’s when a new problem came right at us, we were only 25 miles east of Mentor, OH.  I heard a noise, it was a squeaking noise.  I turned off the radio, slowed down and listened.  I could not tell if that was me or the semi truck we were driving next too.  Though it was loud to me and caused me a ting of fear. Then I noticed the battery light came on, which got me to ask Miki to unplug everything that was charging in the car.  I looked at my dash to notice that the car was totally overheating as well.  At that point I knew I had to pull over, we got off at the first exit where I stopped at at Pilot Travel Center.  I turned Battleshell off, and waited to let the engine cool down a little.  I also took this moment to use the restroom and try to breath as I worried for my sick car.

I got on google and did a search to find out what would cause that problem.  I found that the serpentine belt would be the cause of these actions.  This is not something I could fix at a gas station.  I searched up the closes Kia, which was back in Mentor, OH.  Then I called them, and they told me to have it towed in.  I already knew I could not drive back as this is bad.  I called AAA and got us a tow back to the shop.  Where we had to wait as they looked things over.  Only to learn that the problems were caused by the alternator.  Lucky for me the alternator is covered by my Warranty, so the repairs will be free.  Bad news, they won’t have Battleshell ready till Tuesday.

Now Miki and I had to find another way to New York.  It felt like there was no way we were going to make it to Toy Fair at this point.  I can not express the feeling of disappointment that was racing through both Miki and I.  They suggested we look into a rental car.  Which was the next step of the plan.  I found a car rental, they got us a ride to the rental place where Miki and I picked up our current ride to New York City.  We moved everything from Battleshell into this rental and got back on the road after losing about 6 hours of the day. 

We finally arrived to the place we’re staying at shortly before Midnight.  We’re here in New York City and got to go to Toy Fair!   Follow our instagram for updates daily from the event and watch for our stories of the booths, toys and over all days of Toy Fair 2019 here on Cowabunga Corner.

Against all odds we’re here and have already seen and shared some really epic stuff!  Hope everyone enjoyed our tale of this breathtaking adventure which is keeping me on my toes!



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