Not long ago, a few of my childhood girlfriends and I decided that we were going to try a Girls' Weekend away.
Away from children.
Away from laundry.
Away from buttwiping duty.
Away from being last on the totem pole.
Away from everything except belly laughs, silliness, and reminiscing about our childhood.
This was going to be daunting. We'd all been in the thick of child rearing for so long, we had to fight the severe side effects of mommy guilt, what ifs, and all of the urges to not let the control go and just stay home.
Finally - we did it. We made the plane, hotel, spa, and restaurant reservations and were giddy at the thought of a hot meal, not cutting anyone's meat, not being interrupted all through dinner, and not having to take anyone to the bathroom at the most inconvenient of times.
The week before the trip, I was attacked by some awful virus that caused Vertigo and I ended up in the ER. Not sure if you are familiar with Vertigo (God I hope not), but it is like being drunk and having a severe case of the spins that grabs on to you and doesn't let go. I was told to SLOW down and take care of myself for a few days, and take this lovely medicine called Meclizine. Side effects include, but not limited to:
Trouble urinating, constipation, dry eye, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, and a few others.
My seriously vain alter-ego: "you're not seriously going to take that shit right before a glam trip to Boston are you? Do you want to have a distended abdomen full of backed up waste, bags under your eyes from not sleeping, and dry, blurry eyes so you can't see what the hell is going on around you?" <Vanity Alter Ego is tapping her foot, arms crossed, looking at me with disgust..>
Normal Me: (gulps and gasps in horror) NO! That would be horrible! I mean, I haven't been with my girls for more than dinner in over 12 years. NO I don't want to be bloated, tired, groggy and blurry!
Uptight, Worrier, Alter Ego: "YOU (pointing to Vanity AE) be quiet. She's sick and needs rest and the only way to kick this so she CAN go on the trip at all is to take the Meclizine so stop putting these ideas in her head and shut it or we'll alllll (points to all of my personalities) staying home."
Being the peacemaker by nature, I decide to satisfy all of my alter ego requests and take the Meclizine for 2 days. By day 3 I decide I've had enough of feeling like I am a zombie and stop taking the meds. I quickly relapse and end up feeling much worse than the day I was in the ER.
Uptight Worrier Alter Ego: "Everyone happy now?"
Vanity AE: <<Looks around, quiet, subdued.>>
|Vanity Girl had no time for zits, dizziness and other shenanigans.|
Vanity AE: <<Rolls eyes in disgust and walks away in her Jessica Simpson hooker heels>>
Normal Me: "Ok girls, calm down. I am not going down in flames. We are going to go back to square one and take the Dr's advice. Slow Down, Rest. Take Meclizine 2x day."
I do this. In just a few short days of going to bed early, drinking lots of water, resting, and not getting worked up about the house not being perfect and all of the other daily minor stresses of a SAHM, I was feeling better, just in time to start packing for the trip. I was not about to have another thing ruin my once in a blue moon girls' timeout - flashback to my last night out that was still fresh in my mind of me being deathly ill the whole time.
The night before the trip, I'll be honest, I wasn't 100%. I would say 75% is a stretch - but you'd be surprised at what mind over matter can do for you. I was not about to miss a 3 day mental health weekend that was long over due. So I just kept swimming...forging ahead..staying positive and thinking I'll be fine. (By the way, at this point, I am STILL on the Meclizine, haven't pooped for days, haven't slept well for nights, can't see shit..but not spinning...not spinning at all. It's like Side Effect Poker: I'll see your dizziness and raise you Constipation and Dry Mouth - it is just an awful awful game of risk and bluff.)
I'm not at my best. I am not looking my best. I am mentally and physically exhausted..but I am going. I have not done anything like this for myself in too long and I know it is needed. I crawl into bed after a long day of grocery shopping, laundry, prepping the kids, the house, the hubs, and finally myself, for my being away. I reach for my Ipad to read some of my favorite bloggers before I go to bed, when all of a sudden, my fingers slip a little and I drop my Ipad on my face - the corner of it blasting a hole right into my lip. My lip starts gushing blood and immediately swells up like a balloon.
"SON OF A F**CKING..." Vanity Me yells at me in her head. "You IDIOT. You are going to look like the Elephant man by the time you finally get to Boston..."
I run into the bathroom. True Story. My lip looks like Melanie Griffith after a fresh Collagen injection gone wrong- you know, NOT a good look. Only mine is bleeding with a gash in my lip for added effect.
I clean myself up and crawl back in bed. I toss and turn most of the night, and finally fall into some kind of weird cat nap just before my alarm goes off and scares the hell out of me.
I rub my blurry, dry eyes and it hits me quickly that today is the day of the trip. Adrenaline hits my stomach with delight, and I do a stretch and evaluate my dizziness/Vertigo situation. Nothing. Good stuff - the side effects have beaten the crap out of the spins and taken over. Ok. No more spins so that's good. But wait. Some kind of weird, achy, throbbing pain in my nose. I quickly get out of bed, even though Dr's orders are to ease out of bed, slowly and carefully. I misstep and just about hit my face on the bathroom door. Whew, that was close. Mental note: I need to be more careful walking under the influence of Meclizine.
I get to the mirror. WHAT THE .
There is a large pimple at the base of my nostril. It is so big, that it practically blocks the opening of my nose. I am horrified.
"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???" Vanity Me screams in panic.
Uptight Worrier Me: "Maybe we should just stay home, stay safe, away from harm and relapse...maybe this is your body telling you something bad is going to happen if you leave for a few days.."
Vanity Me: "Shut your piehole you freak..we are going on this trip...now everyone calm down and let's work on removing that horror show of a zit before it grows teeth and a spinal cord in our nose.."
Normal Me shakes the voices and finds the courage to attempt to deflate this facial abnormality. Have you ever had anything like this? Then you must know that this area of your nose, just above your lip and under your nose has GOT to be the most sensitive, delicate, ouchy area of your face. I can barely touch it without tearing up from the pain. I quickly and almost fearlessly pop it and immediately, the tears start to flow from the irritation. Good news: Temporarily, my dry eye is irrelevant.
Let's recap my current list of side effects at the moment: Constipation, Trouble Urinating, Sleeplessness, Dry Eye (on hold for now while I am crying), Dry Mouth, Blurred Vision, Bloated Abdomen, Swollen Painful Bruised Lip, Open wound at base of nose, Elephant Man-like appearance. For added fun, I have two giant scabs on my arms from the bouncy house (see death by bouncy house blog), I have a giant bruise on my forearm from the blood they took in the ER, and a gash on my shin from shaving my legs the day before.
Things are looking grim but I keep my eye on the prize. I finish up getting ready, thankfully, my nose swelling is going down more and more by the minute, and I am able to see well enough to get the hell out of Dodge and begin my weekend.
|When your vision is jacked up, a mascara wand can and should be considered a dangerous weapon.|
Fast forward a bit to the evening with the girls. We are getting ready in the hotel room, I am being brave and pretending that I am perfectly fine, even though I am exhausted and blurry. A full day of laughing with friends has given me enough oomph to get through the day. I am throwing on a coat of mascara when I poke myself in the eye with the brush. Hard. My eye immediately turns a deep shade of Magenta, throwing off the color scheme of purple I had going to match my undereye baggage. I wish I could tell you that my eye started to water, but to not avail. The dry eye won this battle. My eye is now swollen, dry, and modeling a hazy shade of Fuchsia. I keep going, grabbing my purse as we walk out the door. My friends and I continue to laugh all the way to the lobby as we look forward to a glamorous night of exquisite Moroccan food, bellydancing, hookah pipes, and adults. We pose for a few pics to remember this night, and have the Concierge call us a cab.
My friends are both devastated at the blow to my face, and laughing at the same time.
"I'M OK..." The will of my desire to go to dinner is more than the side effects and the jaw pain. I am seriously rattled, though and I am not sure if I am dizzy from the blow to my jawline or if the Vertigo is back. I resist the urge to pass out in the cab and soldier onward and upward to our night out ahead.
We get to the restaurant. My girlfriends order drinks and our right-from-Russia server looks at me for my drink order. I know enough not to mix alcohol with the Meclizine and ask her for her best non-alcoholic elixir.
"You can have juice, soda, coffee, or water." She offers in a heavy accent.
Me: " Do you mind just kindly asking your bartender to make me something fun without any alcohol?"
Server: "He can make you a Shirley Temple."
|What. Da. Funk.|
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? This is a 5 star on the Zagat Survey restaurant and you are going to offer me a fucking shirley temple when I ask you for a non alcoholic drink? Blood pressure rising. Stop that. You stop that right now..she's foreign - give her a break.
Now my friends are rolling.
Before I get worked up, I tell her to bring me some water and call it a day. I have got to get off the Meclizine - it's making me crazy.
We finish up with a lovely evening - I refrain from hurting myself any more for the day and crawl into bed. A full day with friends has brought my blood pressure down, relaxed me, and provided me with so many belly laughs, that I fall into a deep, restful, peaceful sleep.
The rest of the weekend was more of the same. Lots of giggling, storytelling, shopping, eating, breathing. No stopping to cut someone's meat for them, no yelling at anyone, no vacuuming, packing snacks, grocery shopping, worrying, overthinking, stressing - nothing. Just breathing. It was brilliant.
By Sunday, I was 100% me again. I missed Hubs and my boys terribly and had a new appreciation for them, for my life, for my health too. My friends provided the most wonderful kind of therapy - a taste of home, a shot in the arm of who I am, who I've grown to be, and the very basics of life, not just getting by and surviving, but enjoying and savoring life. Truly, we took time to smell the roses, to look at the sky and watch the clouds move through, to say - wow - we have it so good - why do we sweat the small stuff? Why do we run ourselves ragged and stress out over the daily grind. Is it the end of the world if the house isn't ready for a photo shoot? Is it that bad if we eat dinner a half hour late? Is it awful if the laundry doesn't get put away today? Nope. I have to learn to get out of 5th gear and bring it down a little. If my health suffers because I stress out too much, what good am I to anyone? It took me a few days away to realize that the reason I got so sick in the first place was because of the ridiculous amount of pressure I put on myself to be everything to everyone at all times. That's ridiculous. I hope I can carry the tranquility of the ocean with me, at least for a while.
|There is something to be said for taking a time out to spend with friends. Even if it's just lunch, coffee, something..a few hours away can do wonders for your psyche.|
In the meantime, I'm just taking things slowly, one step at a time..and hoping I don't bump into anything on the way. Even my innervoices are getting along well and staying quiet. It's nice to not have all of the arguing and namecalling to contend with. Time to go easy on ourselves..what are we waiting for?
Hugs and love,