Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Just Want to feel Normal Again

I've talked a lot about my anxiety problem and how it's a hormonal problem and that hormone is adrenaline. I've been taking a pretty good medicine for several years so I was surprised last Thursday when I could feel an anxiety attack coming on. Adrenaline puts you into fight or flight mode, and with me flight does not refer to flee but it usually manifests as "hide in my house." Unfortunately I could not hide in my house as I was not at home, but I had several errands to run also. These were important errands involving beer and toilet paper, which are usually funny to buy together but you can not buy them together in Vancouver. I also had another errand which required an hour wait. Anyway, the worst time for my anxiety is always getting ready to leave the house. As I was getting ready, I did what I call my "funny cough" except it's not funny because I only cough like that when I'm getting close to a panic attack. But I had to go out, so I just bucked up and went out. It wasn't pleasant. I tried to unwind Thursday night and took a little nap and then read a little of Steve Martin's new book before going to bed because I had to get up early to catch my plane.


The Vancouver airport is nightmare of the living passenger horrible place from hell. After I got my boarding passes, I was told to go through this little entrance and get in line. There were no signs that said, "You will not be able to pee for 2 hours" and there sure should have been. So this line I was supposed to get in was going two ways and I was told I had to go get in the end. Imagine people going 3 ways in a grocery store aisle. It was ridiculous. So I'm squeezing behind columns trying to make my way down and this cute guy just in front of me says, "This is so stupid. How are we supposed to get down there?" I said, "Wait here, I'll bust through and you can get in front of me." So when I came down again I gestured for him to pop in line and he said thank you and I was thinking that he looked a lot like Dane Cook. But I knew he wasn't. We go all the way down the one way, then back the other way and think we're somewhere but we're not. Then they take you right through the middle of a duty free shop!!!!! Did they honestly think anyone in the whole world would get out of the line they have been in for a day and a half? So we get to the end of the shop and then we see it. The sight from hell: queues upon queues ad nauseum.


After the 50th turn into the maze from hell some young girl looked at the guy in front of me and said, "I just love your work!" So then I had to ask, "Are you Dane Cook?" He told me no but that he gets that a lot. He said he films a TV show in Vancouver so I asked which one figuring it was some Canadian show I had never heard of, but it was "Battlestar Galactica" which I have heard of but never watched for some reason which is weird because I'm a giant SNG fan. So we were just randomly chatting and I told him I was going to fly into Wlmington on Saturday and asked if he had filmed there and he had and knew the area. His name is Michael Trucco and when I looked him up I saw he was on 5 episodes of "One Tree Hill" which is the show that threatened to run my Mom and I out of The George two years ago. But I guess it's true about all the delays in stuff like that because they never started filming anything or said a word before we left. Anyway he was very nice and promised some teenage girl he would take a picture with her after we got out of the lines. Well, when that line ended, I thought I was done, but NO. Then it was onto a new set of queues in another giant room from hell. This was starting to get bad and my adrenaline was not playing nice and when you are in the middle of a giant room in a giant maze of queues you don't have the option of flight.


There were two couples traveling together in front of me in this line and my guess is they were Germans. But I don't really have an ear for many languages beyond French, Spanish and Italian so I'm really not sure, but the one guy really looked German. Anyway, about two third through this maze, they pulled over at the turnaround or whatever it's called when you change directions and were talking to people in the first class line and a 5 foot gap opened up and I was feeling all irritated and jumped in front of them. I could hear people murmuring behind my back (literally behind me I mean) but I didn't care at this point and began to think I would die soon if I didn't pee. I seriously came very close several times to asking an airport worker to take me to a bathroom. When I finally got to the point where just one couple was in front of me the lady beeped and I almost went insane and wanted to yell, "It's her giant metal bracelet!!!!!" I walked right through.


The E gates where right there, or so I thought. There was a quick right and I ASSUMED there would be bathrooms. Oh no. Here I was practically running in my socks and no bathrooms! After two miles I came to an escalator then went down and finally put my shoes back on, then on and on and I was getting madder and madder to a crazy raging point. Then Oh. My. God. The next thing was an escalator back up. At this point I actually wanted to kill people. At the base of the escalator was another duty free shop and I yelled at the poor innocent Chinese lady, "Does this GD airport have ANY F---ing bathrooms!!!???!!!" She said, "At the top." To me at the top means right at the top. I got to the top and still no bathrooms. At this point I was so filled with adrenaline it wasn't even funny. My left hand was doing some weird fluttery thing. I ran past my gate muttering like a maniac. And by muttering I mean cussing. I went into the restroom and sat there for almost 5 minutes trying to do some breathing exercises to calm down. I was not in my happy place. I think I scared some lady because of my weird breathing.


I walked back to the gate thinking it was time to board, but there was a flashing sign saying the flight was delayed. I have never been so happy to have a delayed flight in my life. I went into the bar/cafe which was practically in my gate and sat at a little counter in a window and drank 3 beers in a row. I was feeling much calmer and didn't even get too irritated when the asian ladies kept trying to give me a croissant every time I ordered a Coors Light. How does "Coors Light" sound like "croissant?" I started to talking to a nice guy in line to board the flight (he was behind me) and when the lady took my boarding pass and said something like, "I hope you enjoyed your stay." I said, "This is the worst airport in the entire world and I will never come back through here as long as I live." The guy behind me was so shocked, he laughed out loud. I got lucky and my first flight to Portland was just me and my sandwich. Then on my Portland to DFW flight, the flight attendant announced that "we have a full plane so please be considerate about how you place your luggage in the overhead bins." But guess what. She lied. I didn't have a seatmate again. Man it's so much cozier to have two seats (which was the whole row) to yourself.


On Saturday I was still agitated and my bladder hurt, but I thought that was because of the Vancouver airport having no bathrooms. On Sunday I realized something was wrong. I called the doctor Monday morning and was able to get in right away. And I got lucky because my doctor was booked, as usual, so I got to see Dr. Smith, a lady I have seen many times because my doctor is always booked. I like her better. So we figured out that I have my 3rd in a row UTI and the first two were strep B (it's not contagious) so I felt like this was another one. Strep B is a a natural flora of the body but it's supposed to stay where it belongs and mine keeps moving around and going places it doesn't belong. Which is very annoying. I told her I was going to the beach on Saturday and did not want a 10 day antibiotic treatment. There was also a guy with us, an intern learning guy and he was taking a billion notes. I begged for a shot and they discussed it and even went to look it up. They came back and said I could get the shot which would clear up the strep B but I had to take a 5 day anitbiotic in case it was something else. I agreed, got the shot and dropped off my prescription.


My Sweetie picked up my prescription Tuesday evening for sulfamethoxazole. It said twice a day so I had to figure out two times a day that I'm awake and decided on 8:00. My Sweetie always kisses me goodbye before work around 8:00 am and I'm always awake at 8:00 pm. so that seemed like a good time. Then I forgot and we ate spaghetti with Italian sausage and then I remembered at 8:40. That may have saved my life. We were watching the Charlie Chan movies on TCM and about 9:10 I started scartching my legs. I wasn't thinking about it. I was just scratching and watching the movie. Then it got worse and worse. Then I was scratching everywhere. I was almost doing St. Vitus dance. Then it dawned on me that I was having a reaction to the medicine. I ran into better light to see if I had hives, but I couldn't see anything. I felt like 8000 chiggers were biting me all over my body. I decided to guzzle some beers because A) beer is my medicine of choice and B) People always say alcohol reduces the effects of antibiotics. I started to feel better and was relaxing a little bit and then my eye felt funny. I said, "Pause the movie, my eye feels funny." I went to look at it and it was horrible!

Then I had a new crazy itch in a sort of bikini line area and reached down there and there was a big lump. I put some Benadryl cream on the new lump and my eye is starting to close up and I started freaking out and called my doctor's office to get the after hours number. I called and then a doctor called me back. He said to take a Benadryl but I only had Claritin so I took that and he told me to call 911 if I had trouble breathing. I asked, "Could I just use my breathing medication from when I had pneumonia?" He said, "If you have trouble breathing and try to self-medicate, you will probably die. You need to call 911." So I kept watching the movie and my eye kept getting bigger, but I had no breathing troubles. That's when I remembered that I was originally going to take that pill at 8:00. And that would have been on an empty stomach. I imagine it would have been worse. I'm so glad I forgot.


I slept with an extra pillow to elevate my head hoping my eye would drain (even though the doctor told me it would take about 24 hours). When My Sweetie was leaving for work he said, "Let me see your eye." I sat up and opened my eyes and he said, "Oh, Geeez!" Since I had a sub last week and will have one next week I really wanted to do Meals on Wheels so I just decided to wear shades all day. I don't know how close my body came to shutting down but I felt like I was walking through water or Jello all day. I've never moved so slow in my life. It felt so weird. And they had changed my route so I had to study my Mapsco. Well at first I thought I just had some new people and some old people had canceled for the day, but when I did my normal schpiel I found out differently. I asked a lady, "Is this your first day or did you start last week, because I was out of town last week?" She said, "I've been getting this for years." That's when I knew my route had changed.


So anyway that's what has been going on with me. I think I'm getting close to feeling normal again. We're going to the beach on Saturday and I hope it's going to be great. My Mom has a laptop at her place so I will try to look in on you peeps when I'm over there. It was nice to vent and thanks for putting up with me.


Jammie J. said...

Holy crap! That airport was terrible. Your eye -- ayayayay, your eye. Hope that clears up fast so you can get maximum viewage of the beach.


geewits said...

~~Thanks so much for your phone call the other night. I really needed it! My eye is almost normal looking now but not quite. I think I should go to the realtor page for my cottage and watch the slide show. That ALWAYS cheers me up.

Urban Animal said...

Aww you poor thing. Not fun to be in a crazy airport like Vancouver (Toronto is no better though) and not finding a place to pee. That would send me into a frenzy as well. But it's even worse when you have an UTI coming up. Ouch ouch ouch. And wow, reaction to meds like that. That's good karma geewits. Someone's watching out for you.

Enjoy your weekend at the cottage and yes, check out the realtor page. They're always fun!

Jazz said...

Whoa! Modern travel makes you regret we've passed the days of stagecoach travel - evil bandits and all.

Hope that reaction clears up soon, take care of yourself and RELAX out there.

Ian Lidster said...

Oh shit, the horrors of Vancouver Airport. It's the one I have to use all the time, of course, but reading your nightmarish tale only put me in mind of many similar experiences. My condolences. It's an inexcusable disgrace. I would only argue that Honolulu International is even worse, but that's not much consolation. I'd put Vancouver about on a par with LAX.
Anyway, get better soon, my dear.

ticknart said...

Glad you made it home and I really hope that your trip to the beach doesn't have any problems so you can just have fun.

Scarlet said...

Well, things can only get better at the beach...that's all I have to say!

What an ordeal at that airport! I like the story about the complimentary croissant though. At least you had some nice Coors Light to wash them down with. ;)

geewits said...

U Animal,
~~It was awful at that airport. The cottage is for the whole week! I can't wait and if you are a lunar watcher, you'll see it's the week of the full moon. I love the sight of moonshine across the ocean!

~~I plan to RELAX and play, play, play. I'm going to take army men and build forts in the sand. Fortunately my young nephew will be there on Sunday to build forts with me so I won't look like a total crazy person.

~~I've flown through LAX and it wasn't so bad, but that was 20 years ago and I wasn't flying internationally. It just seemed like an airport. The Maui airport is very simple, but then again, I was flying nationally. Maybe customs just sucks everywhere?

~~Thanks! From your lips... as they say. I hope your grandfather is doing okay.

~~Oh I didn't GET a croissant, they kept trying to give me that instead of a Coors Light. Maybe I'll drop a note in a bottle and it will wash down to you.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

hat Airport sounds absolutely HORRENDOUS! I don't think I could take that, ever!! In truth, I don't know how anyone travels anymore with all the problems of traveling now....It just sounds like the Torture From Hell!
I hope your infection is clearing up now....How scary to be taking medication that it turns out you are allergic to....OY!
You had quite a tine of it these last few days....!

geewits said...

~~Yes, but I plan to spend the next week gazing into the Atlantic ocean. And relaxing!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar reaction once to a sulpha-based drug for an UTI. I turned beet red all over and itchier that I ever hope to be again in my life. I tend to stay away from sulpha drugs now. Hope you have a lovely time at the beach