Monday, September 27, 2010

In Which I Am Outwitted By A Bicycle Seat

My first misadventure in biking was extraordinarily pathetic.

I woke up that morning to gray skies of joy. The sun was firmly MIA, so I decided to walk the dog to the park. It was a pleasant, uneventful walk. I took some pictures and she practiced sitting at curbs. We went to the enclosed dog park, and I walked around and scooped errant poop while she sniffed. Then we roamed the regular park for a while, meandering over grass and through picnic tables. The walk home was quiet, too, she strolled perfectly at my side and the sun never did show up.

When I got home I was feeling GREAT. I mean, pain levels at five and below, even with exertion? Kickass! When my boyfriend suggested taking the bikes to pick up my prescription, I quickly agreed. I was nervous, there are a few busy intersections in which I would be riding in close quarters with cars, but the more I can get out of the house, the better, and I was excited about how well the morning had gone.

The sun had since come out, but aside from a few anxious glances at the bright afternoon light peeking through the curtains in the living room window, I tried not to worry about it. My boyfriend unlocked the bikes and put the seats on. We walked them out the front gate, he hopped on and started pedaling away slowly. I started to get on the bike but couldn't. I couldn't get my balance. I was dumbfounded. And my boyfriend was already too far away for me to ask for help. I waited a minute for him to turn around and check on me, but he didn't come back. I was really confused and kept trying to get on the bike and failing miserably. I would swing my leg over and just get stuck. I remembered how I did it before, cock the left pedal up, brace and GO! But it wasn't working. Maybe it was my purse.

I carry a large messenger-type bag that makes me feel a little lopsided sometimes. So I became convinced that it was my purse that was making it impossible to get on the bike. My boyfriend still hadn't come back, I was getting really frustrated and tired of swinging my leg over the damn bike and my nausea was kicking up, the glare off the cars parked on the street was pissing me off and WHERE THE HELL IS MY BOYFRIEND??? I was mad and crying a little, confused and totally unaware that I was fully immersed in a sort of migraine psychosis.

So, I went back into the house to switch out my usual bag for a backpack. But when I got back on the bike I still couldn't make it go. I tried several more times before I started crying again. I could see my boyfriend, half a block up, waiting for me.

I was still straddling the bike, putting one foot on the pedal and stopping, trying the other and stopping. Finally, I realized I couldn't get on the bike because the seat was too high. It's happened nearly every time I've gotten on the thing, my boyfriend takes the seats off the bikes for security reasons and never puts mine back on at the right height. I had always identified the problem quickly before, but my poor migraining brain just couldn't see it this time.

Now, I have no idea how to adjust the seat height by myself, so this revelation wasn't very helpful because my boyfriend was still half a block away and stubbornly not coming back. So, I got off the bike and stared at him. Just stood there, still quietly crying from frustration, and stared. His small, blurry form seemed to stare back. Then he started gesturing, wondering if I was coming, what the hell what taking me so long. I just stared. I couldn't yell for him, I knew it would hurt. Even waving my arms felt like a bad idea. And I still had no idea I was migraining.

FINALLY, he came back. But it was already way past too late to salvage the operation, if it had ever really been a good idea. He adjusted the seat, but I was exhausted from my ten minute attempt to get on the thing and couldn't calm down. So, I just went back inside and cried it out. After a minute or so, I realized I was trying not to hyperventilate because the seat was too high on my bike and it suddenly occurred to me that I might be migraining and maybe I should lie down.

So, I iced and medicated and regained my balance. But, I was very emotional for the rest of the day. A character on a television show mentioned a lost child, and I teared up, unable to imagine what it would be like to be a childless parent. I walked into the kitchen three times to get water and kept getting distracted, ended up raging out a little on our ancient brita pitcher. My head was hurting, but no more than usual. The major symptoms of this migraine flare were confusion and "irritability", which has to go in quotes because I'm not sure if that level of grump still counts as irritable or if it leans more towards volatile.

Anyway, it was a good lesson, one that I am tired of not learning. I can only do so much in one day. Triggers are never to be ignored, even if I feel well. And I need to learn how to adjust the bike seat myself.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

sorry you had a brain cloud or brain fog. Some days are like this for me - can't fight my way out - even with my stimulator. It stops most of the pain but the other symptoms still persist.

Migrainista said...

Some good lessons. I've had days like this too and it is endlessly frustrating. Hope today is better :)