I had such a fantastic weekend!
I got to visit a few local parks on Friday, it was really great. The first place we stopped was a privately owned park, with some trails, a huge meadow of wildflowers, some prehistoric-looking eucalyptus trees, and stables. I touched a horse. This is only impressive if you know that I've been irrationally afraid of them for most of my life. I stood near to two, and though we were separated by a wooden fence, it was more a suggestion for the horses than a actual barrier. They stuck their heads over the fence and gave us a good sniff, and one let me touch him briefly on the head. I was determined not to be afraid, and I mostly succeeded.
Then we visited another park that offered guided nature walks, which was SO NEAT. I climbed inside two redwoods, one I could stand up in. I learned to identify some local wildlife and plants, saw genetically mutated trees, and learned some awesome nature science. I want to do it again, I had a great time.
My head did pretty well. The weather was warm, but not hot, we were under the shade of trees most of the time, we stuck to very well maintained paths, and we encountered only a few smokers and perfumed people. The main trigger I did encounter was looking up. We looked up to marvel at bizarre tree malformations, to identify leaf shapes, and because the majesty of these towering trees just seems to demand it. At some point, I realized that looking up was starting to make me feel very sick. That was about the same time that standing still and listening to the volunteer explain this or that interesting nature factoid was getting really uncomfortable. And then I started yawning, not because I was tired or bored, but my head was giving me a clear warning. I stuck it out longer than I should have because I was with a new friend and I was really enjoying the nature walk, and by the time I got home, the crashing process was fully beginning.
First, my words started slurring, and my movement went sluggish. This scared me so much the first few times it happened, I thought it could be a stroke or that maybe I'd taken a muscle relaxant and forgotten about it. But, no, it's just a sign of impending doom. I'm used to it by now, so I spent the worst of it catching up on tv that I've been neglecting for schoolwork. (Mad Men, Fringe, Modern Family and Community, I love you SO MUCH.) The pain wasn't too bad when I sat still and avoided loud noises.
I managed to heat up some leftovers for us later in the evening, took a shower and fell asleep at a normal hour, which felt pretty amazing given how totally wiped I was. I woke the next morning achy and sensitive, and the day after that was mother's day, so I took the cue to lie low. I spent the day studying, resting, and slowly packing for upcoming trip to the city.
I woke the next morning feeling amazing. I started feeling twinges of pain just before we were leaving, but they weren't anything out of the ordinary, so kept moving. On the drive down the mountain, the motion sickness kicked in a little faster and harder than usual, but liberal applications of ginger ale helped keep it in check. We were driving along merrily for a solid fifteen minutes before the sun blinking at me through the trees started making my head feel strange, then painful, then just so overwhelmed I couldn't do a thing but cover my face and breathe. The blinking hurt even from behind my hands, it was intense. I was about to make my boyfriend pull over, then it starting ebbing back to a more tolerable place. I no longer felt like my head might pop off my shoulders or that every atom in my body was shorting out at once, but I was very concerned about the mother's day related activities that awaited me.
I needn't have worried. I spent a few hours with my mom, which were quiet, happy, and very well medicated, then we went to the bigger party and I lasted long enough to see 90% of the people I was hoping to. I got to hold a wee baby, my cousin's new son. We were there for about two hours and when I said my goodbyes, a few people asked why we were leaving so early. I explained vaguely that I was tired, and no one pressed for more info, so that was nice.
I feel like I need a week to get back to normal after all this activity. While regaining my strength, I'm also trying to catch up on household chores that were neglected during all the funtimes, which makes everything, catching up and recuperating both, much harder. I can't stand looking at a mess, though, so I guess I'd rather be going uphill, slowly, than stand still and wait for the path to level out again. How do we even know it will?