falling just to bits

It happens every time, and I’m starting to wonder if I am so delicate that I need to be kept in a small crystal box and only be taken out for special occasions–every time I travel, lately, I get sick. I did not eat egregiously bad, or an egregious amount; I did not drink to excess; I took my vitamins every day, even! That is brand-new and wonderful of me, to pack my vitamins and then actually remember them every single day of a vacation. I made generally good decisions (though I did not get to have oysters, boo), I did not overextend myself, I was happy! And I come home, waver a little bit, and collapse in a big heap.

I should just start planning for it, instead of fighting it. Fighting it makes it even worse. I got up early on Monday, after a night of weird and terrible dreams of abandonment and betrayal, and spent all of the day sort of stumbling around, half-assedly doing things in a half-assed manner. I was forgetting what I was doing, being in a bad mood, surfing the same sites on the internet over and over. It’s a bad sign, when I just keep clicking on the same bookmarks and staring blankly at the page, like I am expecting something new. Isn’t that one of the signs of madness, in fact? It felt a little mad. Things went like that pretty much all the way until bedtime, when I finally collapsed, into blissful black and dreamless sleep.



I got up very, very early. Brand new day! Get stuff done for reals! Six
thirty in the morning, woo! I was prepared to take on the day, and take on my
to-do list, and the whole wide world was going to be mine! For the
taking! All right, then! Good stuff! Let’s keep on keeping on, and the
business! My eyes were wide, my pulse was steady, and I was pretty sure
I was feeling good.

Soon after E left for work, I realized I wasn’t feeling good. In fact,
I was feeling unbearably, horribly lousy, all over. I couldn’t be
upright, and sentient, and productive, and happy; and my belly hurt, and my
head hurt, and I had to go lie down. I crawled back into E’s incredibly
comfortable, new bed and the dogs came running in after me. They nudged
under the covers. Porter collapsing on top of my legs with a sigh and
resting his chin on my hip, Min curling around my shoulders like a
shawl and laying her big head on my arm, and I realized that was
exactly what I needed. A cool room, a giant fluffy comforter, and dogs
who love me. Or at least love the way I feed them, and who stay very close
just in case I am about to produce a peanut butter cracker from
somewhere about my person.

And I spent the day napping, on and off. I got up to use the bathroom,
eat some crackers (and share), crack open a bottle of water and forget where I left
it, look at my email. The dogs stayed ever-vigilant by my side, in case
pizza was about to appear suddenly. They climbed back into bed with me
every time, because the sheets might unexpectedly become pie.  And I
needed it very much–the day of not doing anything–and my stomach
feels better and everything feels better. What does not feel better is
this new possibility that I am broken in some way, and too weak to be
taken out of my delicately balanced ecosystem. I am hoping it is a
coincidence of some kind, the juxtaposition of feeling lousy and
returning from a trip. I am tired of feeling lousy. I’ve got a lot of
trips coming up.

  7 comments for “falling just to bits

  1. penguinlady
    June 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    We just got back from a 2-week cruise, and for the first time, did not get sick. I credit it to copious use of hand-sanitizer. Usually, I don’t like to use sanitizer because it gets over-used and makes germs get stronger, but for travel, it seems to really help. Use it every time you eat and now and then during the day, and often when in the airport or plane.

  2. anon
    June 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Anne :)
    You’re not broken, lovey. When you spend most days doing things a certain, steady way, and then suddenly you change that up (what you eat, what you drink, how many hours of sleep you get, whether or not you exercise, etc.) your body says WTF?
    And that’s ok. Because you did exactly what you needed to do. You curled up in a comfy bed with comfy dogs and you rested. And then you’re back to normal. So what’s bad about that?
    We all need to take breaks in life. Otherwise we truly DO go insane. Think of this: you had an opportunity to revisit a former life, which you loved, and you went to a fabulous wedding in SF and saw all your fave people and had a great time….and you came home to your current life, which you love, and you are happy and content to be there, resettling into your routine, wrapped up in the beauty and love you have found in Utah.
    So. The past was great, the present is great. Lucky girl. What more could you want?? :)

  3. June 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    One thing I remember from a university course in medical anthropology: It’s very common that a person “comes down with something” 3-4 days after a stress event. Travel + sitting in the airport / on the tarmac all day on Friday + staying up pretty much all night in your skeevy hotel DEFINITELY constitutes a stress event in my books.
    Glad you’re feeling better.
    BIG HUG!

  4. sasha
    June 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Oh sugar, I travel for a living and I lose a day to recovery almost every trip. My first day at home is a complete write off. I spend it in bed watching Dr. House and eating thai takeout.

  5. June 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    You might have lucked out on the oysters. I live in the Bay Area and last I heard they were warning everyone about local shellfish because of some kind of algae poisoning.

  6. June 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    The captcha thing on this site stinks by the way! I had to retype my comments three times!

  7. Steph
    June 5, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Offtopic.
    I’ve been single for 6 months now. I am loving my singledom and freedom, but when I read:
    “I crawled back into E’s incredibly comfortable, new bed…”
    I felt very alone and had the most intense desire to crawl back into somebody’s bed. Crawling ‘back’ insinuating that I was there with somebody in the first place.
    Damn you, single freedom.

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