Friday, July 29, 2011

Note to self about altitude

banded, ready to fly
I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say that every single time I go on vacation, whether it's a long one or a short one like this one that I'm on right now, every single time my body manages to re-arrange its calendar so that I get my period.  Every single time.  And yeah, this is going to be one of those posts where if you don't want to hear a bunch of TMI about such topics, you should just exit now.  Because really, I need to talk about it for a minute.  I swear, it's every single time.

And now is no exception, try as I did to encourage my body to let down its load of misery earlier in the week.  Nope, it's now.  Which is only made worse by the fact that I'm at 6,000 feet so I'm a little goofy from the altitude, and the combo of period + sleeplessness (can't sleep anywhere "new" for the first night) + altitude seriously is the migraine-inducing trifecta. 

OK, so altitude is not always involved in our vacations, though the period always sneaks its way on board.  I am reminded of the time we were in Grand Cayman on a diving holiday.  The water there is miraculously clear and warm.  You can dive to 100 feet in just a bathing suit, no wetsuit, not even a shorty, even remotely required.  It is truly so miraculous, so comfortable.  So imagine my horror in climbing back onto the boat after 45 minutes under water in a group when Joe whispers, "Honey, your tampon string is hanging out."  For fuck's sake, really?  Really!  

Snowcamping, where altitude generally is involved, is truly dicey when one has one's period.  Just adds a whole other element of complication, when you're dealing with how to pack out your own excrement (I shit you not, ha ha ha) and you have the whole issue of tampons to deal with.  Disgusting.

And just so inconvenient.

As the daytime part of Day 1 of Wanderlust is coming to an end, with the music yet to come, I am sitting here in the empty condo in Squaw Village, my friends gone to class, nursing my aching cranium and laughing at my own situation.  Seriously, Body, again with the ill-timed period and the migraine?  Lame!

But since this has happened to me time and time again, whether in Peru or Mexico or Grand Cayman or Bali or Colorado or Bosnia or Tahoe, I'm generally prepared.  I know it's coming, so I pack my pills and off I go and generally spend the first day or two in a fog of pain, its edges somewhat dulled by medication, waiting for the worst to pass, and trying to take everything in despite my ouchy senses.

This time, though, I've learned a new lesson: add a day on the front-end.  How much more wonderful would today have been had I arrived a day sooner, to give my head time to adjust to the altitude, to allow me to move through the adaptation before finding myself on my mat for 4 1/2 hours.  That would just be smart.

And that's something I can do.  I can't do anything about this insane period of mine, but the planning part, that I've got under control.


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