Immunity means your body is protecting you from things. Oh good body, thank you.
Mutiny is a rebellion. In relationship to the body, this means your physical being has held up its middle finger. They—all the systems that make you go—have decided they are no longer cooperating with your mind and heart. They’ve gone rogue.
I like to think that I am good at keeping it all in balance. I eat right. Some of you might say that I am a little obsessive, but if you are a member of my PBWF online chat community, you would know that I am totally within the realm of normal. I will never give up my olive oil. (And I am not a vegan—just a wanna be.) I hike or walk daily. I get my sleep. In fact, few things—like writing a book, for example—keep me from my eight hours.
But when I travel, all of that uber-organized day-to-day stops happening. When you travel, you can try to micro manage things—demand certain brands of coffee and bed linens, or you can go with the flow. I choose to flow which means I may end up sleeping in a noisy hotel room or eating deep fried what not. Twice on this trip I slept in the kid’s room—one filled with battle stuff and Cheez-It boxes,
the other with pink fluffy things.
With every travel decision I make, I try to select the best option, but sometimes the options just aren’t anything I would ever really choose. For example, I will drink diet soda in the morning if that is the only version of caffeine available.
I do my best, knowing that when I get back home, I will resume normal activities.
This past trip was three weeks long and included a variety of stresses—teaching, lecturing, seeing family, traveling by air and road, consuming random foods, and limited exercise.
This is that story.
Thursday April 20
I fly to Berkeley to teach a workshop for the East Bay Modern Quilters. My workshop is part of a month long celebration called Stitch Modern which included a quilt show, sewing bee, lectures, and my workshop. It was fabulous.
Monday April 24
From there I make a quick stop in Kansas City to hitch a ride to Lincoln, Nebraska for the SAQA Conference Creation to Curation. We get to go behind the scenes at the International Quilt Study Center and more.
I met all of these people at the conference.
Sunday April 30
Next, I stay in Kansas City for a week to visit with family and friends. I have not been to Kansas City in five years, so there was a lot of catching up to do. Music, art, dirt roads. I am beginning to feel a bit tired.
Monday May 8
I fly to Redmond, Oregon to teach and lecture for the Mountain Meadow Quilt Guild in Sunriver, Oregon.
Thursday May 1
I finish the last day of what is certainly a best first. I taught Making Prints out of Solids as a 2 1/2 day class, and the results were wonderful. The difference between what happens in a single day workshop and an almost three day adventure is mind boggling. I jump on a plane that night to fly from Redmond, Oregon to Anchorage, Alaska.
Friday May 12
After a few hours of sleep, I spend the next 15 hours participating in a Creative Capital Workshop and a Rasmuson Foundation evening celebration.
I am very honored to say that I received a Rasmuson Fellowship award. 35 Alaskan Artists were recognized at the event that evening. It was awesome. Still, I could feel a tickle in the back of my throat. Not good.
Saturday May 13
After all this travel, I usually sleep, read, and knit for two days straight. This rights me. But this time it doesn’t work. I sleep off and on for 24 hours, and I am still not functioning. I am too weak knit! I hold the side rail as I go up and down our stairs, and I have had a low grade fever that won’t go away.
Monday May 14
I back a bag of essentials—iPhone and Kindle chargers, a sweatshirt, books, and knitting projects.
I head to the day clinic, where I am sure they will call an ambulance to take me to the hospital. On some level, I know this is an exaggeration of my reality. Still, I do not know the perimeters of this territory, and I think I am dying. By this time, I can only mouth words that come out in a gravely whisper. My ears and chest are burning, and my throat feels like a miniature lawn mower is having fun in my mouth every time I swallow. Aren’t those the signs of impending death?
I have strep throat and agree to take antibiotics for the first time in 18 years.
The rest is a blur. The REST is a blur.
I broke my body down. The antibiotics worked, but I still have a outrageous cough that keeps me up all night. I go back to the doctor and get codeine cough syrup. Two trips to the doctor and two trips to the pharmacy. I sleep.
Tuesday May 23
Today, I am okay. I lived to tell the tale. I am all right, but I am angry with myself for allowing this to happen. I also feel pretty stupid. But it is time to move on. I’ve got cough drop art to make and a few quilts too.
Lesson learned—three weeks on the road with seven hotel/guest room stops is not good for me. I won’t do that again. I have balance in my home life. Now, I’ve got to figure out balance while I travel. It’s an act I’ve got to get together.
Maria, I’m glad you are not dying. And that the antibiotics and cough medicine worked. I’m so sorry you got sick, but I am very glad you came on the trip and that I had a chance to see you. You will find balance.
Oh, and I LOVE the cough drop art.
Thank you Heather! I hope your solo show prep is going well. It is always good to see you!
Been thinking about you, wondering how you are.So glad you are on the mend! That trip was really over the top. Now..knit and read and REST! Take care..don’t want the cough to get worse..Love you..Sue
Thank you Sue. It was a great trip, but the last bit put me over the edge. I will know better now. I hope you and Sarah are doing great.
So sorry you got sick after your trip! It was still great seeing you in the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum! Take care of yourself….
Always good to see you too Mickey! I will be taking better care of myself. I think I learned that lesson.
Maria! I am so happy to hear from you. Honestly, the past few days I have been thinking, I HAVE to email Maria. But then I would think, well, if she doesn’t have time to blog, she won’t want extra emails. I am glad you are on the mend–being too sick to knit is very serious! And I hope you will take to heart the lessons you have learned on this trip, because I think there will be a lot of traveling in your near future. I know that many teachers have built in to their contracts that they have to have a hotel room just so they can get some decent rest. Anyway, take it easy, and I hope I will see you someday soon!
Rest is the key. And I find that if I am around other people I am talking and thinking and not resting. I always welcome an email from you! I hope you are doing good.
I can relate – not to being a quilt teacher and star, but to overdoing it and getting sick. Although you really got a doozer of sickness. Glad you’re feeling better.
Janet, I did get a doozer. I think I needed it though for me to really think about how I treat my body when I travel. I am older and I need to slow down just a bit. Thank you for your find works.
Did it ever occur to you that the plane recirculating everyone’s germs is the culprit? Jerry and I at 76 and 80 can no longer travel by air. As you age, your immune system wanes. Hate it, so DO learn to balance, get your travel in while you are young and can fight those bad germs from countries far and wide. Wear a mask if you continue to get sick from travel to protect yourself. Get over the rejected looks from everyone. Worth it. Be well, Nurse Carole
Carole- I am lucky to have a really good immune system. I rarely get sick, but I let myself get run down on this trip, and I was vulnerable. I will not do that again. You are right about those planes.
You’re singing my song, Sugar. I’ve been home less than 2 weeks since February. Have hand the flu twice, too many sinus infections to count, and lingering still: the cough. Then there’s the Way Behind I Fall stanza. I always take work and plans – whittled down plans by now – of things I can surely get done even while traveling. All it takes is for me to say “I need an hour” right? Always so easy on paper, but so far, only the fictional version of myself can pull it off.
(Best cough whisperer? Maker’s Mark, honey, and a touch of lemon juice. Heated.)
That sounds like a great hot toddy! Jeanne you amaze me. I will take any advice you have on keeping it all together.
I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better, Maria–strep throat is no fun for sure! Staying in balance when you travel is a tough thing–I’m still working on it too. It was great to see you in Lincoln. Take care of yourself!
I think the trick for me might be trying to be in a quiet space by eight at night. I really find that I need at least a few hours of quiet in the evening to make it alright. It was great to see you too!
I felt that you were doing too much even early on in your trip when I met you in Lincoln. You were so busy all the time – you were running.
Your body had to tell you because your mind was not listening ….slow down.
Congratulations on the huge award – and on your work in general. so glad to have met you dear Maria.
Congrats to you too Judy! I have been enjoying all the posts with news of all of you at Quilt National. It looks like an amazing show.Yes.My mind was not listening to my body. It had to happen, and I am listening very carefully now.
Congratulations on your award and many workshops.
With all the rain in the west this winter, we’re having record pollen. I’m sure your long travel time didn’t help. Hope you’re on the mend soon. Take care.
Thank you Ann! I have learned to always travel with allergy medicine. I was in Austin and I thought I had caught a death bug, but it was just pollen. It is a downside to traveling.
On top of the miserableness of being sick, I hate the time that is wasted. Now you have some cough drop art to remind you that it is better to take car when traveling so that your body doesn’t rebel! Congratulations on the Rasmussen award. The photos from the Making Prints workshop have me all excited about Sisters (where we will remember to eat well, get plenty of rest and go for walks in the lovely fresh air).
Marla- I have the hardest time with resting. I feel so guilty about it, but I know it is what I need to do to get better. I think Sisters is going to be the best time ever!