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.
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.