Tag Archives: nausea

How did I get my skis in that position and I didn’t know my legs could do that

I’ve written before about my travel adventures and how, just maybe, I’m not the most fun travel companion you’ll ever come across. For example there’s Neckties, Nausea and Nudists and Karma’s a Bitch, Man.

Ski Bunny

Ski Bunny

Last week, Husband and I traveled to the mountains of Colorado for a free ski trip, provided by our daughter, Alison.  Although I’ve only taken one lesson and that was fifteen years ago, I had it it my head that I’d look something like this.

Okay, maybe I didn’t have a matching ski suit like the woman in this picture, but I did manage to pull together something.  A pair of  pants that my husband had outgrown and a jacket that was a hand-me-down from my friend, Mary.

So, instead of looking like a Ski Bunny, I ended up looking like a Ski Lump.

Ski Lump

Ski Lump

But, I was fairly warm and courageously optimistic that things were going to go as planned.

We took the gondola to the top of the mountain. Husband waited with five-year-old granddaughter to begin our swooshing down the slopes, as soon as I’d finished a few practice turns.

Because I’m not a complete idiot, I started out on the bunny slope, along with Alison and our three-year-old grandson. Four trips down the slight decline and up the magic carpet with the other toddlers, and I was ready for my first run.

Husband and five-year-old took off. I studied them as they glided gracefully one direction, then slid into a turn and coasted the other way.

I gave a push with my poles and, full-speed-ahead, skidded out of control — straight for a snow cliff. Everything I knew about stopping, flew right out of my head. I tried helicoptering my arms in backward circles but, oddly, that didn’t work. So, I did what I know best. I fell down.  Not in a graceful way, mind you. But, in a, “how did you get your skis in that position/I didn’t know your legs could do that” kind of way.  A nice snowboarder stopped and released the skis from my boots so I could untie my legs.

Not to worry. I’m a trooper. I got up and tried again.  And again. When I asked five-year-old how she thought her Mimi was doing, she only frowned and shook her head.

Somewhere along the way, as I crept down the slope in snowplow position, the world began to spin around me, my clothing felt too tight for me to breathe and I was pretty sure I was going to throw up.  I paused at a tiny flat area and told Husband I thought it was time for me to give up.

Here’s the thing about skiing. You can’t just quit in the middle. There’s no way to get off the mountain, except to ski down.

Talking with the ski patrol, we came up with a plan. I’d have to make one more short run toward a ski lift. The open air lift would take us up the mountain, so that we could catch the enclosed gondola, that would take us to the bottom of the mountain.

“Short run” was all I needed to hear. I bent my knees, tucked myself into race position and skied straight down the slope. I then stumbled onto the ski lift where five-year-old suggested to Husband that he  might want to put the safety bar down in case Mimi fell off.

The higher we went, the more the world spun around me and the harder it was to breathe.  I gritted my teeth and made it to the gondola, then managed to make it to ground level without spilling my guts. I struggled the hundred yards from the gondola to the condo and spread out on the bathroom floor.

Twenty minutes later, Husband came in and looked down at me. “Do you think I should take you to the emergency room?”

[Darth Vader Voice] – “Yeeessssss.”

I returned from the emergency room, not with a sexy issue, like a broken leg that would enable me to sit around the fire pit telling and retelling the story about my wild run down a black diamond slope…Ski broken leg

but, with Acute Altitude Sickness.

ski oxygen mask

It required that I walk around with a plastic tube stuck up my nose and toting around a green metal canister on wheels.

I couldn’t even approach the broken leg people to share my story at the fire pit, for fear I’d blow them all up.


In Case of Emergency, Call Me…Unless…

If there’s an emergency, I’m there. That is to say, I want to be there, but most probably you’ll find me elsewhere. There’s something about that instant, when calmer heads should prevail, that makes me want to do an Usain and bolt.

I found this picture on the internet and I’m a little afraid they used an actual image of me from several years ago as their model (although I don’t think I’d ever really wear white cowboy boots.)

The office where I worked had a fire – a paper warehouse – yes, scary, right? When the alarm went off, I dropped the phone receiver, picked up my purse, and ran down the stairs. I’m pretty sure I knocked a grey-haired old lady down on my way.

When my son, Phinias, was little, he got burned by…well, by me actually. I was making spaghetti and just as I carried the boiling water to the sink, he did that toddler thing where they grab both your legs in a vice grip.  Later, in the emergency room, when they asked him what happened, he said, “My mom poured boiling water on me.”  Which was kinda true so then it took several hours with a social worker for me to retrieve Phinias.

Anyway, I was supposed to change his bandages every day and put salve on the burns.  I tried.  Really I did.  But I just couldn’t do it without gagging.  So, I did what any grown woman would have done in the same instance – I called my Daddy.  We both drove the 30 miles every night to meet up at the Lawrence turnpike rest stop where Dad (fondly referred to by his children as Dr. Quack) took Phinias away and returned him fifteen minutes later all set to go.

I’m not too good with the sight of blood either.  The first time I watched the lab technician fill a vial, I fell out of my chair in a dead faint.  Regrettably, the nurse was one of the few grown people shorter than me and I managed to land right on top of her.

Last year, while working in my garden, I sliced my finger with my pruning shears.  Thanks to a lifetime of emergency medical treatment by Dr. Quack, I knew that I’d need to wash the dirt out of the cut.  Unfortunately, every time I stood at the sink to run water over it, the room began to spin. I’d stumble to the nearest chair and lower my head between my knees.  When the room settled into place I’d try the sink again, which only landed me back on the chair trying to stay conscious. It reminds me of this episode from Frasier when Niles has a similar experience.

Like I said, I want to be the person you can count on in an emergency. I even took a CPR class.  So now, in case of an emergency, I’m your woman – unless you’re bleeding because then, I might faint. Or if you gag – which might make me throw up. But I’m kinda sure, that in case of an emergency, I might be able to help you.

On second thought, maybe you ought to call someone else.