Sunday, June 24, 2007

In Vacation Mode

We're enjoying our vacation so far. We were quite active for the first part of our trip, and I was surprised and delighted to get through it without any crashes! I have really pushed my physical stamina at times on this trip - hiking, canoeing - and I've handled it surprisingly well. I would love to think that my exercise intolerance is lessening, but it could also be that there's simply much less stress on vacation.

I've had two instances of feeling poorly. It was my 9-year old son's most fervent wish to visit Graceland when we were in Memphis (he loves Elvis!). Both of the boys and I felt bad by the end of our 3-hour visit. That museum-type pace is the worst for Orthostatic Intolerance. Visiting museums is something I really miss. I recovered quickly, though.

The second problem occurred during our very ambitious canoe camping excursion along the Buffalo River in the Ozarks region of Arkansas. My husband and I used to love canoe camping, and we've wanted to share that with our kids for a long time. I thought I could handle it OK since the river has a nice current that keeps you moving along, but I had forgotten how much work it takes to steer. By late afternoon (always my low time of day) on our first day, I just sort of lost it - got really frustrated, yelled at the kids, made everyone mad at me. I finally realized I was pushing myself too hard physically and was also hungry. Low blood sugar can turn me into a different person. We stopped to rest, cooled off in the river, and had a snack. I improved after that and handled the rest of the trip very well. In fact, I fully expected to crash the next day, after two days of paddling for 3 hours each day, but I didn't. I actually felt very good the next day! Amazing. After that first episode, I tried to take lots of breaks, eat lots of snacks, and stay cool with frequent swim breaks. I guess it worked. We all had a wonderful time.

I'm finding that I feel quite well as long as I can stick to my typical routine - get to bed before 10 pm, take a nap in the afternoon, and have frequent meals to keep the blood sugar steady.

We'll be heading back home soon, so I should be able to blog more regularly again - after we get unpacked!

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