Tag Archives: travel anxiety

I’m not CRAZY; I’m just prepared!

I emailed my doctor last week to ask for an Ativan refill. Yes, I hate the phone so much that I email my doctor. If you have ever thought about calling me, read this.

Anyway, so I emailed the doctor to ask for Ativan, which I take for travel related anxiety. As a card-carrying hermit, I LOATHE airplanes, boats, and all other forms of transportation, mostly because I fear a burning or drowning related death from the failure of said forms of transportation.

My doctor sent a short note back stating that she would refill it THIS time (the 4th time in 2 years), but if my anxiety was getting worse then I should consider another medication. Please note, I only ask for Ativan twice a year, before holiday travel and summer travel. This gives me not quite enough .5-milligram tablets to take one per week, if I wanted to. So, if I were an addict, I wouldn’t be asking my doctor for refills; I would be walking down the street to the local high school where I’m sure there would be a larger supply.

The problem is my doctor is not the only person who assumes that I sit in corners and pop plastic shipping bubbles and worry about Doom’s Day. Apparently, I give off that vibe.

The next day, I was talking to my husband about the fact that I recently found out that there are indeed poisonous snakes in central Ohio. Most people who live here say there aren’t any, so I decided to Google it because I like to actually research things and not just “talk out my ass” as my step-daddy used to say. So, after I told my husband that we do indeed have poisonous snakes, he said, “You can’t live your life worrying about things like snakes.”

To which I replied, “Being aware of things is not being worried about them. There would not be safety regulations or air traffic controllers if there were not others who choose to be aware.” Or something like that.

OK. I’m going to admit it. It pisses me off something fierce when people tell me to “chill out” or “relax.” Friends, it’s called acute awareness not anxiety. I’m not always worried (unless I’m on a plane); I’m just aware of possible ways to die or be uncomfortable and actively trying to avoid them. This is why I carry a huge purse full of medications, including GAS medicine. You’re welcome.

https://www.facebook.com/KelleysBreakRoom
See, I’m totally aware of all emergencies.
https://www.facebook.com/KelleysBreakRoom

People who are not aware or never think about what can go wrong think those of us who are aware of risks as crazy.  I think they are wrong.  They assume everything is okee dokee and then they are surprised when it’s not. Here are some facts:

  • There are snakes, and you should be aware of this if you are an outdoorsy person so you don’t step on one. They hate to be stepped on.
  • People do hurt each other. If you haven’t read my Bobby Kent blog, please do. His childhood best friend and a group of new acquaintances murdered Bobby. We need to teach our kids to BE AWARE of toxic friendships, rather than teaching them to assume all will be fine.

My overall point is that bad things happen every day. Being aware of this does not make someone in need of constant sedation. As Tony Montana says, “you need people like me.” People like me make people like you AWARE of danger so that it can be avoided or maybe even fixed.

So, thanks for listening to my rant. Are you acutely aware?  How do you deal with well-meaning advice?

Sitting by Mr. Hangover

Uh oh!  I hate planes.
Uh oh! I hate planes.

 

If you read The Traveling Hermit blog, you know that I was forced to sit in a metal tube with strangers and travel to a conference in Charleston, SC BY MYSELF, without the comfort or socialization skills of my wonderful husband or son.  Really, I’m grateful that I made it there and back ALIVE.  I’m always surprised when the plane does NOT crash. When it comes to air travel, I tend to turn in to Rain Man and start babbling about Quantas.  Good times.

Of course, both there and back, I had connecting flights in Atlanta.  I’m pretty sure that you have to connect in Atlanta on your way to hell, heaven or your next incarnation.  A lot of people hate the Atlanta airport, even my non-introverted friends, because it is so BIG.  Even though I hate people and travel, I love the Atlanta airport simply because it’s easy to navigate. I don’t need to ask anyone for directions. I just follow the signs, get on a train, and bam, I am at my gate.  No talking required.  Love it.

So, now that I am back in the comfort zone, I am recovering from the 48 hours I was away.  I got off of the plane with a blasting headache.  This is because I thought it was a good idea to skip the coffee in order to be less nervous on my flights.  NOT A GOOD IDEA. People who are unfamiliar with caffeine withdrawal, take a look at number 1 here. I also don’t eat much on travel days because of the IBS.  So from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM I lived on one tiny gluten-free pop tart, water, a vitamin, and one Motrin, which did NOTHING for my headache.  I couldn’t take more Motrin because I was not eating a lot.

As you can imagine, I already was not feeling great when I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Hangover from Atlanta to Ohio.  This guy reeked of alcohol, cigarettes, and bad decisions.  The only good part about him being in recovery from last night’s good time, is that he boarded with a travel pillow and promptly went to sleep.  There was no annoying chit-chat.  Thank you, Mr. Hangover.

When I got off of the plane, my people were waiting for me on the other side of security.  YAY!! I wanted to dance.  Instead, I walked over and told them about Mr. Hangover and my headache. We collected my checked bag and headed to Wendy’s.  I was so hungry and headachy that I needed a Diet Coke and cheeseburger stat.  I gulped down two more Motrin in the car on the way to Wendy’s.   Yes, natural foods people, I know I probably ate antibiotics, hormones, and other toxins.  I had a headache.  This was an emergency. There was no time for a trip to Whole Foods or a Google search of Monsanto.

When we got home, I did exactly what you are not supposed to do after eating a huge cheeseburger.  I drank a big cup of Earl Grey tea, and then I fell asleep on the couch.  It was so needed.  I napped for at least two hours.  Then, I took the best shower ever and scrubbed the travel off of myself, followed by a much-needed mega-mushroom mask. I hate eating mushrooms, but spreading them on my face is A-OK.

The elixir of the weary
The elixir of the weary

Now, I’m in hydration mode.  I’m gulping down Vitamin Water and regular water.  Yes, natural food people, I understand that I’m drinking corporate greed chemicals and illegal tax breaks, or something, but, again, I have a headache.  If you couldn’t tell already, I don’t do discomfort well.

Traveling Hermit — Part One

I'm not a big fan of heights.
I’m not a big fan of heights.

Unlike my one time close family friend George Clooney, I do not like traveling. While not all introverts can be called hermits, I am a proud member of this club.  You know that cliché about home being where the heart is?  Well, to my people home is where the safety net is.  Force us to travel and we get a tad bit nervous.  And since I am traveling tomorrow, I’m even more nervous than I have been for the past month, since I booked my flight.

Other than not liking to chitchat with strangers or use public facilities, there are a few other reasons that I am dreading this particular trip.  Here’s my handy-dandy list:

  1. TMI ALERT!  I have IBS.  If you don’t know that is, you are lucky.  I won’t go in to great detail, but, basically, this is my life.  As you can imagine, travel makes my condition worse due to my anxiety about travel and eating different food.  Really the whole IBS and travel thing is a chicken or egg argument.  Does traveling make my IBS worse, or does IBS make travelling more difficult?  The world may never know.  And no, natural foods people, probiotics do not do diddly.  In fact, they make me feel worse.
  2. I’m traveling for work at a time of the year when my family cannot go with me.  I’m going to a great city to attend and present at an interesting conference.  If my husband and my son could go with me, I would be three kinds of jazzed about this.  Anyone who has ever watched Greys’ Anatomy knows that most people have their person.  Well, my husband and son are my people.  I don’t like being away from my people.
  3. Flying frightens the bejesus out of me.  When it comes time to fly anywhere, I become Rain Man.  It just doesn’t seem safe to put people in metal tube and send them a bazillion miles up in the air.  Who invented this torture anyway?  YES, I KNOW who invented flying.  I live in Ohio.  (Shakes fist at the Wright brothers)

Well, I’d better go try to pack all of the comforts of home in a duffel bag and a computer bag.  I’m carrying on so I can get the heck out of the airport faster.  There will be a part two to this when I get back.  Enjoy your homes, everyone.