Today was not a great day. It started off great - a great workout, a stress-free ride home, some reading/writing/editing done, and the promise of an afternoon at Disneyland to sweeten the deal. I wore an excellent outfit and a smile on my face. At 70 degrees and sunny (and in being in the company with my father and younger brother) it was going to be a fabulous day to end a rather sub-par week. I was never more wrong in my life.
The afternoon quickly took a 180-degree turn en route to The Happiest Place on Earth when my lunch decided to come up in a brown paper bag. I was actually relieved, as I had felt queasy and hot in the car for the past thirty miles. What threw me off was when we got to Disneyland - I was ready to resume things and party down as I always do. But I didn't. I made a beeline straight to the Grand Californian Hotel restrooms and puked my guts out. Three times.
I had to assume this was a bad case of food poisoning. What else could it have been? I hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. I'd not been having dreams of fish. An hour later I met with my brother in the Park to get some ice cream - figuring a scoop of rainbow sherbet might help things along. While in line, I took a sip of electrolyte-laden Gatorade in the hopes to replenish what I lost. A minute later, I ran to the restrooms by The Gibson Girl and proceeded to make out with the toilet.
I told my brother I'd be going to First Aid to lie down.
Two hours later, I felt worlds better. No queasiness, no nothing. A bit sore from the forward-moving/bending and morning workout, but no biggie. I felt like me again, and that's all that mattered. Crisis intervened, if not averted. The staff was even kind enough to provide a wheelchair for free (and two sick bags) if in the event that walking around made me feel sick.
I felt great, if not pathetic. Sadly we didn't go on many rides, with the exception of The Haunted Mansion. I even walked around a little bit and felt good. It wasn't until we were wheeling it to Fantasyland that my hips, lower back, and thighs started killing me. I attributed it to sitting down and voted for ditching the wheelchair, but for some reason we didn't. What if something happened? By the end of the night, however, I was writhing in pain during a showing of The Enchanted Tiki Room. I was not enchanted. I was in PAIN. I needed to leave. I needed to lie down. It was not funny anymore. This was at about 8:30 pm.
We thought we'd be heading out at about 9:30 pm, but it turns out our ride wasn't able to get there until 10:40 pm, so for an added hour and change I was in absolute, dizzying pain. I could not think. I swore uncharacteristically, pissing off my little brother. And after swirling a few sips of water around in my mouth (I was afraid to swallow), I made friendly with one of the sick bags. Needless to say, I was miserable.
On the way home I was able to stretch on the backseat of the car and sleep for a good 45 minutes. Having headed upstairs to call it a night, I find that while I am still sore, I feel relatively okay. I ate a bowl of cereal and drank water just to put something in my system, and everything has thankfully stayed down.
Now the question of the day: what was wrong with me? I really don't know what my body was telling me not to do, but this experience reminded me that sometimes sh*t happens and there is very little you can do about it except cry, swear, and later apologize. Especially with physical activities, sometimes it's going to hurt. The only real bad pain I've had as a result of cycling was when I fell really badly - twice. One time, I'd gone down a steep incline and inadvertently hit the brakes too hard, causing my bicycle to flip out from under me and land on top of me as I skidded down part of the hill. My right hip has two gnarly scars on it, and my abs felt like over-stretched rubber bands. The other spill involved me running off onto the dirt from a pavement path and wiping out like a loser - lovely road rash on my arm, and again the skin on my right hip tore. It was fabulous. Both times I went to work the next day. I really shouldn't have.
Sometimes you need to take a break. I don't plan on getting out of bed tomorrow for anything or anyone. No brunch, no bicycle ride, no nothing. Sometimes you need to exercise your right to chill out. I'm really upset that today turned out the way it did. And that's all I have to say about that.
Cast of 'The Normal Heart' in the May issue of Vogue
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