A Rollercoaster of a Week

Screamin’ Eagle Six Flags St. Louis (Source: negative-g.com)

When I was nine years old, my family went to Six Flags in St. Louis. It was there that I conquered my fear of rollercoasters and fell in love with thrill rides. My dad kept trying convince me to ride on the Screamin’ Eagle the entire day, but I refused. It seemed way too scary. The log ride was much better in my opinion. Finally, towards the end of our day, my dad TRICKED ME, and I found myself in the front of the line for….the Screamin’ Eagle. I don’t remember what ride he TOLD me we were going on, but I do remember sweatin’ bullets when I saw that we were in line for a ROLLERCOASTER. Not only were we in line, but we were in line to ride at the very FRONT. I was scared stiff. As we got on the ride, my palms were sweating, my heart was racing. I wanted to chicken out so bad and exit, yet I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Finally, I decided to just close my eyes until the whole thing was over. As we made our way up the first big hill, I figured I’d have just one tiny peek. As I saw what was before me, I started screamin’ my head off.

I made it through the ride and ended up loving it. Feeling weightless as we went over the crests of the hills seemed about as close to flying as one could get – unless you count flying dreams. Not knowing when the next turn or the next hill was coming was simultaneously exciting and frightening. After getting off the ride, I had to do something I hated even more than not chickening out despite how badly I’d wanted to – I had to admit to my dad that he was right. Darn the luck.

This other time, I got sick on a rollercoaster. I’d had far too much funnel cake and cotton candy before going on my first rollercoaster with a loop – the Orient Express for those who remember the ‘coaster. I did not throw up while on the rollercoaster. Thank goodness, for that would have been a disgusting mess. I managed to make it off the ride and down the road to a trashcan before losing my carbfest from earlier.

On Monday, I woke up feeling much like I felt the day I got sick on the Orient Express. My stomach was doing flip-flops, my head hurt, and I felt….fuzzy. I knew it was not going to be a good day, yet I wasn’t sure what was going on. As I went through the day, trying to keep myself focused on my work between feeling awful, I started to wonder if I’d accidentally eaten something with gluten again. Sure enough, I had. Spinach and artichoke dip from Applebee’s. I was cursing myself for not double-checking the menu before confirming my order, but dang it, we were hungry, the lady on the phone was impatient, and my husband thought he’d seen it on the gluten-free menu. For the record, it tasted ok, but I could have made some that tasted way better and didn’t make me feel so sick for the next four days.

I spent the first half of the week in some sort of daze with brain fog so thick it was hard to concentrate on any single task, particularly in the mornings. I had no appetite since I felt so sick to my stomach, and my joints were aching. Monday afternoon, my co-worker that teaches yoga on Tuesdays during lunch sent a reminder e-mail. I was in need of a push to get back into it. I replied and thanked her for the nudge, promising I’d be there. I figured it would be good for my sore joints.

When Tuesday came, I really, really did not feel like moving. Things were crazy at work, and things were irritating me more than they normally would since I was not feeling well. Instead of ducking out on yoga class, I made it a priority that day because I knew it would be a good break for my mind. I’m so glad I went. It hurt. A lot. At the same time, it felt good to feel in control of my body for those 50 minutes and to take my mind off of feeling like crap and being frustrated with everything else.

Wednesday was a lot like Tuesday. I still did not feel great. The brain fog was starting to lift, but the nausea and the join pain were in full force. However, I somehow managed to hop on the treadmill after work and jogged 1.79 miles. I hadn’t done any running since the Virtual Run/Walk for Narcolepsy Research back on July 14th. It felt like I was doing exactly what I needed to do that day. It wasn’t easy, yet I felt stronger for doing something good for myself.

Thursday and Friday were hectic days at work. I got a lot done and was feeling much better. Throughout the week, I also had a few cataplexy attacks, including a collapse. It was discouraging to put it mildly. Since being on the Xyrem, the cataplexy had gotten better, yet this week, it was back. It seems like that happens when I’m stressed out and when I am sick. Put the two together and I go back to being a complete mess.

On Saturday, I had some time to myself in the morning while my husband took our daughter to ballet class. I went out for a run. It started out uphill – something I’m not used to anymore. I huffed and puffed my way up the hill, angry that I was having such a hard time. I managed 1.55 miles at a pace of 12:16 – also a bit discouraging. I have been so inconsistent with running since I was cleared from physical therapy. If I am ever to get back to the pace and distances I was running before, I need to get back on track. It is no coincidence that my moods have been a little down. I firmly believe that running makes me a much happier person.

Today, I got a ton of stuff done around the house. I feel like I accomplished a lot, yet there are so many more things I want to get done. I just need to make sure I don’t stress out about it and pace myself so that I don’t end up crashing.

I planned my workouts for the week. I got my daughter’s bag and my bag ready for tomorrow morning. I have lunch ready to go for tomorrow and lists of to-dos all laid out. It’s sort of like planning a day at the amusement park. I know not to eat a bunch before going on a ride that flips you upside down a few times. Now, I know that I also need to plan better in order to have a better chance at my week going smoother.

How do you get prepared for the week? Do you plan your workouts, meals, chores, etc for the week? How was last week for you?


  1. Laura says:

    Oh, Heather, your week sounds a lot like my last two weeks. Minus the yoga and the run and the general attitude of determination to get back on track. Thanks for the inspiration! I hope this week is better for you!

    • Heather says:

      Laura, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a couple of rough weeks, too. It’s really difficult to get through the day sometimes. What keeps me going is the allure of the good day that has to come eventually.

      This week is already better since I’m not feeling terrible. Sadly, some of my motivation has slipped this evening, and I’m doing nothing but watching TV. It’s still a “win” because I got a big task wrapped up today. It’s just so frustrating that my good hours are mostly spent working, leaving my poor family nothing but scraps. That is why I live for the weekends. :)

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