Girl’s Weekend

Getting away with some of your best girl friends is always so great for your heart. This past weekend I went to the beach with Audrey and Melissa, and even though I didn’t feel my best the entire time it was such a wonderful getaway.

We left on Friday after I was all hydrated and salted up (Does anyone else with POTS feel like you are a car that needs to be oiled when you’re taking care of your body? It’s such a funny routine to me, but needs to be done to feel even halfway decent). Our drive to Virginia Beach actually wasn’t bad at all. We didn’t really hit the anticipated beach traffic, and I only had to stop to pee twice! This is amazing with all the water I drink every day… My trip to New York City is the perfect example of how inconvenient (And sometimes embarrassing) this can be.

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Anyway, we ended up getting there a little early, so hit up our favorite smoothie and sandwich joint before heading to the beach. If you ever get the chance to check out Zeke’s Beans & Bowls you totally should. They have the best smoothies, juice, and Greek chicken rice bowls!

After that we checked in to our motel and headed to the beach. It was really hilarious driving up and realizing that we had booked a motel instead of a hotel. It was actually pretty nice despite having a little bit of a rowdy crowd around our room. They even had a pool directly next to the busy highway! We didn’t utilize it at all, but if we had I think we would just avoid peak traffic hours on the off-chance a car veered two feet to the left of the road and into the pool.

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“Low Rates Come And Stay. N ow H rng” I think they might have run out of letters or something…
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Really the only inconvenient thing about our motel was that the shower didn’t really drain well.
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I figured this out my first time in the shower after the beach and from there on out had to take breaks between shampooing and conditioning to let the tub drain a little.

Audrey and Melissa were kind enough to split the amount of work and each added a half of a person to their beach load so I wouldn’t hurt my arms carrying my things. I always feel really bad making people hold my things for me, but they make it really easy to ask for help — by taking my things without me even having to ask! I felt really blessed that every time we left the room one of them would stretch out their arm to take my purse and water bottle from my hand. From now on I think I need to purchase purses that would suit my friends better than myself — after all, they’re the ones who usually carry them anyway!

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Acts of service is becoming a love language that I’m noticing more and more as I need help with so much.

We had a really nice day at the beach lying on our towels, dipping our toes into the water, and talking about dating. It was too cold to really swim, but Friday was the nicest beach day we had while we were gone.

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The best beach snack combination… Chocolate and La Croix! The chocolates had a nice crunch to them from the sand.

We went to Kohr Brothers every single day we were there, as it’s probably my favorite dessert place in the world (Maybe even above Pinkberry!). I’m a pretty happy camper when you give me anything chocolate peanut butter related, but this is the closest you get to a taste of heaven on earth.

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I couldn’t wait to eat the ice cream before the picture, so this is how I smile with a mouth full of chocolate sprinkles.

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The Kohrs people knew me by the end of our trip.

Our last evening there we decided to go to a nicer restaurant since it was a bit rainy out. We chose a place that got great a Yelp rating for American cuisine and seafood. When glancing over the reviews I noticed that a lot of people mentioned the broccoli in their posts; I realized it was a bit odd, but didn’t really give it another thought… Until I ordered the steamed veggies and they presented me with three heads of broccoli. Like, what the heck?! Who in their right mind could ever consume an entire mini-tree, much less three?!

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The funniest part was that they added a couple of pieces of squash and carrots to the mix, almost to tease you that you did, in fact, get “steamed vegetables,” even though it was essentially steamed broccoli with hollandaise sauce. I ate as much as I possibly could and still had two and a half stocks of broccoli left.

Our last day at the beach was a bit chilly, but any day at the beach is always a good one! We sported long sleeves and blankets, but it was nice being able to sit and listen to the waves sing before making the long trip home.

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Overall the trip was really great and worth all the time spent not feeling well. I posted on Instagram a lot, mainly because I did spend quite some time in the hotel room resting from being out in the heat. I felt like this is ironic because it really was painting a picture for people that I was only having an amazing time my entire trip. Anyone with a chronic illness knows what it’s like to pretend to be well for a weekend. POTS is a little “B,” and I felt frustrated that I couldn’t run, play games on the beach, or walk by myself (Since I can’t carry my own water bottle to stay hydrated), but I sometimes forget that almost 4 years ago I got sick at the beach and couldn’t even walk a block without feeling like I was having a heart attack and/or passing out. I am so blessed that I can sit on the beach, enjoy the warm salty air, and eat a giant scoop of ice cream on the boardwalk. There are people who can’t even do that, so instead of feeling upset about the things I can’t do I try hard to focus on the wonderful things I do get to have.

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The Walk Of Shame

One thing I have mentioned time and time again is how POTS has not only affected the way I feel, but it’s also taken a toll on some of my interpersonal interactions.

For example, I’ve told you about my sweaty palms and the way I can’t help but blush when a boy kisses me — but I failed to tell you about how this happens all the freakin’ time whenever I feel the slightest sense of embarrassment, annoyance, or frustration. The other day I ran into one of my high school crushes at Target. Obviously I have no feelings for him whatsoever anymore, but as soon as he mentioned that he was now married my face turned bright red because I am apparently just programmed to be awkward.

Anyway, I went to New York City last weekend to visit some friends and have a girls’ weekend with my mom. The trip was awesome and I will be sharing a few stories on here about it this week, but the first one is hilariously embarrassing.

Before we went to the DC to New York bus stop I gave Megabus a call to make sure they would be stopping once to stretch and use the restroom. Not only do I have to drink a lot of fluids to keep my symptoms at bay, but I also need to walk around regularly to get my circulation going. The person who assisted me on the phone said this wouldn’t be a problem and that we would definitely stop. Thank goodness! I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable about making the big trip to the city.

Things did not go as planned, though. Our bus was 30 minutes late, so the driver said that we would not be stopping. After shuffling up to the front to talk to him, he kindly told me that he would stop if I needed it — I just needed to reach up and press the giant red emergency “STOP” button above my seat. If I needed it? I definitely will! This is so uncomfortable, I thought to myself. I quietly went back to my seat and waited for the giant Smart Waters I had been throwing back to take their course.

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About three hours into our ride I realized I would definitely need to pee and stretch soon, so reached up to the button — then pulled away. What if it makes a loud buzzing sound and everyone looks over? I really hate being high-maintenance, but that ship sailed when I got sick. You kind of have to be to take care of your chronic illness.

So I closed my eyes, reached up, and shoved my index finger into the giant glowing button as I held my breath. It was quiet. Oh good, I thought. The driver must just get a notification at the front. 

But he didn’t. I waited and waited until I realized he wouldn’t be stopping. That’s when I finally went to the front to see if he had seen my cry for help. He was once again very kind and said he would stop at the next rest area.

This is where the story takes a hilarious turn.

He pulled right up to the front of a gas station and shouted, “Alright darlin’, we’re here! Go do your thing.”

Oh my goodness! He’s just stopping for me! I thought that this would be a rest stop for everyone, but apparently I got to walk the red carpet down the bus aisle to go to the bathroom all by myself. I stood up and realized my balance was a bit off from the long ride — POTS does that to me sometimes. I can sometimes have a hard time keeping my balance on solid ground, but it’s even worse when I’ve been cooped up in a car for several hours. I stumbled down the aisle, bumping into a pretty young twentysomething who was just trying to mind her own business and taking out a guy’s knee on the way. I offered a muffled apology as I turned bright red and scampered down the steps.

I felt everyone’s inquisitive eyes on me as I pranced from the bus into the gas station and wondered what they must think of me. This is humiliating! They’re probably coming up with a billion stories in their own minds of why I had to make this huge emergency stop. 

I hurried inside and was back within two minutes. I didn’t take the time I needed to stretch because I didn’t want any false assumptions from me taking forever.

As I walked onto the bus — my face once again matching the red carpet beneath my feet — I realized no one was really paying attention to me. The twentysomething girl glanced up from her laptop, but for the most part people remained preoccupied with their own activities. It was at this moment that I had an overwhelming realization that no one really cared what I was up to and all eyes were, in fact, not on me.

Today’s lesson: People don’t really care what you are doing — so you should just do you and not worry so much about what others think.