Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm All Swollen

Running tip: Don’t neglect and irritate your family and friends by spending all your time running and talking about running. You love running and everyone knows it. However, not everyone wants to hear about what pace you kept over ten miles. The good news is, your running friends and blogger friends eat that shit up. So save it for them.


Home safe and sound, but barely. Our annual Mexico family vacation ended up on an interesting note for two reasons.

1. Right before leaving for the airport, we were having lunch at the resort. Ken told me that my face looked a bit swollen around the eyes. A few minutes later he told me that I was "starting to look different," and he was worried. To understand the impact of his comment, you need to know Ken. He worries about nothing (except maybe his March Madness bracket). Even when I was in labor and screaming, shitting and cussing, he was cool as a cucumber. So for him to even admit any kind of worry is in and of itself alarming. I looked in the mirror and sure enough my face was swollen and getting more so by the second. I took a Zyrtec and we left for the airport. By the time I got up this morning, I looked like this - swollen face shot, can also be called my "mug shot":

As compared to the "real" me:

Seriously. I could be Nick Nolte (remember this?):


A trip to the doc first thing this morning confirmed that I am, indeed, allergic to Mexico. Bummer, because I really like it there. The doc, in fact, had no clue what caused the reaction: the sun, the mango yogurt from that morning, who knows. I headed to Target to get an Rx of Prednisone filled (hey, cool, a steroid. Maybe this will help my running and make me really bulky). I kept on my sunglasses in the store.

Whenever I see people wearing sunglasses inside I always thing that 1) they think they are really cool, 2) they are incredibly hungover, or 3) they forgot they had them on. Now I realize that maybe those people had an allergic reaction on a vacation and are picking up a prescription. Kind of a bummer to be all ballooned up, but I think I prefer the swollen face to diarrhea, which I did not get on this trip.

Here's the second welcome home incident:

2. You know it's going to be a rough ride on the airplane when the captain/pilot comes on and says, "It's going to be a rough ride for the duration of the flight. Return to your seats NOW." You really know it's going to be a rough ride when the flight attendants prepare the cabin for landing when you are still at 32,000 feet because they need to strap in (don't they usually do this like 2 seconds before the wheels hit the ground?). You know it's going to be a white knuckle, stomach churning, really, really rough ride when the flight attendants say, "Buckle in your children really tight. If you start to feel airsick, take off your sweater and keep as cool as possible." Seriously. Does the captain not know I have a vomit phobia? The only thing than having a vomit phobia is being trapped in a seat belt at 30,000 feet with the potential of vomit occurring around me. Did I mention I hate to fly? I do it fairly frequently, but I hate it. It scares me to death. I even hate those itty bitty bits of turbulence that no one else seems to feel or notice.

So, when the rough patch hit, and it HIT, I thought I was going to die. Literally. At about 25,000 feet the plane was being tossed around in the air. Everyone did several collective gasps/screams. Several people got sick. My seat belt was digging into my middle where it was holding me. It only went on a for a few minutes, but it was seriously awful. The only thing that saved me was that I was distracted by having to take care of Sam, who is 12, and help him to feel less afraid. I found myself saying things like, "Oh, we'll be fine (oh my god, we're going to die!). It's not dangerous, just uncomfortable (Bullshit! We're going down. I love you son, I love all of you!). We only have 10,000 feet more to go 'til the ground" (10 mother eff'ing feet! We'll never make it).

If you are wondering how I know how high we were it's because Frontier has maps at every seat showing where you are and at what elevation. I'm not some cartographer or whatever. I don't even know what that means. Here's one from this trip as we approached Cancun:

Of course, we made it safely. I was never so glad to touch down. They should have handed out mints or something when we got off to celebrate being alive. There were some pretty crazy winds south of Denver yesterday (70 mph), so that was the culprit.

I've got tons of pictures coming to share with you, so check back.

I've also got an upcoming giveaway/contest that is INSANE. You seriously will not want to miss this one.

Have you ever had a harrowing or extremely uncomfortable experience on an airplane? Do tell.


Drinking: Nothing. Too swollen.

66 comments:

  1. Ouchers!!! That would suck to be allergic to Mexico :( Hope you feel better soon and those steroids give ya a boost;)

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  2. I read March Madness and then saw the Nick Nolte photo and was completely distracted by both! Hope the face gets better!

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  3. Unfortunately, prednisone is the one that will make your Achilles tendon SPONTANEOUSLY EXPLODE. I kid you not. I had to go back on it yesterday (allergies too) and now every time I have a twinge in my legs I think it's getting ready to go BOOM.

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  4. Wow- that sounds truly terrifying!! Glad that you guys got back safely!

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  5. yipes...I had to land in Hartford once rather than Newark. You know its bad when everyone cheers when you land.

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  6. Wow, not fun. I once was on a trip from Mexico and the kid next to me threw up pretty much the entire time. I smelled like vomit the rest of the day.

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  7. I was on a flight from Atlanta to San Francisco when, after a some jarring bumps, the plane literally hit a wall of air. We dropped 15 thousand feet in less than a minute. A flight attendant was pasted to the ceiling of the cabin until we leveled off, broke her arm on the way down. The head attending called it her 2nd scariest flight in 25 years in the air. I couldn't imagine the first. Glad you're home safe!

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  8. wow what an awesome welcome back! i think the swelling would be due to something acidic that you ate or drank. the same thing happened to my mom and the culprit was the orange juice she had earlier that day.

    and your plane flight makes me NEVER want to get on a plane. don't know if you watch lost but that would have been running through my mind haha

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  9. Took a chartered Cessna flight to see the Nazca lines in Peru somewhere back in 1986. The "airport" was a dusty little dirt road, the "plane" was literally held together with bailing wire, and the "pilot" sucked on a wet, drippy popsicle with no stick (imagine) the entire pre-flight, take-off and much of the harrowing -- but totally exciting! -- scenic flight.

    !!!Nick Nolte!!!

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  10. I once got an allergic reaction like that on a plane to Hawaii! Totally sucks. Your stories, however, rock my world.

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  11. Well, you take the cake! My worst flights are with my mom who was always on the verge of a panic attack every flight so I was the kid-adult when we flew together.

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  12. I had an experience much like PhishyPaul's. It felt like we were in a freefall for EVER. Usually those little air pockets are *dip* and "Oh, we hit a bump back there." This one was *stomach in throat* and "Dude, we're falling... we're still falling... OH SHIT, WE'RE STILL FALLING!!!"

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  13. I love how you post any kind of pics of you, flattering or not! That's confidence:) Hope you feel better soon! I don't have flight stories, but I do have train stories; I take the red line subway into work, and frequently there is: a) a fire, b) medical emerngecy, c) train loses power and needs to be pushed by another train, and many more. I can say that I am close to habituating to these, but I keep wondering whether someday something serious will happen!

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  14. I'm horribly allergic to cats. On a flight from Florida to NY, a guy got on the plane WITH A CAT, and sat next to me. I still don't know why they let him on, but I told the attendants my deal. They bought me a beer. Which I accepted.

    btw, love the opening of this post. My husband always seems to find an opportunity to say "It's always about running, isn't it." Yup, it is.

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  15. Landing in Athens on an Olympic airways plane, the breathing apparatus in my section dropped down as soon as the landing gear touched down. Comforting to know it works. Not so comforting to know that shit drops at a blink of an eye. Eh, it was Olympic.

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  16. Today's running tip is exactly why I have a running blog! I love the exact description that other runners/bloggers "eat that shit up."

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  17. OMG this made me laugh so hard...and that picture, you poor thing!! I can only imagine the stories you COULD have made up to go along with it...the possibilities are endless!

    I had such bad turbulence one time flying from California to Houston. I was so sick by the time I got there I went straight to bed and missed all the fun!

    Welcome home!

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  18. OMG! OMG! Can't believe this post. I first couldn't believe the mug shot pic, but then to have that flight experience???! damn. I just got back from Aloha land last nite, and it's one of my worst fears- a flight like that. ugh! so sorry you had to go through that. But you're on ground and I guess it makes your face seem like nothin' comparatively?;-)

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  19. From the "runner's tip" to the very end of the post. Love the entire read. Great way to end a long day at work!!
    Glad you're on the mend and hope you figure out what you're allergic to!

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  20. Holy shit thanks for the good laugh. Loved the picture of Nick Nolte, you're still way better looking! And trying to be brave for Sam, that was funny shit. Thanks =)

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  21. Not sure how long you have to take prednisone, but be ready to eat all day! ...and maybe run a little faster too :)

    I used to ride in little planes a lot when I worked in the far north...had some pretty rough rides. Apparently, it wasn't dangerous, just scary! Apparently!!!!!

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  22. Thank goodness you made it safe and sound. I hate flying so much and am ridiculously terrified of turbulence. I think I'll need my kids to comfort ME! ha ha. Glad you had a good trip, save for the swelling of course!

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  23. Glad you have your feet on the ground, safe and sound. :)

    I am trying to curb telling my running stories to my Tuesday lunch buddy and my boyfriend. Thank god for the running blogging community.

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  24. Holy cow girl! Hope the pred helps!!

    As for the plane...coming back from Ecuador to the States we had about 10 minutes of NASTY turbulence. All of the crew spoke spanish so I was totally in the dark as to what was going on. I was with a college class, no husband with me. I was reaching for my cell under the seat to call and say my last good-bye to dear husband and hit my head on the tray. I looked behind me to a fellow student, an older gentleman that had traveled the world. He said 'hun, you better kiss your butt goodbye...this is not looking good'. WTF?????? Needless to say I FREAKED out crying. A few moments later it was all over and they were serving sodas. OMG...I'm never flying over Mexico again!

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  25. Hope you start feeling better soon!!

    While I don't have any really crazy ariline stories - Hubby has quite a few!!They're always nuts to listen to!

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  26. You trying to be brave for Sam made me spit a bit of tea out.....I have a Sam too who is 10 :)
    Glad you made it home safe and sound!

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  27. Thanks for sharing that great tip! I will definitely keep that in mind from now on.

    Also, glad to hear you and the family made it home safely. Can't wait to see the vacation pics.

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  28. Ok first of all I agree, I think people who walk in to stores with sun glasses on think they are super too cool for words.

    I do have a crazy airplane story! I was flying from Istanbul, Turkey to Berlin, Germany. Hardly anyone spoke any English even the in flight messaged where only Germany and Turkish. I was in the middle seat which sucks already when the guy to my left started freaking out on the guy in front of him for laying down the seat (its midnight and the dude wants to sleep right...) Well a huge brawl gets started since dude on my right is Germany and yelling, I mean really freaking out over this seat thing..dude in front of him is Turkish and apparently his entire extended family is on the plane cause everyone starts getting involved... It was like Jerry Springer a mile in the air. I was so scared and the stewardesses couldn't do a think so the entire rest of the flight there was this crazy tension, lots of evil eyes and verbal nonsense floating my direction since I am right next to freak out dude... needless to say I didnt sleep a wink!

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  29. Yikes! You're lucky you got some steroides though. Jill and I could use those in a few weeks. Just kidding US Running Federation!!

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  30. Are you sure your maiden name isn't Nolte? Glad you had a good trip and hope you feel better. I took your resting advice and took a day off from running this week. I feel much better and my calf seems to have perked right up!

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  31. OK I'm a bad, bed person, but I just laughed so hard when you compared yourself to Nick Nolte. Like I was almost crying I was laughing so hard. Damn woman, hope you feel better and aren't really allergic to Mexico. Maybe you're just allergic to vacation being over. ;)

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  32. Wow - you poor thing! That flight sounds really scary, thank Gad you all got back safely. Love your blog.

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  33. Wow! Hope you are better soon! Take care...

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  34. And I thought it was just my wife who hated flying :-) Every time we get on a plane she tells me all she can hear in her head is the voice-over man from one of those 'Minutes From Disaster' shows on Discovery channel: "... and little did the passengers know that the wing was just about to fall off ..."

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  35. Well I certainly hope and pray that you are not allergic to Mexico. eeekkkkkk!!!
    Hope the pred is working.

    My only disaster flight wasn't really the flight - but being on the ground waiting in Chicago at O'Hare. The area experienced something like 10+ inches of rain in a very short period of time. I flew from Madison to Chicago and then from Chicago to Vancouver BC where I was meeting my husband, who was already in Vancouver for work. We got the same rain in Madison - and my flight got out OK - but it did hit me as sort of weird when we were on approach to land and pretty much everything was under water.
    But we landed OK - right around 11:00 am - but sat and sat with very little news about what was going on all day long. The biggest problem was the lightning strikes on the tarmac and there was no vehicle traffic to the airport because sections of the interstate were under water. So there were thousands of people stuck at the airport and thousands (including flight crews) trying to get to the airport - that couldn't.
    For all of the younger people - this was in the mid 80's - not that long ago - but before cell phones and (dare I say it) the internet. OMG - I know I am old.
    The pay phone lines had hundreds of people waiting to use them and since my husband was already in Vancouver I had no way of getting ahold of him. Eventually they officially closed the airport - saying they would resume flights at 6:00 am - but did manage to get about 20 flights out around midnight and lucky for me - my flight was one of them.

    Hope today's long run goes well.

    Have a great weekend

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  36. Eek!

    On a flight back from Australia via Guam, and a 23 hour layover in Honolulu we circled the Houston airport in crazy turbulence until we ran out of fuel during a thunderstorm. Had to land at a military airport where we sat on the tarmac for 3 hours because they can't refuel until 30 minutes AFTER the last sight of lightning. By that point I had missed my connecting flight out of Houston to Toronto and had to wait another 3 hours. Longest travel day ever, but my face wasn't swollen, so I think you still win!

    Hope you're feeling better soon!

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  37. Did you say Steriods!!???!!! I'm thinking you like to share with your favorite running friend (um, that'd be me in case you were wondering - haha)!!

    I hate to fly exactly as much as you, every tiny bounce and I'm past anxiety and into panic mode! Nevertheless, I hope you're able to get back to Mexico again, despite the crazy swollen face! Welcome home, Beth - we had gorgetous 78 degree weather while you were gone, btw, and now suppose to be cold again. Enjoy!! :)

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  38. Harrowing experience on a plane? Maybe being sitted between an Amway salesman and a girl who asked "have you made the Lord your personal savior?"

    During one near-death experience, I was heard to shout, "I love all of you except Bill!" I think the laughter helped.

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  39. Oh no! I feel so bad for you!!! Were we in Cancun at the same freaking time!?

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  40. So the thumbnail of your mugshot, not so bad. The full size picture? I can definitely see the problem now. That sounds super uncomfortable. I hope the prednisone works. That stuff is amazing.
    I was flying back to college after a break and I got stopped by airport security. When I flew home I thought I was going to be staying for good so I packed everything that I wasn't shipping. You have to understand my mental state - I thought I was going to stay and marry my then boyfriend but broke up with him instead and stayed up WAY too late the night before. I was an emotional train wreck. In the confusion I mixed up which bag I packed my super awesome kitchen knife set in. They did not end up in my checked baggage as planned. So when the security guy pulled out my knives I started bawling. I was already cutting it close for my flight. I run to check in, they stuff them in some plastic bag and are nice enough to not charge me for another checked item. I get on the plane and I'm nauseous the whole time. Towards the end I'm thinking "This is it" and I go to the lavatory. I spent the landing IN the bathroom hovered over the toilet. How many people can say that?

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  41. Wow! What an adventure! Did you drink any water in Mexico? I know they always say to avoid the water haha.

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  42. I had a reaction like that when I went to Jamaica, I ended up with my fingers and hands swelling so much I couldn't walk..but steroids are cool right?

    Sorry about the rough flight, seriously those are just not cool

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  43. You poor thing! I wonder why you are swollen now, as opposed to after your other trips :(

    We had bad turbulence on our flight to KC on Friday. I am happy you made it ok!

    Welcome home!

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  44. Holy crap! First the swelling then the flight from hell. I hope you recover quickly from both. You deserve some (more) rest and relaxation. Take care of yourself! Have a good week.

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  45. I sooo had the same experience about 5 yrs. ago. It was a month before me and my husband now, were going to get married, and we were on our way home from Hawaii. We were flying overnight, and they had just started to serve a snack to everyone, and all of the sudden, we hit MAJOR turbulence, and the cart with the drinks and food went EVERYWHERE. The pilot came on and told us all to buckle up etc. and the stewardess all sat down etc. We were going up and down and all around. People were crying, saying they would never see there kids again etc. It was HORRIBLE! My husband(now) was holding my hand telling me to sit back and we would be fine, but I could tell he was SOOO scared! I closed my eyes and just acted like I was in a car or on a roller coaster. It lasted for 30 minutes or so. After we landed, one of the stewardess told me it was the worst turbulance she had ever been through in over 10yrs of doing this...CRAZY!!!

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  46. My God...you TOTALLY look like Nick Nolte!

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  47. I hate flying also, but that does not compare to my driving in my younger days. Thankfully I am alive to talk about it. Phew!

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  48. Hey i love your quote at the beginning! ive learned not to talk about running the hard way. So i finally started a blog a few months ago.

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  49. I love your BLOG...you always make me laugh out loud...and that my friend doesn't happen on a regular basis...I don't laugh, HARD...easily.

    I totally would have freaked out on the plane and been thinking the same thing as I was comforting my kids.

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  50. i have a terrible vomit phobia, too. so much that it kept me out of nursing school. the only time i can sort of handle it is if i'm drunk.

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  51. I'm waiting for pictures of you built like the governator. WAITING!!

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  52. I was flying to conference in either Boston or Chicago, I can't remember and our plane lost cabin pressure and those little oxygen masks fell down. That was "exciting." Other than it triggering a migraine, everything was fine.

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  53. Ok, I shit my pants reading that.... I would never want to experience either one of those two things :(

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