At the end of May, Rose and I along with two other women headed for Greece. It was an amazing trip. If you can, GO TO GREECE!
After my last incident, I hadn’t had any “spells,” so I had convinced myself that my new regimen of iron supplements and a bowl of Quaker Oat Squares a day had solved my problem. Isn’t that cute?? We arrived in Athens and stayed there a few days, taking in the sights (and the graffiti. Wow.). We had signed up for a tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon, but literally within about 10 minutes of walking up the hill, I was hit yet again. And this one was bad. I was doubled over, trying to get some blood to my head. Rose came over to see what was going on but I told her I would be okay and that she should continue on with the tour. I found my way to a rock and sat down. I had brought a blood sugar meter with me because I was not yet convinced this wasn’t low blood sugar. I had seen Kyle experience this many many times over the years, and I felt like he looked when his blood sugar dropped: shaky, clammy, sweaty, nauseated, and very foggy-brained. Oh, and the damn runny nose. I could never figure out the damn runny nose.
I checked my blood sugar. Perfectly normal. What the serious fuck. I was parked on this rock fanning myself when a very striking woman asked me if I was okay. “Yes, thanks,” I mumbled (and lied). “You look very pale,” she said. “Take it easy, don’t push yourself.” I can still remember admiring her beautiful large black and white hat as I thought, “How do you know I’m pale? You don’t know me, maybe this is my normal color.” But it was difficult to even talk so I just sat there, fanning. I was pretty upset by this turn of events. I came all the way to Greece, and I don’t get to see the Parthenon? This would just not do. I staggered from rock to rock, sitting, fanning, and wiping my nose. Rose came back to check on me. I told her what the woman said about my being pale, and my dumb joke about her not knowing what color I normally was. Rose said, “It’s not because you’re pale. You’re gray.”
Oh. Well. Most people aren’t gray I suppose, so that woman was on to something. I sent Rose on ahead so she didn’t miss the tour, and I continued with my “take five steps, sit down and fan myself” routine until I somehow made it to the top. I sat on this low wall, shaking like I had a fever, blurry vision, feeling incredibly crappy… when I realized… I was going to vomit. NO. There was no way I could vomit on the Acropolis, next to the Parthenon. I mean, it’s one of the oldest symbols of western civilization! I can’t barf on it! Turns out I can. And I did. (My sincerest apologies, Greece. For reals. I had no choice.) I’ve convinced myself that no one saw me, but I’m probably on someone’s travel blog somewhere hurling my guts out. Oh well. They don’t know me.
After I threw up, I felt much better. I was walking on very shaky legs, but I found my friends. Although I missed the information provided on the tour, I still got to see the structures and the view of Athens. Pretty spectacular.
I didn’t have any further episodes while in Greece, although I was concerned when we had to walk up a million steps to see one of the monasteries in Meteora. But I went about as slow as a person can actually move while still going forward, and it was okay. But I knew the pattern now: exertion brought this on. I didn’t know what it meant, but that’s what brought this on.
(This isn’t a travel blog, but seriously go to Greece. Spend the smallest amount of time you can in Athens to see what you need to see, then get out to the islands. We spent a week on a lesser-known island called Karpathos, and it was indescribable. You know how blue the waters are when you see pictures of Greece? Those pictures are lies–the water is even MORE beautiful. It hurts my head even thinking about it. Go to Greece!)