Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Summer of Travel of Feeling Almost Normal

As y'all may already know, we spent 2+ months exploring the cooler regions of America this summer. We left May 16 and returned July 16. A week later, we drove back to Nashville for a family event, and we have been in and out of town since. If you are remotely interested in our itinerary, we drove from the Gulf Coast straight to Vancouver, boarded a cruise ship for 9 days to Alaska, returned to Washington, and drove and camped our way back across America for the next several weeks. Stops included Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Cody, Wyoming, Deadwood and Rapid City, South Dakota, Minneapolis (complete with a 'slight' detour to Omaha for the College World Series Finals), Wisconsin Dells, Chicago, Dayton, Ohio, Nashville, Tennessee, and then back home. We had many fun and a few not-so-fun adventures along the way, including a broken axle on our way out West, requiring an overnight stay in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station a la Children of the Corn. Photos with a day-by-day commentary are on Instagram (cdpeck).

Due to the FunFunFun of my pseudotumor, I had my third spinal tap the day we left Alabama. I spent the first 48-72 hours of our road trip horizontal in the front seat of the truck, squishing my oldest's legs. The spinal headache wasn't too terrible, so I was able to at least be in my family's presence without making everyone miserable. Medically, I felt better with every latitude line crossed. The further North we drove, the less I felt like I was walking through sludge, and the more energy I had. Daily naps became optional and were only required 1-2 times per week instead of my usual daily requirement. I was able to hike. I was able to ride horses. I was able to ride my bike. I WAS ABLE TO DO CARTWHEELS WITH MY GIRLS. I had not successfully done a cartwheel in 10 years. Too much spinning and dizziness. This was the first medical miracle of our trip. Our God is so very good.

I rarely, if ever, needed my cane. We always had it available, but it remained very lonely under the back seat of Monstro. I loved being outdoors. Aside from the cruise, we camped everywhere we went. Granted, we were camping in our very nice RV, but we were still out in nature with the windows open enjoying the breezes and the crickets at night. It was glorious. Never too hot. Never too cold. I felt like Goldilocks. Everything was juuuuust right.

Overall, I felt better than I have in the last 2-3 years combined. I almost felt normal. I had forgotten what normal was. I was able to be a Mama. I was able to enjoy our trip. I was able to feel human. I really didn't want to come home.

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