On June 15, 2015, I parked Gypsy at a local campground on the Eastern Shore, with high hopes and mixed feelings rolling around inside. Didn’t really want to be there but I had some important health appointments I needed to attend so as to keep me going as long as possible. I decided to make the best of it and be happy anyway.
Oh my gosh, I parked in hell! Literally! Bright sunshine, temperatures 90 and above every day with heat indexes at least 105 degrees. The swimming pool water was hotter than the water temperature of my showers! Couldn’t breathe, sapped any energy that might have lingered around really quick, couldn’t eat because food just sits in the gut. Well, it’s no secret I’m not a summertime person on the Eastern Shore (and haven’t been for the past few years, since the health issues became worse), especially when all the places I had been before arriving there were much cooler, I could eat regularly and had the energy to work and play. Added to the unhappy thing was the fact that I remained dizzy a good bit of the time (which is normal in this abnormal situation) and didn’t or wouldn’t drive unless what I needed was what could be purchased right in the little town. Believe me, I utilized all the backroads.
But I learned something and didn’t know it until I left Monday. I left a heatwave, with a body weight of 108 lbs. I have not weighed that much since I had stomach removal surgery a year ago. After about 10 months of trial and error, I finally began to maintain a weight around 101 – 102 lbs., nothing like the little fatty I became while in the heat and humidity. I couldn’t eat so why WAS I gaining weight? Some days I was even dehydrated somewhat and I wondered how that could be with all the popsicles I sucked on! Well, I lived with it the best I could and prayed for the day when it would be time to leave. I HAD to get out of that humidity. Something was just not right.
So, Miss Ellie, Gypsy, Hershey and I hit the trail Monday and ran right out of the heatwave. Although we were in the a/c, I kept checking the air temperature outside. Yep, beginning to feel good, real good. After a while, we were increasing in elevation a, little at a time. Every foot we climbed was a drop in air pressure. Nothing much to think about really. Rode that highway hundreds of time and never thought about any of that, and I didn’t this time.
Until I stopped for gas and a small, healthy sandwich. Ate half of the sandwich; it had been many hours earlier since I’d eaten. My body was telling me it needed a little fuel so I gave it just a little fuel, enough to keep the brain focusing and running. Everything else was running great but I (and my brain) were getting ‘tired.’ We just kept on jamming and kept on going.
After a while, I get nauseous. Here we are; stuck on the interstate with nowhere to pull over with a 32’ camper and no exit in sight. And I’ve got to puke! (Laughing Out LOUD!) Where there’s a will, there’s a way, by golly! I grabbed the trash bag I keep on the gear shift, rolled it down and put it in my lap. Grabbed all the napkins and paper towels that were handy (sometimes, it pays to be a little junky!), and was ready for whatever, whenever.
It didn’t take long but I was nauseous and sick, off and on, for close to an hour. By the way, everything went smoothly. I was only losing fluids, of all things. Couldn’t figure that one out. But the air was still getting cooler and we were still slowly climbing in elevation. I felt fine after a while but held on to the bag until we reached our nightly destination.
After setting up and opening the windows to let in the wonderful and wet, rain-soaked, cool evening air, I jumped on the scales. 103 lbs. Seriously? I’d lost 5 lbs. In a matter of hours? For sure something was wrong with the scales. So I moved them around to different spots and weighed myself each time. 103 lbs. I really had lost 5 lbs. In a matter of hours! That’s when the thought of heat, humidity and air pressure smacked me square in the forehead. It’s related; somehow, all of it is related. So I began looking at the ‘fat’ parts that had popped up during the last month of ‘hell.’ Sure enough, much of fat parts were gone. My veins that nurses so love to stick were prominent again. All swelling in the ankles and legs were gone. Now they’re back to ‘beanpole’ normal. The swelling above and below the eyes are almost slim to none and the tummy is just this side of being completely flat again.
So I did a little research, especially about the effects of air pressure (specifically low air pressure), heat and humidity on my body. There’s a lot of information out there but it’s in a lot of different spots. I read until my eyes were crossed and I did see a correlation concerning the heat and humidity – the lowered air pressure I’m not so sure about but it does make sense since pressure is needed to squeeze things in and out of our cells. Obviously, it was pushing water/fluid out of my celIs to be eliminated (hence the puking?); I just haven’t figured out the specifics yet but I’m getting there. Plus, it’s a question that I’ve added to my list of things to ask the surgeon when I visit with him again in September.
Suffice it to say that I was glad to be out of and away from the Eastern Shore summer heat. Hanging between 102 and 103 lbs. now; waiting patiently for 101 lbs. That’s the ‘feel my best’ weight. Anything below that causes me to be confused, unfocused and too tired.
I know this is different from “The Joys of Camping” posts; I’m just very curious if anyone has any ideas or, better yet, knowledge on this subject. Am I, could I be onto something here? I do the best I can to take care of my health and if this really is good for me, I’ll make it a permanent fix.
The Joys of Camping will be coming up next. Well actually, I’m not for sure what I’m going to name the new adventure yet but stay tuned! It will be up soon.