Sitting here, underneath the covers at the Hampton Inn in Kennewick, WA, I'm feeling... fine. After what was the second most harrowing driving experience in the past, I'm still recovering, though, and I'm not fully sure what is wrong other than it feels like I have another concussion but I don't, for once. It's definitely inner-ear related the doctor said, but exactly what it is she was unsure. I have my thoughts and she had hers. I believe it to be Meniere's Disease that is getting worse. She seemed to think the fluid behind the ear drum was a one-off, unrelated to my other symptoms as they weren't severe enough, I suppose. The gradual hearing loss in my right ear, the tinnitus, the fullness of ear that comes and goes and the random hearing/balance losses I've experienced the past five to seven years apparently are unrelated. I love doctors...But, anyways, I'll have to keep this one short as typing on the computer is certainly not helping.
OK. so, the second most harrowing drive this week started innocently enough last night. I was headed to the Tri-Cities area when I stopped for gas. I got out of the car to throw away some trash (you cannot, by law, pump your own gas in Oregon. Which is both convenient and inconvenient depending on your situation) when I suddenly felt a little dizzy/lightheaded. Thought it could be a blood sugar thing, so I ate a couple pieces of beef jerky, drank some water and was on my way. A little while later, I started to feel weird. Suddenly, it was really difficult to concentrate and it fell weird when I moved my head. I thought I was just extra tired from playing a bunch of basketball this weekend, but wasn't sure what was going on. I finally got to the hotel, and as soon as I stepped out, I swooned and nearly fell. I was full on dizzy/lightheaded and started vertigo symptoms. I quickly got up to my room and proceeded to try and stop the world from spinning for the next four hours, in addition to trying to fall asleep. I was nauseous and feeling like fucking shit. I was so glad it didn't get this bad while on the road. It was not great during the drive but the really bad stuff was saved til I got here, fortunately. Easily could have swooned behind the wheel and died, which only made it worse as my number one fear is dying behind the wheel as I miss a turn and drive off a cliff. Which, made my number one most harrowing drive this next one...
Worst drive of the past week: going to Klamath Falls from Medford. It's a drive I've done before but not in the dead of winter. I have a four-wheel drive Ford Escape and am pretty good at driving in the snow due to my Wisconsin upbringing, but we never had mountains and cliffs and unguarded corners leading towards hundred foot drop offs. Not a thing in WI. It was snowing pretty heavily along this extremely curvy and narrow road, which, by the way, is called "Dead Indian Rd." No fucking joke, look at this:
So, there I am, driving like 20 mph and trying not to panic on Dead Indian Rd (for those new to this, I am one-half Native American, so...) as my car slides all over the road and with my brakes are barely worth anything as I drive along. Coming downhill towards a couple unguarded corner/cliffs was not fun for anyone... Luckily, halfway across I got behind a plow and just followed him which helped a lot. Was slow as fuck, but a much easier path for me. So, yeah, snowy/icy conditions on a narrow road with some unguarded corners while driving over/through the mountains (again, my biggest fear in life is dying by driving off a cliff in an uncontrollable car...) was my least favorite thing to do in the recent past. But, I survived, only to have a horrific bout of vertigo not many days later. I wonder if the two are related as stress does make things worse, like my inner ear thing I've been dealing with until yesterday when it sort of cleared up then tried to murder me by giving me a touch of the dizzies whilst driving.
The one thing that is intriguing though, is the fact that I've heard medical marijuana can help with Meniere's disease in addition to Autism. I could regale you with stories of a girl and I who used to smoke to "feel normal" during some very tough times. Times when we had no appetite, took too many drugs and became rather reclusive/co-dependent. The weed made us hungry, social and reduced the massive stress we unnecessarily placed on ourselves to do something great and amazing with our lives. And, it fucking worked! So, we promptly stopped smoking and went back to other things and remained miserable during the limited time we spent together after those days of "feeling normal." But, I won't for now since I'm already starting to feel dizzy again just staring at the computer screen this long... So, bye for now. Hopefully, I can write more later this week.
(dictated but not read)