The drive up into the mountains to the lake we camp at for our Girl Scout Family Camp is delightful. The trip takes about 2 to 2.5 hours on a major holiday weekend, but it is a gorgeous trip. You are driving up this windy wooded road and then BOOM you get to the top and are greeted with a vast view of a huge flat valley with more mountains off in the distance. You actually get to do this twice before you get to camp area. Both times are worthy of pulling over and spending a hour watching the sun set, but you know you have to keep rolling forward because you have a tent to put up in the dark if you don't keep on task.
I arrived without trouble and began unpacking my car. Within minutes, my son showed up and helped me set up my tent. I gave him a snack, a soda and a hug and sent him back to his dad so I could get some sleep. My head had been pulsing with a dull throb for some portion of the day. This is my high allergy season and part of the beautiful vision upon arriving at the lake was all of the beautiful yellow sage bush in full pollen blooming glory! However, I was prepared. I took my allergy medicine, sprayed my allergy nose spray, put on a nose strip to help with the congestion I was feeling and rubbed on my DoTerra Breathe Essential Oil Mix. I was going to be fine. I even had my nose cones to keep my sinus passages open so I didn't bother my tent site neighbors with my snoring. I put on my sleep eye mask and curled up in my bag and went to sleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a nagging cough. No worries, I reached into my bag and pulled out the cough drops I sleep with in my mouth to deal with the allergy drainage that nags my throat and causes incessant clearing of my throat.
Then I heard the owls hooting. I began missing the fan that I sleep with at home to drown out the noises.
While trying to get back to sleep, I realized my face really hurt. The sinus pressure had not eased at all, after taking my meds at bedtime. I QUIETLY unzipped my tent and tip toed to my car where I had stashed a cooling bead eye mask that I use when I get a migraine or sinus headache. I shut the car door as QUIETLY as I could and tip toed back to my tent, crawled in and QUIETLY zipped my tent back up. I applied more essential oil to my chest and temples. While doing that I noticed my teeth really hurt.
Fuck, was I grinding my teeth? I stretched my mouth open and closed trying to relieve the pressure. I have an essential oil mix for my face that has oils for relaxation, so I massaged that into my face. I also popped a Tylenol in hopes of waking up without all of this weird pain. I went through an entire roll of toilet paper blowing my nose.
I really tried to get back to sleep. I could tell my body was exhausted, but I was so uncomfortable. As the first rays of sunlight hit my tent, I acknowledged that it was time to get up and start the day. I told myself, that I could always take a nap anytime I wanted, as this was my holiday weekend and I was in charge!
I made some hot coffee and hoped that the warmth would be enough to ease my sinus pressure. Maybe it did a little.
What was fabulously distracting was something that kept catching the corner of my eye splashing in the lake. I stared for quite a long time trying to figure out what was makings such a huge splash in the lake, really all over the lake.
By my second cup of coffee, I felt coordinated enough to get out of my tent and walk down to the lake. Sure enough, it was fish. Big fish the size of my outstretched hand flopping or jumping about a foot out of the water. Silliest thing I have ever seen in real life and it had me giggling, which turned to laughing, which turned to coughing fits. I took some photos and spent about half an hour sitting there trying to catch it on video. It was a really nice way to start my day.
I spent the next hour or so sitting and soaking in the morning before both of my kids showed up.
I told them I hadn't had a good night and really wasn't feeling well. I asked if they wanted to head over to the Hot Springs to soak for a bit with me? My hope was a hot soak and breathing in the steam would ease my pain. I mean, hell my camp roommate hadn't even shown up yet. We had plans to drink wine and catch up on each other's summer adventures.
The kids and I packed up lunch and went off to the Hot Springs down the road. If you follow my blog, you know that one of my favorite things to do while camping is stay near a hot springs, so I can get my daily hot relaxing bath. I was worried it would be crowded with the holiday weekend, but it wasn't. We moved from extremely hot to cooler, to the coolest, and kept cycling through them. While I could have stayed the entire day, the kids were ready to get back to camp. I told them I was going to head home after I dropped them off. The hot springs soak did help, but the thought of another night not feeling well and not in my bed did not sound like good idea.
When we got back to camp, the kids helped me pack up. Before I left, I popped by to see my ex husband and to ask him to keep an eye on our son, who was giving me sulky weird vibes.
As I started the long drive home, the pain behind my eye balls and the pressure in my ears became increasingly unbearable. I surrendered to the fact that I was going to have to either get down the mountain in time to pop into the Little Clinic at the grocery store, or go to the emergency room. It was a long two hours from the camp sight to the first real place where I could maintain cell service. It was about 4 pm when I called and spoke to the nurse at the clinic and verified that they would be open until 5 pm. I was only 45 minutes away on a good day, but this was a holiday weekend, so I drove very strategically and as fast as I could. The final 4 miles down the mountain had me in tears. My ears would not clear. Just intense pressure and pain. Once down in town, traffic and the traffic signals seemed to be conspiring against me. I slid into a parking spot and ran in as fast as I could feeling like I was on the verge of a migraine and about to lose my vision in my left eye.
I walked up to the sign in booth at 4:52 pm. I am sure I looked frightful. The nurse was extremely nice while she tried to help me sign in. Having been on my own for the past two hours, I hadn't realized that I was not able to hear most of what she was saying to me and by the look on her face, I was speaking very loud to her.
I was ushered in to see the doctor and it she told me my blood pressure was very high and asked if this was normal. I explained that my blood pressure has never been high, but that the fast driving and attempt to beat the clock thus sparing myself 5 hours minimum at the emergency room may have been a little stressful on my system.
She confirmed I had a sinus infection, but she also told me that both of my ears were infected. I was given a lovely regimen of antibiotics, Allegra D, flonaise and was told to take Tylenol for the pain and use hot compresses for my ears. She also advised me not to go back up the mountain until I had several days of the meds under my belt and/or until my ears stopped hurting.
I was grateful to get a pass to not have to drive back up to camp the rest of the weekend, but my stomach and bowels do not react well to antibiotics, and it would be almost four hours until the pain eased enough for me to open my eyes. I did find that putting two drops of Basil Essential Oil on a cotton ball and putting that in your ear feels really, really good. It almost puts too much heat out at first, but if you keep them for an hour, the warmth is perfect. I will try to remember this when I have grand babies!
I crawled into bed about 6 pm and stayed there most of the next two days. You won't believe the conversation my ex husband and I had two days later when he brought our son back to me.