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Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Travel

Self-Loathing Week, Day Four

Thank the Lord this week is almost over. It feels like the longest week of my life.

WARNING: this post contains graphic content. Do not read further if you suffer a weak stomach.

As I've been reading all the glowing reports and gushing enthusiasm pouring out of blogs about the recent ACFW conference, I've sought the warm comfort of my bed. Three bloggers wrote about their airplane companions, layover time and ticket-booking.

I don't travel.

I suffer from debilitating motion sickness. Family legend has it I threw up breast milk at 3 months on a trip to Kansas City (1 hour from my house). I suspect this was the Turtle Christmas gathering, although I've never asked. But the timing would be right.

I grew up in the glorious 70's, the golden age of the Chevy Station Wagon. You remember them. Mustard yellow with faux wood paneling? Pile 14 kids in the very back to breathe exhaust fumes on their way to the pizza parlor?

I begged my friends' parents to let me ride in front, but no one listened to 8 year-olds in those days. Too bad. It meant they got to clean up the mess that inevitably occurred, and my parents got to come pick me up before the pizza arrived. I have never left a station wagon with my stomach contents intact.

When I was 12, my family traveled a bit. I have puked on every plane from Kansas to Hawaii to Guam to Micronesia and back over the course of a year. Oh wait. There was one plane I didn't throw up on. I made it to the gangway before I blew chunks.

As I've aged, I've gotten worse. I've gotten sick while I'm driving. That's no good.

It's not just the throwing up. The last bout I suffered had me in bed for 48 hours afterwards. A specialist once told me motion sickness is a form of migraine. I thought that meant I would develop migraines. Not so. I just get all the symptoms. Vomiting, dizziness, light intolerance, physical weakness. Even if I go somewhere, I'm not assured I'll be in any shape to do anything when I get there.

Let me tell you, you wouldn't put up with it, either, if you could avoid it. And I can. By not traveling.

Oh, people have recommended all kinds of things. Bracelets. Patches for behind my ear. Pills. Even immersion therapy where they subject me to continual motion until I finally get used to it.

Yeah, that sounds great. Let's do that.

I don't fly. I don't even like to drive, but at least in a car when the moment comes, you can pull over. Unless you're my father driving Hwy 7 in Missouri, and you're mad, and you just want to get off. Then you drive faster. That's a post I will never write.

To misquote Joshua from War Games, the only real cure is not to move.

Writers' conferences don't come to Topeka, KS. They go to Colorado, Florida, Indiana, apparently, but not Kansas. Which is too bad. Kansas is a pretty State, if folks would try driving it during the day when they can see it. What's a turtle to do?

Well, this turtle is inclined to sulk and throw pity parties. Which is silly, considering I'm not even a member of ACFW yet. However, seems CathiLyn Dyck of Scita Scienta heard a rumor the next conference may be in St. Louis. I could drive to St. Louis.

The real question is will I continue to wallow in the muck of self-loathing, or will I make plans now and stock up on airsickness bags?

I suppose the answer depends on whether you ask me during the week or on a weekend.

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