Vacationing in the Southwest

As you may remember from the previous weekend’s Link and Updates (I completely forgot to do last weekends, oops!), I was on vacation with some of my family. We had a grand time. We took 10 days to travel through Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and ended up in Las Vegas. We just got back on Monday, so I’m still in recovery mode.

So far, getting ready for trips is still proving to be really stressful. This was the second time I’ve flown since getting MdDS and Hydrops and that seems to be consistently more stressful than driving. Both times that I’ve flown I’ve dealt with dizziness/MdDS/Hydrops the day before, which doesn’t help at all. With the pressure of getting ready, my body seems to slip easily into the sympathetic nervous system, so I feel light headed and my breathing stays shallow as much as I fight it.

But it does seem to be slowly getting less extreme, so hopefully that trend will continue.

The rest of the trip, besides conking heads with a brother (ouch!), was very encouraging. I was able to do more than I thought!

It also probably helped tremendously that I was able to continue with my MdDS exercises for most of the trip.

In Phoenix my huge accomplishment was swimming some laps for the first time in almost two years! It felt surprisingly good.

In Sedona, I hiked/climbed up Bell Rock. It was a little scary getting up there, but my brothers were able to help me the few times I needed it and I made it mostly to the top of the hike. But eventually, I could tell I was getting light headed and that I was done. So I laid down and enjoyed the view. The way down was actually much better than I expected because on the smooth rocks I could simply slide down. Thank God I was wearing sturdy jean shorts!

At the Grand Canyon, I did tons of walking. We did a 3 mile rim hike and the my brothers and I hiked a mile and a half in and out of the canyon. All this at an elevation of 7,000 feet!

Probably the hardest moment of the trip was when we descended from Flagstaff to the Hoover Dam. We went from 7,000 feet to 1,000 feet in just a few hours and my ears did not like it! I spent the first hour of touring Hoover Dam feeling dizzy, but eventually they adjusted.

Another interesting time was our first night in Las Vegas was a Saturday night and we ventured out to see the Bellagio fountains. It was more than a little crazy. I had never been in such a large group of people. It was disorientating to say the least, but I made it through and didn’t fall down!

And last but not least, the greatest accomplishment/answer to prayer was that I was able to ride in the middle seats of our rental minivan! For the last two years, I’ve had to ride in the front seats or I would get dizzy. I’ve noticed it getting better, but I was really praying that it wouldn’t be a problem this trip. And it wasn’t. I still did a lot of the driving, but it was a relief to know that if I needed to I could relax in the back. It did get less and less comfortable as the week went on, but hey, it was a huge improvement!

Well, that’s all the highlights I can think of for the moment. Hopefully I’ll get some pictures edited and inserted in later this evening!