Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last Trip; New Trip

I had everything planned and packed for my trip. I’d probably never been as Migraine prepared for a trip as I was before this one.

However, the one thing I was not ready for was for my unwanted buddy, Migraine, to travel along with me. I had to be at work for a couple of hours before leaving for the airport on Monday. Luckily I had most of my things together and did not need to think too much while I was there.

The worst part was after I got to the airport. I had a hard time remembering things and needed to keep searching and re-searching for the same things over. I think I lost and found my ID at least three times. I wouldn’t have gotten very far without that. I only lost my ticket twice, but I’m not sure if that’s any better though. You know it’s not good when you start annoying yourself - it's like you get impatient waiting for yourself to finally get with it and get something right.

My forgetfulness didn’t stop there. Even though all the way through the x-ray line I kept trying to remind myself not to forget to take it out, I still didn’t take my clear plastic bag of liquids out and only remembered after my bag was already on the conveyor belt. They did take an extra-long look at my baggage, but it finally went through clean. Afterward, I heard of someone else who did the same thing only they had one of their liquids confiscated for being over the liquid limit.

The weirdest part of the airplane ride is that it actually aborted my Migraine. I've heard of flying triggering a Migraine, but I never thought about it aborting one. By the end of the flight, my roaring Migraine was gone! I really needed that.

I had called the hotel about a month in advance of my stay to let them know about my sensitivity to CFL light bulbs and they told me they would take care of everything. Upon checking into the hotel, I didn't mention anything about the accommodation and found myself very pleasantly surprised when I walked into the hotel room. All of the light bulbs were switched over to the incandescent bulbs. I never had to worry about which light I turned on as they all worked out well. After I returned home, I sent the hotel a note about the wonderful engineer I spoke to who took care of everything.

My trip consisted of two meetings. The first meeting was for two days in the same room while the second meeting was going to be held in a different room. When my boss, Bart, and I got to the room the first day, he stopped to talk to some folks while I picked out my seat. You got it; I chose my seat based on the lighting.

I couldn’t believe the lights in the room. There were spot lights along the front and back walls of the room with the rest of the lights turned out. The tables were setup in a U shape with the opening at the front. I selected a seat where my back was to the windows and the front was to my right. The lighting was really perfect. Although I had an extra seat next to me, Bart sat along the back; underneath the back spotlights. There was still a seat next to him when he made a playful comment about my sitting so far away from him. I smiled, but stayed put.

During the first break, I mentioned to Bart that I chose my seat because of the lighting. He agreed that I had the best seat in the room for me. The next day, Bart had an important call he needed to make so we arrived very early. He went to a separate room while I went to our meeting room.

There was breakfast for us outside of the room and as I was grabbing a little something, the person who set everything up went into the room and turned on ALL of the lights. That definitely would not have worked so as soon as he was gone, I fixed the lights to the same way they were the day before. Awesome! It can be so advantageous getting to rooms first so we can set the lights. (hehehe)

After the last presentation of the day, someone ended up turning on ALL of the lights while additional questions were asked and the wrap up for the two day meeting was made. My hand was ready to pull out my hat just as the meeting ended.

We arrived relatively early the next day for the next meeting. There were some people from the first meeting and some new people who were going to be with us. We were in a different meeting room with different lights. The lights in this room were covered and I wasn't sure if I would be able to last the six hours we were expected to be in there. The facilitator was also there early so I went up to her to let her know that I have a sensitivity to the lights and may need to wear a hat. She said she appreciated me coming up to her to let her know.

I kept gaging myself throughout the day as to whether or not I should put my hat on. I think we took enough breaks and my seat was good enough where I didn't need it although my hand was on it several times. I would also evaluate myself by how participatory I was during the meeting. Bart was seated next to me this time and knew I may put my hat on at any time during our trip.

I did wear my hats at the airport and was glad I never needed to wear them during the meetings. I was prepared to standout by wearing my hat if that was what I needed to do for my health. I also realized afterward that another reason I was glad I didn’t need to put it on is because I strongly believe that one of the people in that room fired of one of his employees because of her Migraines. He does not know I have Migraines and I believe I would get more defensive than I would want to be while around him if he knew. I still need to work with him.

Can you believe I have my next trip planned already? It was not scheduled until yesterday and will be a long drive that I could not refuse. My mother asked me to drive my father and her to Pittsburgh for a consultation which will probably end up in back surgery for him while we are there. I will be leaving right after the doctor appointment I’ve been waiting for for three months. From my appointment, I have to drive two hours to my parents’ house and then another six hours to Pittsburgh. It will be a long day. It better be a good day.

In one way, I am glad this trip is so close to my last one as I have all of my light modifications ready and fresh in my mind.

My hats are packed and will definitely be used as I’m sure I know what to expect in the lighting department at the hospital. I am very glad that I have all of my lighting work a rounds worked out to help me make it through this impromptu trip.


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