Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Just Wanted a Salad.

Hi everybody!

I spent the past weekend at the Aiming Low Non-Conference.  I roomed with my sweetie, Leslie from The Bearded Iris, and I ended up meeting fun people and getting some good information and thinking deep, thinky thoughts, but most important?

I learned to get the fuck out of my own head. 

Here's what happened:

I had a HORRIFIC panic attack at the airport on the way home.  It was godawful.

I have issues with food.

Not like eating disorder issues, but more like, when I'm in a weird/exhausted/shaky mental space, I'm afraid of eating something new or remotely suspect because I'm terrified I'll have a horrible reaction and I'll die.  So. Traveling? FUN FOR EVERYONE.

I made it through the conference through judicious use of preplanning and eating non-scary food.  And then I got to the airport and thought, "I should eat something for lunch, since I won't be getting home until dinner, and low blood sugar + flying is probably not ideal for anyone."

So I tried to find something unscary.

I rejected the sandwich kiosks, because buying a premade sandwich from what amounts to a refridgerated bookshelf seemed like I was just begging for trouble.  Same with airport Chinese food.

I finally decided on getting a chicken caesar salad. After making sure the lettuce was Romaine and the chicken was grilled and I could recognize the maker of the dressing.

So I got my salad, found an empty table, set out my book, pulled my rolling bag in close to me, and
then I opened up my salad. . . 

which had a bug on the lettuce.


So I packed everything up and returned my salad and got a refund and realized I was cutting it close to boarding.  At that point, I figured I had a banana in my purse [thanks, breakfast buffet], some cashews and dark chocolate covered raisins, and that, plus a cream cheese bagel, should at least get me to the airport at home and the husband, at which point I could collapse in the vicinity of someone who is required, by law, to take care of me.

So I got a plain bagel and plain cream cheese and, setting up my book and my rolling bag, I ate my bagel and . . .

bit into a carraway seed and JUST ABOUT LOST MY MIND.

I started freaking out, biting my tongue to get the taste out and make sure my tongue wasn't swelling.  And then I panicked some more, thinking I was becoming overheated from the intense carraway flavor or from poison and quickly wrapped everything up and threw away half the bagel and scurried to the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror and make sure nothing was swelling and take a picture [or several] of myself [face, neck, tongue] with my phone [stealth-like] because I couldn't quite see every single detail in the mirror and then [stealth-like] try and check out the photos and then realizing that at that point I was just panicking and not dying and I needed to slow myself down. 

So I did some deep breathing and some more staring and stopped biting my tongue and told myself to go, sit down, eat my fucking banana and keep breathing.

I ended up tweeting my panic and people were super kind and I kept breathing.  Deep, calm, slow breaths.  The best thing I ever learned is that when you have a panic attack, it takes 20 minutes for the adrenaline to leave your system once you stop panicking.  So I am Johnny-on-the-spot with my watch.

I got on the plane without incident, except I ended up having to check my bag at the gate AGAIN because there wasn't room [which, FUCK YOU ALL, I PURPOSEFULLY packed light so I wouldn't have to check my goddamn bag, SO STOP CHECKING MY BAG!], but I had a really, really nice seatmate, and we had an empty seat between us [one of the few on the flight] and I was able to talk to him about important things and read my book and play Drop 7 and then I got home to the husband, who made me feel better.

By making me go to Costco.  Straight from the airport.

That'll get you right the fuck out of your head.


  1. So... are you actually allergic to carraway seeds or just weirded out by the flavor and afraid it would make you retch?

    I'm the same way, btw. If I have anyplace to go, or my husband is out of town I avoid foods that might make me barf, like sushi. Bananas.

  2. I can't laugh, b/c I"m the one who ran to the bathroom 2 mins before I was supposed to do a Round Table b/c my lip felt like it was getting zapped by a cattle prod from lip balm SWAG.

    Yeah, allergies and travel? Sooooper fun.


  3. I avoid new foods if I am not 100% sure I know where all the toilets are. When I was pregnant with my first child my stomach was so sensitive that now I'm gun-shy about new foods. I'm glad you were able to find some support while you were going through it. Don't know what to tell you about the costco trip. That place makes me twitchy and not in a good way.

  4. oh dear. you poor thing...I'm really just glad you are ok. LIKE FOR REAL.

  5. Oh my Goodness! I am not alone. Last time I was in Disney, I was inline for a ride (a 1 hour line). Convinced myself since I had a granola bar in my bag, my low blood sugar would be ok. Except standing in line for an hour is not good for the old blood sugar, apparently. So since I didn't want to leave line to search for something "ok" to eat, I gave myself a migraine and almost passed out all because I thought freaking popcorn wasn't a good choice! I ruined the rest of the day for me and my family. Then my blood sugar dropped so low, I thought I was going to vomit in the bus on the way back to the hotel. I freaking ruined the day in Disney because I refused to eat popcorn because I though it would make me sick. And I got sicker than anything!

  6. I'm so glad you made it home (or at least to Costco). Traveling sucks.

    That is a great tip about the 20-minute adrenaline surge. I'm filing that under "good to know" for the next time I get stuck in an elevator or air-train car.

    Also, I ate sushi at the Newark airport and survived, so remember that the next time you're in an airport-food-related-panic. You're probably more likely to die from a snake on your motherfucking plane than you are from a bug in your salad. Truth.

    One more thing: I love you.

  7. I had a baggage-related panic attack at the train station in Montreal on Sunday. I had no Twitter because I only got a data plan for my son's phone, not mine because I thought I'd never need Twitter on my phone WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING? Also, train wine rocks. xo

  8. a long time ago, I had a package of seeded flatbread on my desk, for snacky bits, right? And so one day, there I was taking a bite of my flatbread, when I realized that one of the sesame seeds was wiggling. A little worm--um, okay, maggot?--was wearing that damn seed like a little Jackie O. pillbox hat. Staring at me. Because I was eating in a public place I did not vomit immediately, although I did curse like a motherfucker.

    1. I had my own reply to Suniverse but then read this and OH MY GAWD! Maggots are at the top of my can't see, don't wanna see, must not fucking see list! Once, the middle girl left a bag of salad in her bookbag for WEEKS after school ended. Just threw the backpack into her closet when summer started. Once we narrowed in on where the godawful smell was coming from that wouldn't seem to leave their room and my husband pulled out this baggie filled with blackness but also white wiggling things SHIT I'M ABOUT TO HURL ALL OVER AGAIN REMEMBERING.

  9. Oooooof that sounds incredibly unpleasant.

  10. I would have totally panicked. Since I have food allergies (pepper, can you believe it? I'm allergic to friggin pepper. Probably because it's the MOST common seasoning next to salt) and I'm a germ-a-phobe (Diagnosed and everything!) I tend not to eat new foods or at new places. If I even go to a friends house I gotta make sure of whats in the food and how it was prepared. And if a hair or is in it (or sometimes even if I get a bit of grizzle) I will lose my shit and I'm done eating. Since I have panic attacks (also diagnosed, yep, I'm officially f'ed up) it's never good. My ole man laughs at me though when it happens with food I prepared and the worst thing is that I can't blame someone else. I had a panic attack at the Atlanta airport, though not over food. Mine didn't seem to have any reason other than a fear of flying, but I can tell you that is NOT the place to lose your mind. Good for you for calming yourself down.

  11. I had a panic attack just reading this. Glad you made it home, I mean to Costco, ok.

  12. Damn. Just reading this got me right the fuck out of my mind. Hope you are ok.

  13. Snikes gurl. I hope you were brave enough to eat a Costco frozen yogurt, because besides being nonfat, they come in a vanilla/chocolate swirl option, and their velvety goodness can be had for a mere $1.50.

    HOWEVER don't eat their churros. Not because there's anything wrong with them (as far as I know), but the word churro rhymes with burro, which of course means donkey, and that's close enough to sound like it could be made from a slime donkey paste concoction. And ain't nobody want to be eating donkey meat, unless your on an island, and starving, and your other choice is rats.

  14. if there was an empty seat, why wasn't there enough room for your bag? something is amiss.

  15. That's why I bring food with me everywhere. Again, not an eating disorder per se, but more of a "Holy shit, if this plane crashes in the Andes I won't have to make bouilliabaise out of the co-pilot". Who's laughing now, bitches?

  16. I just started dabbling in the panic attack arena and did not know about the twenty minute waiting period...thank you so much for sharing.

  17. Ahhh, I'm with the Sarcasm Goddess - I think my pulse went up just reading it. That's seriously bad fucking luck with the salad and the bagel . . . especially the bagel. That's usually my fail-safe.
    Fucking carraway and carry on rules.
    Fuck all the Carries!

  18. I always travel with granola bars or crackers with cheese or peanut butter, hand wipes, and gum. Airport food sucks!

    Costco pizza is yummy!

    Glad you made it home safe.

  19. I broke out in a cold sweat just reading this! Total suckage- and COSTCO???


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