My 1st Vacation-“Surviving the Altitude”

August 13, 2012 0 Comments Uncategorized

Hello friends-

As you can see from the title of this blog, “My First Vacation”, i took my first vacation since my diagnosis 3.5 years ago.  I chose to visit somewhere fairly close and where i have some family to see (which i haven’t seen in about 12-15 yrs). I went to Parker, Co with my boyfriend. It was our first vacation together too.  We rented a roomy SUV and drove there. We took shortcut on a narrow 2 lane back country road. Although it was great cutting out about an hour of time, it was not so much fun as there were no reststops to use bathroom facilities. Luckily, due to my kidney disease, i don’t pee all that much and can hold it much longer than the average person. i held out til we made it into a small town.

We arrived early evening on a Thursday and my sweet uncle had lasagna baking in the oven.  It was so good to see my uncle! He was glad to see me and to have another man in the house that can help him fix things! ha! It was an extremely busy time for my aunt and i didn’t see too much of her until her big show was completed.  She’s a dance teacher and produces and directs a big production every year with all her students. The ages range from cute little toddlers in their tights and tutus, to graceful young women graduating from high school. Some gals had been a part of her dance academy for 15 years! There was ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop dancing. The production was Snow White. It was amazing! The costumes were beautiful, the dancing superb, and the story line was enjoyably funny! She had 4 shows that weekend and Tom and I got to see the last show. I know some of these gals have a future in dancing and i look forward to seeing their talents.

We took it easy that first night and also the next day- went on a walk then went to Denver for an art fair and ate at Breckenridge Brewery, right next to Coors Stadium. The brewery was eerily rather empty for a Friday night, with just a handful of customers.  I had a lamb burger. It was quite delicious. I used my leftover meat and mixed it in with some scrambled goose eggs. Speaking of goose eggs, my aunt made us a delicious breakfast that fri morning as she had eggs from her brother’s farm- they were a blend of goose, duck and I believe range free chickens.  Very interesting. They were definitely edible. I don’t think i could eat them on a daily basis…

Saturday, we drove to Colorado Springs- did some hiking in the Garden of the Gods; and attempted to go to Pike’s Peak.  I had been to both places as a teenager, it was great to take my time, take in the beautiful scenery, and to create new memories with my boyfriend.  I couldn’t believe the strength and energy I had to endure the hiking. These trails were more for the “expert or experienced” hikers. As I observed these other hikers, they had the proper shoes, the backpacks, some walking sticks…Here I was wearing flip flops. I kind of forgot how cold it gets up in the mountains.  Oops.

Like I mentioned, we attempted Pike’s Peak. We drove around after hiking the Garden of the Gods and just so happened to stumble upon the Cog rail for Pike’s Peak.  We parked and walked into the train station, only to find out we had just missed the last ride of the day by 15 minutes.  Bummer! We decided to drive there instead. As soon as we got up to the toll gate, we saw barricades and a sign that read: Road Closed til further notice. We also saw several dump trucks, bulldozers, and other yellow construction vehicles, but not a single worker in site (it was after 5:30). Double bummer! So, onward back home.

I went to bed early knowing that we had to wake up early the next morning to drive to the the tree lines. This is when things start to go down hill for me… We left the house around 9a to drive at least 2 hours to Loveland to see and hike “real mountain” at least 10,000 ft. As soon as we start climbing and the driving is more snake like, that’s when i decided to lay down as i was feeling quite queasy. i didn’t care about missing out on scenery. We parked to get out and hike.  This time, i was much more prepared by wearing tennis shoes, a sweatshirt, zip up hoodie, and a light coat.  I didn’t care what i looked like, i was gonna stay warm this time. i wasn’t too eager to hike to much and these were more the advanced trails for advanced hikers.  Again, i don’t fall into this category what so ever! We had limited time to spend hiking in the mountains because we had to drive back to catch the dance production as it was a matinee show.  We made it home with just enough time to change clothes and for me to do a dialysis treatment before heading off to the show.  Afterwards, my sweet aunt treated us to dinner to celebrate the success of her show.

I was still feeling blah with my pulse racing and elevated blood pressure due to the elevation.  I still took it easy Monday in hopes of being able to enjoy a boat ride later that evening.  Due to some vehicle/mechanical difficulties, the boat trip was cancelled.  Another bummer! To show our utmost appreciation to my aunt and uncle for their generous hospitality, Tom and I cooked a gourmet dinner for them. We grilled vegetable kabobs, made my famous green tea rice and seered some tuna steaks with fresh guacamole.  They couldn’t believe how delicious of a meal we made them! They asked us to move out there permanently, ha!

Tuesday, we kind had another laid back day. My aunt took us on a tour of her dance studio and the humble beginnings of her less than 1000 square feet of space with no mirrors and a boom box to a beautiful, large space of over 4000 square feet with lots of mirrors and adequate sound system.  What a great story! Afterwards,we got to take my uncle’s Harley out for a test ride. I wasn’t thinking to bright (again) in terms of dressing appropriately. I had on denim capris and wedge sandals.  My legs and feet were on fire! It was a combination of the hot sun rays and the heat from the exhaust pipes of the bike.  One very important thing to remember when riding a Harley, especially, is to be very conscientious of the exhaust pipes, so one does not get burned.  After taking a break to relieve our sore cheeks, (not facial), i climbed back on, thinking I had cleared the pipes, only to find that I hadn’t. I burned the top of my foot so it was even more so on fire. i tried to think cool and cold thoughts to keep my mind and body preoccupied. Once, we made it back home, i put ice on my foot. My uncle was quite surprised to see us back so soon.  We took it easy until early evening.

I was so excited to be meeting up with a friend of mine that I had competed with in Miss Kansas USA over 12 years ago as she and her husband had moved to (of all places), Parker, Co a year ago and just so happened to live a mile or 2 from my aunt and uncle.  We went to Texas Roadhouse and spent a couple hours catching up on 12 years.  My friend is opening a pilates studio in Parker and was extremely busy getting all the equipment and other preparations done. W weren’t sure if we’d have time to get together.  Praise God, we did! Thanks to the social media tool of Facebook, we were able to reconnect with each other.  Her studio is now open and she’s having a blast living out a big dream of hers! I am so proud of her!  If you live in the Denver, Colorado or Parker, Colorado area, go see her- her studio is Mile Hile Pilates and my aunt’s dance studio is Parker Dance.  I have given both women each other’s contact information as I feel they would be great business referrals of each other’s profession.

On our day of return, the weather was rather scary looking and as we approached Hays, Ks, it was a rain downpour with no visibility to drive and we kept our eyes peeled for tornadoes.  We were both a little nervous driving home and of course, it took a little longer to do so.

I survived the altitude sickness as well as traveling on dialysis, not to mention being together with Tom for 7 consecutive days. in fact, I could very much get used to being together with him…;)

Yes, we did take some pictures and as soon as I make time to upload them onto a flash drive so I can post some with my blogs, I will do so. I am still babysitting which takes up a great deal of my time and most of my energy, thus the many excuses for the delayed blogs.

I have a couple appts this week with the Transplant Team and my nephrologist- so I will try to get out another blog at the end of the week or at the latest, the end of next week.

Thank you always for your continued love, dedicated prayers and support!




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