Choo choo! I am: back from Cedar Point, 37, angry at my shoulder, VERY HAPPY AT SALONPAS AND CERVICAL PILLOWS, and eating one million berries.
Cedar Point! With Greg! He had SUCH A BLAST. Thanks to Amy, Mary, Wesley, and Simon, who rallied around to help this happen for him, because I sprained my shoulder or possibly have a herniated disc or something and between that and migraine was in intense physical pain pretty much the whole trip. Oh my god that sucked. But Greg is still BOUNCING with glee, he had such an amazing time.
On the airplane from Vancouver, Greg, staring out the window: "First it was all HO gauge, mama, but now it's N gauge!" Bwah.
He rode one particular waterslide 100 times (Wesley counted,) the tilt-a-whirl 3 times in a row with Amy (and lobbied for more but we had to go,) fell in LOVE with the real steam engine, had a LOT of ice cream, got so many stuffies big and small as prizes and prezzies, and enjoyed grandly the... crappy hotel wifi?
Me: Okay, I'm walking Greg back to the hotel, he doesn't want to go on rides and wants to be back in the air conditioning.
Simon: TAKE ME TOO!
Me: Sure? I mean, you can just go by yourself any time if you want.
Simon, quietly: Aaaactually, I'm really lost. Please take me to the AC?
Me: Fine, fine! AC express! You two are totally in the same union.
Simon: The ungrateful children of the wifi!
Simon: We need t-shirts.
Greg: I would wear one! I love wifi!
Simon is 17 and Greg is 6, but their buddy comedy pretty much went down just as I'd hoped. XD
Amy won 1000 tickets on the wheel of fish. "1000 TICKETS" is a teeny tiny stripe one twentieth of the size of a regular prize stripe, surrounded by huge swaths of "4 TICKETS" and is pretty much just there to give you false hope. Many times have we inserted a dollar in to the wheel of fish and gotten 4 tickets. Or 10 or 20, y'know, something reasonable. Last year Wesley won 100 tickets and we were shocked as hell and took photos. But this year Amy spun the wheel, and we said "Ooh, close! But still 4." And the machine kept dispensing. And dispensing. And dispensing. AND THERE WERE 1000 TICKETS. It was epic. Amy got to pick a prize from the big shelf of dusty boxes that no one actually ever wins. We were kind of amazed the box had anything IN IT. And she picked... a railway crossing light and gave it to Greg. Dawwwwwwww. <3 <3 <3 He was all HEART EYES and as soon as we got home demanded to visit Gramma Peg ASAP
to see his loving grandmother
to set it up on the HO setup at her house. XD
We got to see tylik
again! She drove over from Cleveland for the evening, and won the adoration of the boys with a stuffed bobcat (Greg) and slug pictures (Simon.) And the adoration of the me with Salonpas, OMG.
I rode on 4 coasters, out of sheer bloody-mindedness. The Maverick was great! It twisted against the direction of my shit shoulder, so it didn't hurt, and ahhhh Maverick I love you forever. Then I rode the Rougarou and IT WAS A MISTAKE. As we went up the first hill I thought "Huh, maybe my headache is just starting to come back, must be time for meds" and then we hit the BOX YOUR HEAD curves and something just exploded in my head, I hurt so much. I couldn't keep my eyes open reliably, I was crying at normal sound levels, I had to be led by the elbow back to the hotel. Which turned out to be on the other side of... STROBE LIGHT AND HAMMERS FESTIVAL. Like, pretty much literally. Fireworks, show-tunes, light show, we had to pass immediately behind TWO kick-drummers, it was so hilariously THE WORST PLACE TO HAVE A MIGRAINE. I laugh-cried really hard.
The next day I was fool enough to try more coasters, though, and it went better! I went on the new wacky VR Iron Dragon experience! Iron Dragon is a fun but relatively tame coaster, and now for a couple hours a day they have the VR experience - you put on goggles and you're on a cart pulled by a horse which promptly plummets off a cliff and is snatched up by a dragon. It was awesome! Usually VR makes me feel gross and pukey, but being on a roller coaster makes the proprioception cues actually match up with the epic videogame visuals. Well done! And I went on the Gatekeeper just before dark, while Amy took Greg to Planet Snoopy (he wanted to stare at a waterfall for a while. Thrill rating: 1.) and wow, it was so smooth and wonderful. They greased that sucker. Gatekeeper has such gorgeous views of the park and is so swoopy and grand and the keyhole makes me laugh out loud happily every time. <3
So I got some good coaster times in. But oh man. Seriously thinking about whether I should do a trip like this again next year, because it brought in to sharp relief how not okay I am. At home I do okay. I have my home set up so that I can be in a comfortable / least painful position most of the time, I have access to my medication easily and have routines around getting food during best energy times, I have Greg set up with safe things to do both when I have energy to engage and when I don't, and I don't have to push outside of my safe-without-physical-repercussions boundaries to parent him. I go to work, and it's draining, but I have slack time set up for the day after. Travelling, with a random extra injury, taking Greg out of his routine, and having to improvise things for him to do, having to scrounge/arrange for food I can eat and that he is willing to eat, having to arrange for access to my pudding / meds / place to prepare same in new places every 4 hours, sleeping in a bed that wasn't great for my shoulder thing - I was kind of a wreck. I took Greg to the waterpark and then realized I couldn't, like, physically could not manage, to take him on a waterslide. (At which point Wesley saw the dismay on my face and took Greg off to Super Slide Playland for an hour while I sat in the shade.) At home I can fool myself that I'm pretty well, even to the point of feeling like I'm a faker, like I'm not really ill / disabled, I must just be lazy. But leave that bubble and oh man, I'm a hot mess. I'm so grateful I was travelling with sweet people who wanted to take care of me and who love Greg and wanted him to have fun. I mean, Amy went through TSA security TWICE so she could literally shoulder my burdens as far as she could on my way home. I'm a lucky lady. A lucky lady who should... maybe do some hard thinking about not getting in to overwhelming situations like this. I don't know. Seeing my far away people is important to me and worth a lot of trouble. And maybe just the shoulder nonsense was the straw that broke the camel's back and it would have been fine otherwise. I don't know. I'ma have some lunch and a nap and think about it in a few weeks when, hopefully, I have the full use of my arms again.
Scene: I have just bought Greg ice cream as a special treat for waiting patiently while we were taking turns riding the iron dragon, which he was both too young for and very disinclined to do anyway.
Greg: Thank you mama.
Me: Is it good?
Greg: It's great!!!
Me: I'm glad.
Greg: But it tasted better when I went with Uncle Wesley.
Me: I see.
Wesley: I have that effect on ice cream.