I'm sure I've posted with this title before, but nothing else will suffice. We spent last week (a half term break) in Copper Mountain, Colorado, skiing. Anyone who read this blog over Christmas might recall that I contracted acute Bronchitis for the two weeks we were there, and couldn't go outside without hacking up a lung, never mind ski. So last week marked fourteen months since I'd been on the slopes and I was a tad nervous to say the least. As any skier (how DO you spell that word?) knows, skiing when you're tense and nervous is never a good idea.
However things started going pear-shaped before we were half way up the mountains from Denver airport. Since we'd given ourselves hours to get to Chicago's airport (during Friday night rush hour traffic) and arrived early, we sat down for a leisurely meal. I shared a delicious thin crust cheese pizza with the Little Guy, and started regretting it about two and a half hours later. Standing in the car rental office in Denver, the Queenager said I looked "paler than usual" and I remember trying to decide whether I was going to barf or have explosive diarhhea at some point in the very near future. Apart from being "totally grossed out" at this, no one took much notice as I have a reputation for hyperbole, but I confess to being a little concerned.
It's usually about a two hour drive up the mountain, but this was late Friday night in driving snow and the beginning of a three day weekend - ie. lots of people trying to get to various ski resorts along Interstate 70. About a third of the way up, the sweats and dry heaving started coming in waves, accompanied by chronic stomach pains. "I think we need to stop at the next possible place", I said, terrified that "something" was going to happen right there in the car. At that very second, we realised we were in stand still traffic and about ten miles away from the nearest possible exit. "Oh my god", I kept saying, as I wondered just what I could do.
"Should I pull over?" asked the Ball & Chain. Normally, in such a desperate situation, I would have said yes. I was at the point where all you want to do is lie down on a nice cold floor - or snow in this case. However, since there were several "Special people" (ie. who don't follow rules) speeding up the hard shoulder, we would have been risking life and limb by pulling over. Plus, the traffic was literally inching along so whatever happened would have happened very publicly, and knowing my luck I would probably have been arrested for public indecency.
I got a plastic bag at the ready just in case, but to be honest, at this point I was more worried about the other end. With about ten minutes between each wave, I decided on the "mind over matter" approach. Since the waves weren't getting any worse, I figured that if I could just ride them out we'd be fine. About twenty of the longest minutes later we reached Copper and stopped at the first available place. Apparently I was a sight to behold as I tried to run to the loos with buttocks squeezed as tightly together as possible. I staggered through the door, only to find someone in line in front of me. I toyed with the idea of begging and crying but she was about 15 and probably wouldn't have even responded, let alone understood my dilemna.
At this point I was utterly panicked, but avoided public disgrace and a nasty mess by sitting on the marble sink surround - if you get my drift.
I'm happy to say that a) it wasn't pretty but it wasn't a recurring event, b) I happened to have a small bottle of perfume in my bag which came in very handy, and c) I am learning that large amounts of melted cheese are a thing of the past for me.
As I said, that was just the start of the week.....