Sunday, February 10, 2008

Now a real Wisconsinite, and electrical misfirings

I went cross-country skiing for the first time yesterday afternoon (unless you count my shuffling around the backyard Wednesday evening to get a feel for the skis). I mentioned this to my sister last night and she was surprised that it was only the first time, given that I've lived in Wisconsin for a total of almost ten years already. I only need to add snowshoeing to the skating and skiing and I will be a true citizen of the Upper Midwest.

Well, I might have to start deer hunting, too.

We were out for about two hours. It was ridiculously warm when we started out -- in the high 20s -- and so after our first lap I foolishly exchanged the Pearl Izumi wind- and water-resistant lobster gloves I had been wearing for acrylic knit ones, leaving the lobster gloves in the truck. Foolishly because I was failing to account for the fact that I fall down about once every half hour, meaning the knit gloves were fated to be covered with snow that would melt into water from the heat of my hands and, in turn, freeze my poor digits.

Aside from this one problem, though, all but one of the falls were quite perfect -- straight backward or forward with no twists of the joints. The last one was particularly effortless, ending me in cradled, zero-gravity style, in a drift at least a couple of feet deep. It would have been nice to lay down there for a full five minutes, but I think the wet-glove factor brought me to my senses and I was back up after less than one.

That was the good part of yesterday, plus a game night and friends J&J, whose wedding I officiated this past summer. Alas, we did not play Scrabble, but we did play one called Moods that was pretty entertaining and brought out my inner exhibitionist (in the actor sense, not the taking-your-clothes-off sense).

The bad part of yesterday -- or perhaps more accurately, today -- was waking up at 1:30 with the overwhelming sense that I should not have eaten a jalapeno turkey burger last night. Don't know if the burger was the cause of the pending stomach upset or just what happened to be there when last week's illness decided to return, but I floated in and out of sleep for the next three hours.

My peculiarity is that, when my stomach decides to be upset, it does not usually act very quickly, but instead sends my body into what I can only surmise is either adrenaline overload or continuous electrical misfirings. Muscles throughout my body, but especially in my limbs, take turns contracting with ridiculous force; so, for example, I fade into sleep for a few seconds only to be jolted awake by an arm flinging up in the air and refusing to lower itself for the next two minutes.

I have no idea what this is about; if you do, please tell. I will say that I have been under medical care a couple of times when this was happening (once during a particularly violent migraine that required emergency room treatment, and once during a high fever), and neither time did the doctors or nurses express any particular concern about this. One told me, "This just happens to some people," but I've never read about it anywhere.

At 4:30, by stomach finally made its move and I could go back to sleep. I was supposed to teach Sunday school today, but I talked to my co-teacher and he said there was no use dragging myself into church with the risk of distributing aerosolized vomit in the ladies' room. Though I doubt that would happen; I don't expect to eat for the of the day.

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