I survived Jurassic Park!!
Actually, I just got back from Puerto Rico, which [parts of it] looks a whole lot like Jurassic Park. And we were in a Jeep. On muddy roads. With goat extremities flying about.
I was ready for giant roaring, spitting, flesh-tearing lizards at every turn.
I was also ready for all the crappy parts of what going to a tropical region entail – mainly mosquitoes, sunburn, mosquitoes, theft, mosquitoes, and humidity. Also mosquitoes.
Don’t worry, I’ll go into great detail about all the things that were crappy about this vacation. But first – a few things that were surprisingly awesome:
1. No migraines!
I live in Northern California. It’s dry here, especially in the summer. I tend to get migraines fairly often, and they are triggered mostly by dehydration and stress, and when we go hiking, they are exacerbated by the altitude. In PR, we hiked to the top of El Yunque in the tropical rainforest, and no headache resulted. Not even a little one. Not one for the entire trip! Sure, my sweat never freaking evaporated, but it felt sooooo nice to not have to pop Excedrin all the time. Score one for the tropics.
2. No Breathe Right strips
When I go to bed, I look like a huge nerd. I pop in my retainer from high school, and for the past year or so, I’ve been wearing Breathe Right strips to bed because I inherited my dad’s clogged, gross nasal passages apparently. On this trip, I didn’t have to use a one. The air was fresh and clean from all the rain, and it moistened my sinuses with gentle wetness and joy. Squee!
3. Not having to moisturize after bathing
I developed eczema at the same time that my cancer symptoms were developing. They took all the cancer out of me, but the eczema stayed. This meant that I must moisturize like a madwoman after a hot shower or else my dry skin would get all itchy and scaly and I’d look like I belong in Jurassic Park. I figured out the hard way that in a tropical climate, too much moisture gave me heat rash – yaaaayyyyy. Sometimes I just hate my body. But the upside was that I could just airdry with none of my normal head-to-toe goo rituals and it felt so freeing!
4. Awesomely ripe fruit + delicious Puerto Rican coffee = regular BMs for dayz!
I really don’t think this one requires an explanation, except that Brian and I call this phenomenon “mango poo.”
So I didn’t realize or intend for this post to turn into a list of my medical ailments, but it has. I wrote an abbreviated journal while on the trip and it tended to read like a prison diary: “Gone 4 days now. Heat rash is spreading. 15 mosquito bites so far. I hope I have another mango poo.”
At this point, I don’t know which is the prison – PR or my desk at work; I’m actually developing a migraine as I write this.