Have you ever gone to an island and burnt yourself to a crisp on the first day so badly that you literally cannot face the sun the rest of your vacation resulting in the purchase of an expensive and otherwise useless straw hat sold by a man who guarantees you a two year warranty (a year for each tooth, I'm assuming), and then you found pieces of straw intermittently strewn through your suitcase upon arrival home?
"Excuse me sir, I believe there was a two year warranty on this...."
"No habla ingles, ma'am"
And thus began my journey to the DR.
The Doctor, you wonder?
Nope, that comes later in the story. I am talking about the Dominican Republic.
Sunny, beautiful Dominican Republic. It really was. We had a great time. Despite being so toasted that we moaned putting on sunscreen, we were still able to lay on the beach. The huge umbrella that we paid for under the table allowed us to be outside enjoying the beach, and avoiding the death rays. And, when we wanted to go in the water, and would be exposed to the rays, we wore shirts and hats in. What? You would have, too.
Nights on the island were fun, too. We were sleeping above a nightclub that pumped a special Domincan beat- in the word's of the great Lional Richie, "All Night Long". Luckily, we were so tired from the sun, it barely woke us up. Niether did the earthquake that occured. (It was my first!) Another great thing about the night was that there were barely any bugs on the island! This was especially exciting to me as one of my least favorite parts of summer is the unbearable amount of misquito bites I get after the sun goes down. They love me so much that people use me as bug repellant.
'Do you need bug spray?'
'Oh, no, I'm fine, I'm sitting next to Sally.'
So, in the D.R. I wore flowery smelling lotions and perfumes without a worry that any bug would find me. When we stepped out for dinner, I did not have to cover my legs and arms and it was fantastic! It wasn't until I got on the plane home and the pressure from the cabin somehow found some bugbites (1-see foot note) and swelled them up to the width of a tennis ball on two parts of my forearm, that I realized everything was not fine.
Being the disciplined person I am, I resisted scratching the bumps.
I'm kidding. Of course I scratched them! I ended up with huge, swollen, red, horrible bumps all over my arms and as if things couldn't get worse, one popped up right between my eyes. RIGHT BETWEEN MY EYES!
It was around the time a bump formed BETWEEN MY EYES that I went to the doctor, who perscribed me steroids. Great, I thought, anything to get rid of these bumps. Steriods seem like a really neat idea.... (this is what I like to call foreshadowing).
Now, I am a generally happy person, so when the 'roids took me to the happy place, the giggly, on top of the world elation that comes only from drugs, I won't lie, I kind of liked it. It seemed fine, no big deal. However, when it took me down to the burst out crying at dinner, barely controlable rage from reading an email place, I knew something was wrong.
Then I made the mistake of reading about it on the internet.
Suddenly, I was sure I had every symptom possible affiliated with steroid use; neseau, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, euphoria, false feelings of being mistreated, weakness in muscles, extreme fatigue, etc., etc., etc.. And I won't even get into the withdrawal symtoms once you come off it.. I was reading stories about long-time and life-long users and comparing my measly few days with their troubles. The people closest to me got the worst of it as I tried to remain as quiet and alone as possible in public. Steroids affect everyone differently, but personally I have found that they are not my friend!!
As of yesterday I am off the 'roids and starting to feel better.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure if anyone caught yesterday's edition of MuscleMadnessMagazine...
"Sensitive Sal has canceled her plans to compete in the upcoming MuscleMa'am competition in Daytona Beach, FL this June. She had just signed up this week. When asked for a comment, Sal's manager said she would be dedicating her extra time to Adventures with a Sensitive Sally."
1 They were not bug bites, but some kind of freak allergic reaction to the sun (2-see other footnote)
2 Either the sun or some bug bite...