It's interesting when and where teaching moments take place sometimes. Last Thursday I had the opportunity to fly to Dallas for a three day training session for a concern I volunteer with. My flight was at 7 am. Living an hour and a half away, and using the guide of needing to be at the airport 90 minutes before domestic flights, that meant I needed to be up at 2 am to make my flight.
Rough, but doable.
I was at my gate by 5:15.
I don't know why the first flights of the morning were running behind, but we didn't actually leave the ground until close to 8 am. From my recent experience of flying, I knew that it would be best to not have my eyes open during take-off and landing. I knew it, but I didn't follow through. The sunrise was so pretty. Until he banked, that is. I went from looking at the horizon to looking at the ground instantly-then the sky, then looking for the barf bag. I didn't need it, but I sure wanted to know where it was. The flight was uneventful-the best kind- but the landing was the same issue. Why must I look out the window or even have my eyes open?
Once on the ground, I stumbled my way to the shuttle and nearly fell into a support post. I even had my travel companions asking if I was OK.
At least it was a teaching moment.
Day one ran until 7 pm and I was exhausted. I was in bed by 7:45. If it weren't for me scanning the TV, I probably would have been sleeping by 8.
Then Friday morning hit. Or was it a bus? Nothing like a hangover without booze. A few of my friends kept looking at me during breakfast. Yeah, I feel like garbage. Thanks for asking.
As the day wore on, I began to feel better, and apparently it was noticeable. One good friend came up to me and said, "You must be feeling better. This was really educational for me to see what it is like when you are not doing so well, even though you probably didn't enjoy it."
Another teaching moment.
But none of those are what made me exclaim inside, "This right here, this is the reason I no longer farm."
That came on Saturday. And it didn't even happen to me.
There was another guy there who has Meniere's disease. Saturday morning, during breakfast, he cleared the table. But he wasn't an employee doing bus duty. He was eating, seated. In his words, "It was like my whole world tilted 90 degrees forward. The table just fell away from me. I even said, "Hey, what's going on", then it was like someone shoved me from behind."
He cleared the table and rolled on to the laps of two of the people seated next to him.
As the morning went on, it became the talk of the event. And a huge teaching moment. Several came up to me and asked if I had those types of attacks.
That would be a yes. Several.
They would gaze at both of us in disbelief that we had to live with the fear of drop attacks. Teachable moment indeed.
One of the gentlemen that this person landed on was a travel companion back home. It affected him so deeply that he was still asking and talking about it when we were in the home airport. Disbelief was the general thought.
The interesting thing about the person who had the drop attack is that it was his first in 2 and 1/2 years. Completely out of the blue. No warning sign at all. Boom! On the floor and a short time later, fine.
All I keep telling people is that disease has no guidelines. No plan it follows. It does what it wants, when it wants.
If it had been me and I was farming and was working around machinery being run by tractor power take off, I wouldn't be here to write this blog. It's that simple.
And THAT'S why I no longer farm.
'til next time
Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness