Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lo$er$ R U$

Holy High Rollers, I survived Las Vegas!

How did that happen? Well, I followed my own advice for those travelling with fibromyalgia or other chronic illness. 1)  My family and I discussed our itinerary beforehand and agreed upon things to do and see ensuring that no one came away with unmet expectations - other than my wallet.

2)  I started packing 4 days ahead of departure. I tackled one category at a time. First, I assembled my medications as this is the top time-consuming task. My meds are vital carry-on luggage rated only slightly more important than my make-up bag. It's a tough call. This involves measuring out the correct number of numerous medications (plus a few extra) and placing them into their labelled containers. For security reasons, I must provide a signed note from my doctor to present to customs officials. Apparently they now need to know why I am carrying diarrhea pills into their country.

3)  Next, the trauma-inducing selection of wardrobe is decided upon, followed by jewelry, shoes and accessories. This advance packing strategy worked because it wasn't until take-off that I finally collapsed this time around. 

I didn't leave Vegas as a rich woman. Gee, what were the odds of that? As the experts say, the house almost always wins. Apparently it's not just the bar maids that are stacked. I lost more often than Queen Celine pounds her chest during a sappy love ballad. I didn't break even ... I broke the bank, though. In my defense, it was slot-alloted loot. It would be madness not to try for the big Kahuna.

During one particularly late casino run, I sat slumped on the machine, bleary-eyed, semi-conscious. Just one more try... I'll get lucky on the next one ... My head did the sleep/snap back/sleep routine. When I face-planted on the machine (inadvertently triggering the maximum bet with my nose) I dragged myself back to the hotel. I didn't sleep well, as expected and I was noticeably achier the next day. I will admit to breaking a few fibro rules. I stayed up into the wee hours, long past exhaustion. I pushed myself further than I should have, once or twice. I was able to avoid a flare by indulging in naps and upping my Tramacet as needed. Wouldn't you know it? Most of my energy came at the beginning and end of the vacation - never during the actual holiday. *slaps forehead*

Living in the wilds of VegasWorld is a feral business - nothing like living in the Real World. You can do anything at any time in Las Vegas. People sleep all day and party all night. The stores stay open well past midnight. You can hire Pastor Elvis to sing Blue Suede Shoes while you marry your second cousin. Talk about falling down the Rabbit Hole. It's easy to lose sense of night and day ... which probably explains how I found myself hopelessly lost in a shopping mall at 1:00 a.m.

You'd think it would be easy to find your way around a mall that is completely circular, right? Not so much for fibro-foggy folks. A few dead-end aisles branched off from the circle and I found these with no problem. I don't know about you but I'm not especially clever at one in the morning. Fatigued and wearing flimsy flip-flops, I trudged around Miracle Mile Mall, bogged down with heavy shopping bags. I was already discouraged by walking in the WRONG direction, TWICE. How had this circle morphed into a maze? I had visions of myself as a little blonde mouse scurrying around a maze, making one wrong turn after the other.

As if being lost wasn't stressful enough, I noticed the remaining standers-by were young men, stinkin' drunk. Then I remembered it was Spring Break. A few of them eye-balled me as I plodded along. I didn't worry until I noticed a few of the sots were staring at my shopping bags. Here I was - a single woman, alone, late at night, struggling with big shopping bags that obviously implied I had money. Can you say easy pickins'? A young man staggered his way over to me, too close for comfort. I stood my ground, looked square at him. GET LOST, I snarled with courage that I definitely didn't feel. He slurred something unintelligble and stumbled away. When I accidentally found the lobby of the hotel, I was relieved but not for long. A brawl had broken out. I don't care to see violence up close even if one of them is too pissed to throw a straight punch. I walked faster when I heard one of the men threaten a woman that was attempting to break up the fight. Both fascinated and alarmed, a crowd gathered around, ripping cell phones from pockets to film the spectacle. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the fight had already been posted to YouTube (along with several hundred hits) by the time the bugger on the floor got to his feet.

Needless to say, I was very relieved to get back to our hotel room. By that time I was a walking hurt with a stiff neck, sore feet, knees, hips, lower back, upper back, neck and an impending headache. Hell, I hurt everywhere. Fear and pushing way past your limits will do that.

On a positive note, we watched a spectacular Cirque de Soleil show. We saw the big hotels go dark simultaneously for Earth Hour. The Trump Tower was tardy, by the way. Someone will be fired.

I didn't hear the ka-ching that I was hoping for but it was still a lovely little get-away. Having fun with your family on a very cool vacation? Priceless.