How I Almost Became a Yeti Snack

Recently, BFF and I did a thing. We went to Florida and Walt Disney World for the first time! Well, technically, it was not my first time as I had been as a small child, but I do not really remember any of it. So, when I got invited to be a part of the Shameless book signing, we decided to make a vacation and spend a week out in Florida playing as only the two of us could play at all the parks. By all, I really do mean all. Go home or go big, right? We really had no idea what to expect having never been there before and had no idea that people plan their fast passes out in advance. We just decided to go with the flow and grab whatever fast passes for rides that we could on the day we were in the parks. BFF and I are pretty laid back and really just wanted to experience the parks. Little did I know, one of the rides would be one of the most terrifying and thrilling rides I have ever been on.

We decided to hit Animal Kingdom as a half day as I had the book signing to get to that night. WOW. We totally underestimated how amazing Animal Kingdom truly is. Next time, we have decided to spend a full day there as it exceeded our expectations. I was in awe over all there was to see and do. Once we were in the park, we were able to grab a fast pass for a ride called Expedition Everest. We had no idea what the ride was or what was going to happen when we rode it. We decided to walk towards it and see what it was. As we approached, we saw what looked to like the Matterhorn and we were excited to see that Expedition Everest was a roller coaster as we both love coasters. I was a little apprehensive as I do not like the unknown but I was also excited.

The scene as we walked up to what would soon be the source of terror and panic

As we got in line to ride the ride, I convinced myself that this was some sort of take on the Matterhorn at Disneyland so there must be a Yeti. Oh the Yeti. I have a love hate relationship with that Yeti. I love the story and the atmosphere of the Matterhorn, but I truly hate how terrified the Yeti makes me feel. No really terror is how that Yeti makes me feel. It is dumb, I know. But all his growling and the darkness and the fast jerky movements of the Matterhorn makes the little girl in me terrified. I would even close my eyes as we approached where I knew the old school Yeti to be stationed before the ride was refurbished.  Now with the new scarier upgraded Yeti, it is even worse.  I have no idea why the Yeti terrifies me so much but it really does.  And we will not even talk about how much riding the Matterhorn at night makes me panic but I do it anyways.  So my panic over the unknown of Expedition Everest was now rising with the thought of the Yeti being in the ride as well. It was a panic mixed with excitement of the coaster and I was anxious to ride it and see what it was like.

We climbed into our train car and I could already tell my anxiety was rising. The story in the ride line definitely told the story of the Yeti so I was hoping he would not be in the ride scaring me. But something told me he would be. Damn. We climbed in and I got ready. As the ride took off into a huge hill, my panic and fear also included not knowing what was going to happen and I started my nervous giggling that BFF finds hilarious. She knew I was nervous and just told me it would be okay, patting my hand like I was a small child. Then the ride took off down the hill and I was left screaming and laughing as I saw the signs of the Yeti flashing by me at high speeds. Oh no.  I was right.  Then, all of a sudden, the ride stopped. I mean a dead stop.  At the top of the mountain, the track in front of us was all mangled.  It was obvious the Yeti was to blame for the destruction. Having the ride at a complete stop made my panic rise even higher. I turned to BFF and this conversation happened:

Me (in a panic filled voice which might have been an octave higher): “Is this normal? Is the ride supposed to stop? Why is the track mangled? What is happening? Am I going to die? Is the Yeti going to eat me?”

BFF: “Why are you asking me? I have never ridden this either!”

Stranger in front of us turns around all excited: “OH YEAH! This is totally normal! We are about to plunge backward into total darkness as the Yeti chases us!”

Me (now totally terrified and my eyes popping out of my head): “WHAAAAAAAAT?”

BFF to total stranger: “Um, thanks for absolutely terrifying my best friend. So glad you didn’t say anything before we got on!”

And then I was plunged to my doom backwards in the dark without any warning with the growling Yeti chasing us and I am sure all BFF could hear was my total screams of terror. The ride stopped again in a few seconds. In a cave. A Yeti cave. WTF. This was the worst ride in the history of rides. What is going to happen? Is the Yeti going to come up out of this cave and take me into his lair to be his next snack? Why Disney why? First the almost gassing when I met Thor and now I was to be devoured by the Yeti in some cave in Animal Kingdom? Disney why you got to be like this? Luckily I did not have time to do anything but leave my screams of panic and terror in the cave as the ride quickly continued. Thank goodness I was not to be a Yeti snack. This time.

As the ride came to an end, BFF turned to me with her smile of glee and saw the fear, panic and tears on my face (which in reality were from the speed of the coaster and not my sheer terror of the Yeti) and she immediately was like “OH NO! Are you okay?” Shakily as the adrenaline of the ride surged through my veins, I replied “That was fun! And so scary! I hate the Yeti! I thought I was going to be eaten!” and I meant it. I really did enjoy it, terror and all. The total stranger that had been in front of us was laughing as she climbed out of the car, probably at my screams throughout most of the ride as BFF again thanked her for not telling me about the ride in advance. I walked out of the ride, my limbs feeling like jello from the adrenaline and fear, my heart racing, and I actually was clutching my chest as BFF and I discussed how fun the ride was even though I secretly thought the Yeti might still be behind me waiting to eat me. I might have sneaked a look behind me when BFF wasn’t looking just to be sure. Damn Yeti.

Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did almost have a panic attack on a ride at Animal Kingdom because of the Yeti but I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl who was almost a Yeti snack Running. The experiment continues…

How Universal Studios Again Scarred Me for Life

BFF and I had been trying to figure out how to get her Momma to go with us to Universal Studios out in California to see all the Harry Potter stuff since it opened last year since we are all huge Potterheads (Harry Potter fans for those not familiar with the term).  We couldn’t figure out how to plan it so we just decided that we had 4 days off and let’s tell her we would take her for her birthday.  It worked,  We planned everything in a few days and then set off to drive to Hogwarts.  I was super excited to see it now it was opened and to ride the two rides in there.  Now, if you have read my blogs before, you know that I had an “incident” in their House of Horrors attraction there that involved me probably being on a training video on how to handle a grown woman freaking out and crying in a ball on the floor. That really did happen. I think that I might even be tagged when I enter the park from now on.  You never know.  But Harry Potter rides should be fine, right?  Little did I know that I would come out scarred for life from the main ride.  No really.

It truly was magical walking into the village of Hogsmeade and seeing the giant castle of Hogwarts looming over us.  Everything they did to make it look like you were in a portion of the world of Harry Potter and I felt like I was going to cry with happiness.  When you are that big of a fan of something and then see it brought to life, it can be overwhelming.  And I am a HUGE fan of Harry Potter.  The books were ones that I could not stop reading and I also love the movies.  So to see it come to life was a little like sensory overload.  In a good way.  After being awestruck by all the sights around us, we went to go get in line for the main Harry Potter Ride.

Hogwarts Express!  
It was like entering the pages of a book
The Hogwarts School of Wizardry….and terror

There was hardly any line so we actually had to go quickly through most of the line and the inside of the castle at times, which was a total bummer.  BFF, her Momma and I wanted to enjoy all the aspects of the ride and soak up the experience.  We tried to go as slow as possible and allow people to go around us.  Note:  it was super dark inside the castle and hard to figure out where you are supposed to go!  I was worried we were going to get lost inside Hogwarts (not that it would be a bad thing) or that the parentals were going to misstep.  Eventually we got to the start of the ride and I was starting to get nervous.  Universal is notorious for the Fat Girl test of the seats outside the ride and this ride was no exception.  I was terrified to sit in those seats and realize that I was too big to sit in the seats and ride the ride we were most looking forward to during our trip.  But here we were so the Fat Girl seat test was about to happen live and then I saw there was a moving walkway to get on the ride.  Oh yikes.  And this walkway moved at light speed I tell you.  It was super fast.  I don’t even know how people who have to transfer from wheelchairs can do it.  The parentals went before us and then BFF and I ran on to our seats.  As I was seeing if I fit, I looked to my left and saw BFF’s Momma.  Wait.  Didn’t she get on before us?  Holy crap!  I quickly reached out my hand and pulled her and BFF’s Daddy to the seat.  They might have gotten left behind as fast as that thing was moving.  I saved the parentals from certain death by Harry Potter moving walkway I am sure.   Then the workers started coming around to pull the harness down on us.  Harnesses? Wait.  What?  What is this?  Are we gonna die?  I pulled my harness down as far as it would go and then the worker came and pulled it down even further, squishing my stoob and making it hard to breathe.  He looked at my face and apologized saying it had to go that far to ride.  I just nodded as I was afraid to breathe and wondered if there would be a bruise on my stoob later.  And then we got started.

Everything was going fine and I was amazed and loving the ride until it took a turn that made my whole body go cold with fear.  Spiders.  Spiders everywhere.  Oh nope.  Hard pass.  I have a unnatural terror of spiders.  And I do mean terror.  Like I cannot even do pictures of spiders.  Nope.  When we go see It’s Tough To Be A Bug in Disneyland, there are giant cartoon spiders that come out of the ceiling and I freak out every single time.  Like legit freak out.  I have to close my eyes and BFF has to tell me when I can look.  So big giant spiders super close to my face, coming at me as I fly by?  Big hard pass.  I immediately start screaming in terror and close my eyes, tucking my feet underneath me in case they try to touch me.  It was terrifying.  BFF touched my leg and told me I could open my eyes.  As soon as I did, I see a GIANT SPIDER coming towards me and BFF yells “I LIED!  CLOSE THEM!  ABORT ABORT!”  I was so terrified I began hyperventilating and when she told me I could really open my eyes I wasn’t sure what would be there.  The next few moments of terror involved The Whomping Willow trying to kill me and then Dementors flying towards me and reaching for me.  Screw this ride.  Screw it.  It was hard to tell when I could open my eyes and maybe I should have had them closed the entire time judging by the speed of my heart rate and the tears running down my face.  I could barely enjoy the ride I was so scared and screaming my head off.  When the ride ended and we managed to run off the moving walkway, BFF and her Momma started asking me if I was ok as I had tears running down my face and I was breathing hard.  I couldn’t feel my hands or feet because I had hyperventilated so badly.  I wanted to curl up in a little ball and cry from being so scared.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think Harry Potter would terrify me so badly.  Also, I might be on another training video.  Pretty sure.

Before the terror.  Enjoying the magic.
Nothing a little Butterbeer won’t fix

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  Well, that might be a bit of an understatement as I felt like I might die.  I did survive the Harry Potter Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood but I didn’t die.  I am The Fat Girl who I am sure is on several training videos at Universal on how to handle a grown ass woman freaking out Running.  The experiment continues…

When Life Hands You A Tarantula….Shudder

Sometimes life hands you a curve ball and you stand there like wtf?  Sometimes it is a giant pile of poo that you can’t decide if you should wade through it or shovel it.  And even better is when life hands you a giant tarantula, putting your fear in overdrive and you stand there terrorized, not knowing what to do because you literally cannot think.  Even typing the word tarantula gives me the willies…they literally scare the poo out of me.  That is what happened to me this week…I even wish it had been a big pile of poo to wade through instead of a health crisis that was scary and really made me realize, as a nurse, that I need to stand up for myself better.

It all started out as a simple little cold.  I got the usual I work with snot nosed little children all day cold that most Peds/PICU nurses end up with once a season.  Being asthmatic, I did what I was supposed to do and started my inhaled steroids and using my inhaler on a regular basis so that I would not get an upper respiratory infection.  I lost my voice with this cold, probably because I immediately started coughing but I did not feel bad so I went to work.   Yeah I was a little snotty and coughing and had a squeak of voice, but I was determined to make it through the shift.  My co-workers were all concerned since I sounded like a Minnie Mouse cartoon, but I assured them I was fine.  As the night wore on, I could tell something was going horribly wrong. yet, I managed to put myself in our treatment room and give myself breathing treatments to keep going.  I met BFF for lunch halfway through the shift and realized I could barely do the simplest function…that of eat, talk and breathe at the same time.  She looked at me concerningly as I was obviously struggled and could not finish my lunch but again I assured her I was fine. Even though it felt like I was breathing through a straw and not a big fat McDonald’s straw, but more like a coffee stirrer straw.  Think that is easy smartass?  Then you go get a coffee stirrer straw and breathe through ONLY that and see how it feels.  Yeah, it pretty much sucks ass.  A few hours later, I went to the staffing meeting and made the decision I needed to go down to the ED when I could not walk and talk at the same time.  So downstairs I went.  The ED doc, at my own facility, treated me like I was a nuisance and basically told me there wasn’t much he could do for me but give me a different kind of breathing treatment and some narcotics to stop the coughing and send me home.  I was a little put off but agreed.

Sexy breathing treatment in progress….

I asked the nurse to hold the narcotics for me though…I hate the way they make me feel and I needed to drive myself home. The breathing treatment was a combo of Albuterol (my normal inhaler) and Atrovent (a new medication for me) and actually made me breathe better. When the doc came back in, he was surprised I refused the narcotics and said “I guess you aren’t drug seeking then” to which I was floored.  What even makes you want to say that to me?  Do I look like a druggie to you?  Last I checked, I was NOT Nurse Jackie.  At that point I just wanted to get out of there.  I left the ED with a new prescription for the new inhaler and went home.

Here is where life handed me a tarantula.  I tucked myself into bed and started myself on a new medication regimen that included a new inhaler.  I thought a day of rest and I would feel better and at work.  Halfway through the next night I thought something was wrong.  I felt just plain weird.  Out of my body.  Of course I just thought maybe I needed more sleep.  I got up to get some water and noticed right away that it was hard to breathe and I was super dizzy.  My eyes also felt wrong.  I stumbled into the bathroom (and I do mean stumbled) to see that my eyes were swollen and red.  I struggled to get enough air to get back to bed to try to get to my phone.  I must have passed out upon reaching my bed and as I awoke later I struggled to get to the bathroom to pee.  I literally collapsed on my bathroom floor trying to get on the toilet.  I felt like a beached whale, laying there on the tile trying to decide if I could get back to my phone to call someone to help me or could I get on the toilet to pee.  I sure as hell didn’t want to call someone to come help me like 911 while I was covered in my own urine struggling to breathe.  That would be awesome.  Plus they would have to break into my house considering I sure as heck could not get to the door to let them in.  I managed to get my breathing under control and pee (in the toilet not on myself) and back to bed somehow.  I immediately stopped using the new inhaler as I felt like that was making my breathing worse for some reason and my eyes swell shut.  I texted Bubby and asked him to come over and help me take a shower as I was still super dizzy.  I just knew that something was wrong with me and could not put my finger on it. Bubby agreed there was something wrong.   He came over and with his Pocket GF, they changed my sheets, made sure I had movies, Gatorade, kleenex and everything else at my bedside that I might need.  Pocket GF even did some of her awesome dance moves for me.  They are super awesome and you guys should be jealous that you were not there to see them.  When my PICU Intensivist called me later and I asked about a possible allergic reaction to the inhaler, he immediately asked me “Do you have a peanut allergy?”  YES.  YES I DO.  WTH?  Apparently Atrovent is contraindicated in people with peanut allergies and the ED doc should have known this.  I followed what our PICU doc told me to do to help the allergic reaction and sat there in my bed and got mad.  Why would the ED doc, with my chart in his hand, allergies written all over it, prescribe me such a medication?  I could have DIED from this medication considering I have an ANAPHYLACTIC reaction to peanuts.  Thank goodness I didn’t but the repercussions of this allergic reaction have NOW caused me to go on oral steroids and eye drops for the inflammation.  Stuff that didn’t need to happen if he had taken the time to LOOK at my chart.  I am beyond furious.  That doc needs a swift kick in the taint.  Seriously.  Or maybe he need his car filled with tarantulas so he can feel the fear I felt as I almost peed myself on my bathroom floor because I could not breathe.

Oh yeah I DIDN’T die today.  I probably almost could have from the new medication that I did not ask enough questions about even as a nurse but I didn’t die.  I am fat girl who now will stand up for herself and put a load of tarantulas in that doc’s car as long as I don’t have to touch them at all (shudder) running.  The experiment continues….