Adventures of a PD Diva At Girl Scout Day Camp: by Maria De Leon

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Seems like no matter what I do trouble always finds me. Benefit usually is a good story for years to come.

As some of you may know, I have been dealing with chronic upper respiratory infections and severe bouts of asthma and bronchitis since September. Each time I think is over – wham there it comes again! I feel like that mucus family shown on T.V, about some decongestant medicine, have decided to make my body their permanent residence with kids, in-laws and pets. My friend says is because I am too hospitable …so I have taken to sing Taylor’s Swifts ‘shake it off’ see if they decide to go and even added ‘somebody I used to know’ by Gotye. But nothing!

This chronic hacking and coughing is becoming a major inconvenience to say the least. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to help out with Girl Scout camp as first aide – sure I said since my daughter was volunteering as well and I seemed to be back to my usual cheery disposition without a sign of infection insight. No later had I finished committing myself did I start feeling ill again. I thought this will pass by time weekend comes around. Plus not only do I enjoy an opportunity to be involved in my daughter’s life and activities especially since our time together is drawing near as she heads off to college soon; but I still have to drive to and fro.

However, the crud which has remained a mystery as to the cause was not letting up rather seemed to scale up a notch. I called the person in charge of event and asked to find a replacement, since I was not up to the challenge at that time. I was reassured this would be handled.

But as always this seemed too easy. The morning of my commitment to drive daughter (thinking I would just drop off and get back to bed) I was difficult to arouse from sleep having ingested more cough syrup with codeine. Many years ago when I was prescribed this only effect it had was making me have a very restful sleep with no further sequella throughout the day. Husband warned me that I may feel the effects longer this time- I should have believed him. Here I was listening to my daughter putter around asking me to get up because we had agreed on going to breakfast before camp yet I could not even oven my eyes or form cohesive sentence much less in English. Finally, after what I thought was only 15 minute of sleep actually close to 2 hours, my daughter’s frantic yells awoke me. I stumbled out of bed completely discombobulated unable to walk a straight line much less change. I seriously contemplated driving her in pj’s but I still had to steady my vision and equilibrium before attempting to drive.

Thank goodness for Center Island which helps me recline and hold on to when putting clothes especially pants. Already time constrained did not want to spend time searching for some stretchy pants so jeans it was. You all know that jeans are difficult to put on any normal day now imagine being bloated, nauseated, dizzy, shaky, and stiff? I was like a ball inside a pin ball machine bouncing all over the place.

Once on the road, I tried to focus but we missed the turn and made a few loops before we got to our destination. All I could think was getting back home and in bed.  But because we were late gates had been closed to the camp and daughter asked me to accompany her inside. On the way, we ran into the person in charge of the day’s events and asks who we were. – I said, ‘this my daughter with troop …’ not recalling number. The lady in charged proceeds to tell me she was waiting for Dr. Maria De Leon- the first aide-to arrive.  I took a huge gulp taken aback, thinking to myself why did I come? I should have had a friend drop off and why on earth was I still assigned to this duty?  I believe my shoulders and posture dropped even further down.

Why was this happening to me? I was having chills again, hungry dizzy, with severe cotton mouth which did not allow me to speak cohesively. Finally, I managed to ask, feeling faint, if they really needed need at that point? Of course my daughter having heard that they had not cancelled me felt bad but scurried away, not before saying ‘mom please be careful and take care.’ I asked for an hour wishing to take a nap crash. In reality I need to take rest of my medicines for my pounding head and neck pain and quiet the burning in my belly. So after getting medicines putting something in stomach grabbing first aid kit, water bottles and making a couple of sandwiches because I did not pay attention to message about whether or not food was provided by troop.  I managed to make it back to camp without missing turns this time.

After taking me to my station and handing me everyone’s forms I thought I was going to pass out. So I decided to get a bit of fresh air and go to the restroom. The closest facility looked questionable. So I decided to walk a bit further wishing I had my cane in this uneven terrain in my off balanced state. After using facilities, I see 2 young girls walking very deliberately with a fright in their eyes. They did not seem to be stopping rather proceeding to the exit. I ask what was wrong and where they were going. They said they went into facility, which I thought questionable, and there was a big black snake (only black snake I know is Black mamba) so they ran out. But, they really need to go to the bathroom.  I pointed them to restroom I had just used but they refused to go in without me to search first. Then they wanted me to catch the snake – to which my answer was there is no way no how- the ranger was called instead to retrieve. I walk girls to main camp where there is a congregation of elementary school girls screaming and coordinator is on top of table. Of course only one not screaming and front and center of all the action is my daughter! Figures.

More screaming takes place when ranger comes out with snake. I was trying to remain calm but kept looking all around. I did not want this to be the day I have to take care of someone with a snake bite.  Of course my friend who is an expert but nor present at camp said it was probably a water snake and not to worry because this was his home! I don’t care if it is its home or that is most likely harmless.  I still don’t want it around my legs.

The rush gave me a high for nearly the duration of the camp when I finally had to go lay down in my car for the remainder of the afternoon.

Next time I am not getting off the car or even agreeing to camping- for me roughing it is staying at the holiday inn.

My daughter and I passed out from exhaustion when we got home without saying a word to each other on the way back.

I am certain this will be another story we talk about in years to come.

copy right 2017

all rights reserved by Maria De Leon

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