Exotic, isn’t it, what we do? Exploring new places. Meeting new people. Searching out our American history off the beaten path. No jobs. No housework. Living the dream of so many!
And, yet, as we all must know, life happens no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Its been a little shy of four years since Handsome Husband and I took to the road. Retired. Him from civil service, me from Tapestries of Hope. Check. Furniture, household items, books, clothes, outside stuff, donated or sold. Check. House sold (right as the housing industry went bust). Check. Friends left behind. Check. Life changed in every way. Check.
We’ve seen all of the lower 48s-and been back again to explore more thoroughly. The Pacific coast. Check. Gulf Coast. Check. Wintered in Florida. Check. Northern and southern routes, back roads, highways, logging roads, pathways. Handsome Husband has needed to get a new suitcase twice, mine has held up very well. We’ve streamlined what we carry with us, and built it back up again. I’m finding that I need comforts around me, at least in a small way, so I’ve added some color and softness to my repertoire.
Life has happened in a huge way that was a nightmare as Handsome Husband dealt with the FC (that’s fucking cancer, but I don’t want to spell it out and offend anyone). One surgery after another and finding out that we didn’t leave our friends behind at all. They came out of the woodwork. And now we’re AC. After cancer. I lived for this day while going through it with him.
Menopause while traveling-can that be an entirely separate blog? Hot flashes that are really more accurately termed Heat Surges. Rapid fire day and night, making me sleep deprived. Causing such heat throughout that panic can set in, and hitch the breathing, which can lead to panic attacks unless breathing becomes a meditation. Hormones racing so obviously through my blood that I swear I can feel them. At such times I’m just better left alone-give me my two feet of space all around me. Not because I get bitchy, but because the heat I give off is so strong that anyone within those two feet can get scorched. (Yes, I exaggerate slightly here, but not much).
Systemic fungal infection, resulting from massive doses of radiation to kill the FC. Yes, radiation was necessary. We’d do it again, to save his arm. But it killed his immune system. Fighting this is a daily event, a minute by minute battle at times. It’s a battle Handsome Husband is fighting on his own. Doctors know, or don’t want to know, about fungal infections, and, if forced to do so, will treat symptoms, not the cause. This has been tougher on him than the FC was, Handsome Husband says. It just won’t go away. Its gotten better, with all that he does to treat it. He should write a book about it, I tell him. Weave your story in with all the massive research you’ve done, and put it in laymen’s terms, for the average reader. Medical insurance doesn’t cover any of this, of course. Call me cynical, but you’re never going to convince me that there isn’t some give-and-take between the medical profession, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry. There would be no money if this was easily taken care of (like so many other things). So we pay out-of-pocket for what works from one month to the next. Because fungal infections can change, and what works at one point, doesn’t work at the next as it builds a resistance. Dealing with this would be tough if we were stationary in a home, I have no doubt. Out on the road its doubly difficult. Nutrition on the road is something we never got figured out in a healthy way anyways, and this upped the ante considerably.
All of which to say, between me and my menopause and Handsome Husband and the systemic illness he deals with, we strive to exercise regularly every day, so that we can stay as healthy as possible. Who wants to end up looking like a long distance hauler? (no offense and bless their hearts, but you know the weight gains happen with that lifestyle-how can it not)? We want to continue our Happily Homeless status for as long as possible, and it would put a real crimp in our plans if we each started looking like the Sta-Puff Marshmellow Man. Not going to allow that!
So, yes. You can travel even while dealing with health issues, or massive hormonal changes. It can be tough, and yes, every situation is different. Yes, it can add stress. And you can keep from killing each other while going through it. It can be done. We’re proof. Our stay in Arizona continues through the end of January. Next stop is California, for a few months. Because I want to stay healthy, and need to challenge myself, I’m beginning an intensive (well, intensive for me), exercise program. I’m going to do push myself, my boundaries, my ohIhatetoexercise mindset. I’m going to become the best me that I can be. (Doesn’t that sound triumphant)? Gonna do it, gonna do it! Today is day one. Hiking, hooping, yoga-ing. Running. Walking. Weights. Making it happen right here! Want to join me?