This was to be our transition from big city San Diego to the peace and tranquility of the desert. Not so much.
First of all, our two-month stay in San Diego meant that we were pretty dug in, so it took us a couple of days to unpack from our trip, do laundry, re-stock our food, do a little maintenance and stow everything.
We were both feeling a bit under the weather but thought it was the after effect of our trip to Miami and the three hour time zone change.
But as it turned out, our fatigue developed into colds. And Hector’s was a chest cold with a nasty cough that had me a bit worried. But we continued our trip as planned and drove to our next campground in Palm Desert, fortunately only three hours away.
Hector was pretty wiped after setting up so we just took it easy the day we arrived. We were in a commercial campground, not the most scenic setting but it was in a date grove so had lots of cool palm trees.
Our plan was to spend the next few days in Joshua Tree National Park, but in the morning, the wind kicked up and we waited to see what the weather would do, since this area is known to be prone to sandstorms.
The next morning we had sand everywhere in the coach, it was so fine it had seeped in through the closed windows. There was even sand in the refrigerator. We cleaned up inside and washed our barbecue. There were lots of people washing down their coaches, but we decided to wait in case there was another sandstorm.
When we started the car, tons of sand blew in through the air conditioning, so we had to cleanup the inside of the car as well. We are still finding sand in nooks and crannies. Note to self: next time we’re in this area, if the forecast is for winds, leave!
Late that afternoon we finally headed out to Joshua Tree National Park. We drove around on the park road, but didn’t hike that day, since we had Angel with us and dogs are not allowed on National Park trails. But it was the day before the full moon, so we also stopped to watch the moon rise by one of their campgrounds where dogs are allowed. Stay tuned for our post on the park.
The next morning, on the day of the full moon, as I woke up and before I opened my eyes, I realized that I had a splitting headache. Which is very unusual for me. But I thought maybe it was from drinking cheap wine the night before.
I opened my eyes, and the room was spinning, I just couldn’t get my bearings. I tried focusing on different parts of the bedroom to no avail. So I called out to Hector who was up, and he came over to the bedroom. I told him I was dizzy and nauseous asked him to help me to the bathroom (fortunately not a very long way).
Hector searched the internet to find lots of possible causes for severe dizziness. He said I should try sitting with my eyes closed and I wound up sitting on our tiny bathroom floor with my eyes closed for a while. I asked him to help me to the couch (fortunately not a very long way), where I again sat with my eyes closed. But I still couldn’t find my equilibrium.
At this point, Hector, thinking I might be having a stroke or heart issue called 911. And about a minute later I heard the siren, then a couple of minutes later it was outside. I heard Hector, usually very calm under duress, sounding pretty freaked out when telling them what happened. And then there were three paramedics in our rig.
They checked my vitals and my blood pressure was high, also unusual for me, as I normally have low blood pressure, but probably explained by the fact that by now I was pretty nervous. But although other vitals checked out and I answered all of the stroke questions appropriately, since I was still severely dizzy, nauseous and really pale, the paramedics determined that they should take me to the hospital. Oh boy.
At this point, the RV park had gone into emergency mode, and little golf carts were blocking every row in order to allow the ambulance to get out as quickly as possible.
And I was in the ambulance getting an IV, since they’d not ruled out dehydration. That’s when I heard the lead paramedic say “Your husband is taking a photo of the ambulance, that’s awesome.” Even when he is freaked out, he is always the photographer.
Well, to make a long story less long, after several hours in the emergency room, some tests, and anti-nausea and anti-dizziness medication, I was released with a diagnosis of “a bad case of vertigo” and a prescription for more medication. Inflammation in the inner ear due to my cold was a likely cause, but it wasn’t certain. But the doctor did rule out a stroke or heart issue.
Back on Island Girl, I slept the entire rest of the day into the evening, and luckily woke up feeling much better.
But I was still pretty exhausted and the doctor recommended I rest for 48 hours, so we didn’t return to the park the next day. I did some laundry and other chores inside while Hector hosed down the rig and our outdoor stuff which was all a pretty big mess.
I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of Joshua Tree National Park, but we figured it was time to move on and leave this experience behind us. And we’re both relieved and grateful that my bout of vertigo turned out to be nothing serious.