I recently had to fly halfway across the country for a work commitment. I had to fly out early, which meant I had to get to the airport really early… and that meant I had to wake up really really early.
Not much fun, to be honest.
But I did it.
I hadn’t been sleeping well, for several days prior to that – I was getting maybe 5 – 6 hours a night, which is no good. But that’s what I had to work with, so… that’s what I worked with.
The drive to the airport felt like it took forever.
And just getting from the parking garage to the terminal was another slog. One of the wheels on my carry-on was “wonky” and it vibrated really loudly, as I pulled it along. Not the best thing, when your hearing is already over-sensitive.
Anyway, by the time I got to Security, I was a little shaky. I was operating on maybe 2 “cylinders” (out of a potential 4), and I hadn’t had my full breakfast like I usually did. I was off balance and out of sorts, and when I handed my boarding pass and ID to the security officer, my hands were shaking a bit, like they do when I’m overly tired.
The officer gave me a look, and I tried to exchange a few words, but I was “off kilter” and my voice was shaky. I started to get nervous, wondering if they were going to alert others that I was a sketchy character. They gave me another look, and I just shut up. I sounded a little drunk and discombobulated, and my hands were trembling. That’s never a good sign, when you’re trying to board a plane. So, I did my best to gather what dignity I could and just moved on to the x-ray screener – hands over head – and then walked on through.
Fortunately, my luggage made it through without incident. At the last minute, I remembered to pack only small bottles of liquids and creams. That was a last-minute change, because I was going to take full tubes of toothpaste and a special skin cream I need to use for my beat-up hands. At least I got that right.
In the end, it all turned out okay. But I really hate that feeling, when my neurology is acting up on me, and I’m interacting with someone who can flag me as a risk, take me aside, pat me down, possibly strip search me (worst case). The worst case didn’t happen – not even close. So, that was good.
And the trip went pretty well, from that point on.
So it goes.
And so I go… onward.
3 thoughts on “Hello officer – the tremor you’re seeing is not fear. It’s fatigue.”
Boy, air travel is really challenging for me as well. Early, early flights have gotten onto my “doesn’t work for me” list, and we’ve simply given up on travel in warmer months, since when stressed I heat up (possible seizures) and the best remedy is ice, which is really tricky to keep with me through the boarding process. We’ve figured out (my brilliant husband did!) to bring along a large empty drink container, then prevail upon the food vendors on the other side of security to fill it with ice for me, so we have minimal time w/out ice
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That’s a great solution for a tough situation. Great, that your husband figured it out. I may do one more early, early flight — in my life. Or I may opt to take a later flight, even if it does mean a longer trip. It’s all a toss-up about which is worse. Personally, losing sleep is far worse than having more demands on me later in the day.
Winning! I don’t travel much at all but I generally come across as too friendly/chatty like I don’t realise they couldn’t care less about my experience of their country unless I’m up to something dodgy.
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