Monday, January 25, 2010

Back from the road and glad to be home

The trip to Connecticut went well, but the driving was a major challenge.

OK, back up a minute. I don't want to overstate the case. I can still drive safely and well on a highway in the daylight. I have the necessary concentration, reflexes and attention-shifting to drive (and all the associated motor tasks in operating a vehicle), but I don't seem to have a lot left over. Once in awhile, I'll sneak a sip of iced tea from the travel cup in the holder - it has the top kept open - but that's about all I'll dare in terms of extraneous activity.

Still, it didn't seem that hard while I was doing it.

At night, my body told me a different story.

Most of the time when I am in a hotel or motel, I am restless and don't sleep all that well, especially if I am keyed up about speaking.

This time was different. After 7 hours on the road getting to our destination, I pretty much fell asleep very soon after my head hit the pillow. I struggled to get up after a full seven hours of sleep.

We drove part way home on Friday. I spent about four hours on the road (total times always include breaks). Pulled off the road around 5 pm at the Herkimer Motel & Suites in Herkimer, NY. I am naming the motel and providing a links because I recommend it highly. It's well-kept up, has helpful staff and has one of the best wheelchair-accessible rooms we've stayed in. If the opportunity arises, I'd gladly stay there again.

We went to bed early that night. I got a wake-up call and went to turn the heat up. I figured I would wake up again in about 20-30 minutes when it got too warm.

I slept for an additional 90 minutes. That means I slept between 8.5 and 9 hours. That is very very unusual for me. My body is usually satisfied with seven hours and maybe a few minutes more.

The only explanation I have for this is that the driving really really exhausted me. Strange, though, because I didn't really feel that exhausted. But my sleep pattern tells a different story.

It's just one more thing to factor in from now on. Looks like if I have to drive for a long distance, I better build in some extra sleep time.

OTOH, as you might gather from this blog post, the trip didn't throw me too far off my work rhythm.

This is a good thing. I have lots on my plate these days and really don't need to be falling behind more. --Stephen


thecatsmeow said... were in my neck of the woods in Herkimer; don't ask me how to get there, though, because given my spectacularly poor sense of direction, I'm lucky to manage someplace within a few miles of me. That was one reason they tried to use to keep me from learning to drive, but I wouldn't let them!

Stephen Drake said...

I put off learning to drive for quite a while, being justifiably terrified of the process. It probably took a couple of years behind the wheel before I was anything approaching competent. I am still a competent driver - just very very careful.