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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On the road again...

*Sigh* Time for another road trip.

Diane and I are giving a presentation in Connecticut on Friday. Theoretically, it's a five-and-a-half hour drive or so.

I'm guessing it will be closer to seven hours. I need to take breaks when I drive.

Also, even though we're finishing up around 1 pm on Friday, we won't get home until Saturday.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, but I've ceased highway driving in the dark (except for short trips close to home when necessary). It just takes too much effort.

So hopefully I'll get us to Albany by dark on Friday and we can get home around noon on Saturday.

Just so no one misunderstands me - I am looking forward to meeting with some of the people that will be attending and the opportunity to do some organizing work.

OTOH - I really loathe long-distance driving. I don't like having the rhythm of my life get disrupted - it can take too long to get it back.

I can't complain really. This means that there are people who feel that I have information and insights on disability policy issues worth hearing firsthand. And NDY needs more people in the disability community more attuned to the intricacies of the assisted suicide/euthanasia debates.

In a perfect world, I'd be able to do advocacy without ever leaving my home or office.

I don't live in that world, however. So I'm going to Connecticut. :-) --Stephen Drake