Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Road Trips

Some other blogs I read are relating their horror stories of road trips with their spouses. And I've got one too! Unfortunately, I'm the culprit. Well, I'm not willing to take all the blame, come to think of it.

The goal was the beach and scads of family. The road trip takes somewhere between 10 and 12 hours of driving time total. We've made this particular trip 2 more times since this first incident, so I'm fuzzy on some details. I forget if we spent the night halfway there or if we tried to push all the way through.

For some reason, in my vacationing budget, I had determined that we spent too much money on fast food while on the road. We could pack snacks and drinks and sandwiches and not have to pay for any food along the way. I've now, years later, determined that we only spend $10-12 per day of traveling on food and beverages. Wow, that really breaks the bank!

Back then, though, I completely underestimated my husband's pickyness for food and beverages. If it has carbs, then he doesn't want to eat it. Quick, can you think of any car trip type snacks that DON'T have carbs? Or sugar. Sugar makes his mouth feel all funny and like he needs to brush his teeth NOW. And peanuts are too salty. So that leaves what? Hell if I know. On the other hand, when we stop for fast food, he'll get a gooey, goopy burger (can you add extra goop please?) and eat it minus the top bun. Do not try to explain to my husband how the bottom bun, and ketchup have carbs. You will loose. And a glob of goop will inevitably land on his shirt.

So that's the food aspect. On the beverage front, he's picky about the flavor of his water while being too cheap to buy the good stuff. Refilling empty water bottles with tap water are only good within about 3 hours of refilling. After that, they taste funny. Yet, when he orders ice water from a fast food joint, the flavor of that water is never commented upon. No purchased beverage should have sugar OR carbonation. Except when he picks it out himself. I have learned to only provide him with distilled bottled water and to meet every argument about taste with a flat "it's distilled, honey, how much cleaner do you want it?" So far, he has no answer to that. :-)

Keep in mind that none of these rules seem to apply once we get to the destination or while we are at home.

So on this particular road trip, I was cutting off fast food, which is apparently the only way he eats or drinks while on the road. There was a plethora of diet Mtn Dew (he picked it) in his cup holder. He wanted the caffeine and thus agreed to the carbonation. So maybe we drove straight through if he was wanting caffeine.

He started feeling funny soon after we got to the beach and had had some odd little chest pains. He was 30 at the time. At dinner, with the whole family, after we had ordered and before we had been served, he said he wasn't feeling well. His mother and I looked at him and said, "your lips are blue!" It was summer and we were sitting outside. He was oddly cool to the touch. The chest pains were back. His mom ran around and found folks with aspirin and we poked those down him and called my sister, the RN. She talked to him for a minute and he started to pass out. We called 911.

I was shocked that my very strong and healthy husband couldn't lift his head much less navigate the 2 steps to get down to street level. They put him in the ambulance and firmly locked me in the front seat. They started a HUGE IV on him right there and started doing heart tests on him. The tests looked fine. They did them again. The tests looked fine. We drive to the hospital, staying within the speed limit.

The final diagnosis - DEHYDRATION! Apparently, a diet of strictly Diet Mountain Dew is the opposite of hydrating. They put a liter and a half of saline into his system over about 90 minutes and then he was 95% better. We fed him more water and crystal lite (and dinner) once we got back to our room and it was STILL about 15 hours before he peed.

So because of my brilliant plan to save money, $20 at most, while on the road, we wound up spending $500 on an ambulance and ER trip. Not to mention all the amazing stress that went along with that.

After that, the beach vacation was amazingly normal and pleasant!


  1. Wow. I wouldn't think of Mt. Dew as dehydrating - although with all his pickiness, I can't blame you. i'd have told him to suck it up. Cuz I'm all sweet like that...

  2. I believe all soda drinks are dehydrating, as well as tea. Anything that has something in it your body can't use and will have to process and dispose of (caffeine, chemicals, too much sugar, too much salt) will cause dehydration. Basically, you're body has to use the water it already has to get rid of what you are drinking.

    Things that are hydrating are water (duh!), coconut water, gatorade, milk and blood.

    I don't think I already knew about this story and reading it made me turn cold and anxious even though I knew it was in the past and, clearly, things turned out alright. Or you have spares of your husband.

    We are big fans of roadtrips with a cooler. We like to find parks and picnic for lunch. Fortunately, Husband is not so picky. You could pack for you and baby to save money that way? Might be more trouble than it's worth.

  3. Hey just found you via After the Honeymoon via The Fickle Nickle!
    Enjoyed this post!