How to Give Yourself a Migraine

This is a series of posts about spending the summer abroad that starts here.

After my last post, I feel I should write about the stressors of planning a summer abroad.

I would never claim it’s easy.  It takes a lot of planning and discipline—especially when you work part-time for a nonprofit—to spread out the expenses.

For instance, my renters wanted my place but with two caveats.  They wanted: 1) a queen sized bed; and 2) an air conditioner.

The AC was easy—buy the smallest possible unit because my bedroom is minuscule—pop it into the window.  Ha ha.  There were many tears, shrieks, and F bombs.  But it’s done, and I may use the AC myself.

The bed?  Another matter.  I love(d) my soft full-sized mattress but gave it up to my son.  Then I bought a bed in a box from Walmart.  These things are amazing.  They come in a box the size of a medium sized TV.  You open the box and phooosh!  In a couple minutes you’ve got a queen sized mattress.  Be sure not to open the box in a hallway!

I hate spending money at Walmart but there’s a reason people shop there—it’s the cheapest—and this mattress and frame are actually really good quality.  The mattress is hard as a rock which I hate, but apparently most people prefer.

I was all set with the renters.  Then, one month prior to departure, I made the decision to sell my condo. There are various reasons for this, but the timing was due to it being a red hot market for lower-priced properties like mine.

The day I called my realtor, I began to feel a dull vibrating roar in my head.  Did I mention that, in addition to getting ready to spend three months abroad it was also Proposal Hell Month at work?  I have never felt so overwhelmed, and so productive, in my life.

If you’ve ever sold a house, you know there are a ton of decisions and paperwork to deal with.  You have to get your house pristinely clean and keep it that way at all times.  You have to drop everything and leave to make way for showings.

I woke up the morning after my decision, rolled over in bed, and felt like I was on the deck of a heaving ship.  Damn—vertigo!  I’ve had it 2-3 times before and I know it’s the result of me being pushed beyond my limit of stress.

The house went on the market.  There were 20 showings in three days, and four offers by the end of the fourth day.  I will make a nice profit, although it will just make up for the last time I sold a condo, at the bottom of the Great Recession in 2009.  It’s my turn.

The renters are protected—I made sure of that.  My realtor will sign all the closing paperwork for me in June and I’ll rent my own condo from the buyer for a month when I get home.

Home.  Where is home? Where will I go next?  I have no idea.

I went to see my doctor, then to a dizzy clinic.  I’ve seen two physical therapists and don’t feel any better.  They think it may be a Vestibular Migraine.  This is a migraine without the headache.  It still sucks plenty, because one symptom is episodes where so much pressure builds up in my head that I feel like I’m having a stroke.

The worst part of this whole summer adventure has been trying to buy a new phone from ATT.  I’ve been using the same iPhone 4 for five years and it was time for a change.  I tried over and over to buy an iPhone SE from ATT, but apparently they don’t like people spending money with their company because they screwed up the order half a dozen ways.

I know, first world problems.

I think I’m ready.  I can’t wait to have some down time. I don’t know when I’ll post again, but I’ll write from across the ocean eventually.

See you on the other side!

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