VBS (originally posted on FortuneCity)

Somehow I managed to get myself talked into playing a role in the opening skits for a week of Vacation Bible School at my church. It sounded harmless enough at first... a few minutes a day with just a bunch of kids as audience. And it turned out okay, and even kinda fun (having a crazy kid in another role helped make practice exciting and unpredictable).

Anyway, the skit itself was just fine. Even leading a group of 3rd and 4th graders around and helping out with them wasn't bad, since they were mostly fairly well-behaved and could practically lead themselves anyway. The problem? Aside from the blistering heat (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit several days, though we were inside and air conditioned as much as possible), there was the little issue of having to get up before eight in the morning. That may not sound so bad, especially if you're used to having school or a full-time job, but I'm used to staying up well past midnight and remaining in bed until some time the next afternoon. Worse, I couldn't get to sleep Sunday night despite my best efforts.

And what happens when you combine minimal rest with quite a bit of stress and too much heat and (this one's my fault, and it's no excuse that I normally stay indoors and don't move around much) not enough fluid? I can't answer for everyone, but in my case, it means a brutal headache, usually followed by nausea that keeps me from getting any sleep until the contents of my stomach meet the bottom of the toilet (or other handy container). Somehow, that always lets me get to sleep soon after, even though the headache invariably gets worse from the exertion of heaving. (Incidentally, this time happened after we practiced the skit in which one of the other characters gets badly seasick.) I don't overdo it often enough to get the whole headache-nausea-agony thing with much frequency, but it's happened enough times that I know it when it happens, and the only variation is that sometimes the headache doesn't get bad enough to trigger the queasiness. This was not one of those times.

Fortunately, one episode seemed to be enough to get it out of my system. While I didn't exactly feel great the whole week, I at least managed to get a reasonable amount of sleep, drink copious amounts of whatever (non-toxic) fluid I could get my hands on, and rest frequently, so while I may have visited the bathroom more often than I'm used to, at least there was no more nausea and only weak and fleeting headaches.

If you're looking for a moral, then I guess it's to stay out of the heat, drink plenty of fluids, and take it easy. Oh, and I get to keep my hat from the skit. Woot.

(added 2014-08-09): Coming off helping with another VBS (sound and projection this time), after having worked full time for several years, I have to say that only needing to be up before eight in the morning felt like a luxury. This year was thankfully quite a bit cooler, but always drinking plenty of fluids remains a Very Good Idea.

(added 2017-08-14): I like to review my previous writings every so often, especially when I have a slow day, and while I was re-reading this one, two things jumped out at me: "not enough fluid" and "visited the bathroom more often than I'm used to". You see, drinking unhealthily low amounts of fluids to avoid (especially public) bathrooms as much as possible, whether you realize that's what you're doing or not, tends to be related to a topic I've been frequently blogging about. It's funny how obvious some things seem in retrospect once you've have the chance to learn about them.