It was the annual awards dinner for my Camera Club on Wednesday night. As far as I can remember, I haven’t been out for dinner in the evening since my 40th birthday seven years ago, so I’d spent weeks being both excited and nervous about how I’d cope.
I started to get ready at 5pm, as I wanted to take my time and do things slowly. I never wear make-up, other than a bit of mascara and the odd slick of lipgloss, so I’d had a trial run a few days before to make sure I didn’t end up itchy, blotchy or with bloodshot eyes – luckily I’m usually OK with skin products and all was fine. What wasn’t fine is that, for no reason I could fathom, my back had been killing me all day. I couldn’t use my TENS machine with the outfit I had on, so I just had to slather myself in Ibuleve gel and hope it would settle down and I could at least sit upright.
I left the house at 6.15pm to drive the 7 miles to town to drop my dog off at my parent’s house, before driving 7 miles back in the direction from which I’d come to the venue. I spend my life in boots, wellies or trainers so wearing heels was tortuous and my Ehlers-Danlos related bunions protested loudly all night 😉 .
My biggest fear was having a reaction to the food, particularly as my mast cells have been so twitchy lately. I knew the ingredients were OK, as I’d had a dry run on Easter Sunday when my parents took me to the restaurant for lunch and I ordered the same meal I knew I’d be having at the awards dinner with no reaction at all. But it’s a different kettle of fish when I’m tired, nervous, and excited all of which are mast cell degranulators for me. However, apart from feeling a bit buzzy all over after I’d eaten, I was fine. You have no idea how relieved I was. For anyone interested I had salmon in a butter sauce (strangely, although fish is a no no on low histamine diets, it’s actually one of my safest foods!), potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower followed by lemon meringue roulade – it was absolutely delish 🙂 .
The awards ceremony started at around 9pm. I was expecting to receive the Millennium Trophy as I’d won an annual competition on the set theme of ‘composit images’, but what I wasn’t expecting was to also receive the Blencathra Cup for club projected digital image of the year! Here I am with my trophies (apologies for blurring my face – I don’t want some nutter downloading my image and using it lord knows where):
By 10pm my energy was flagging so I made my excuses and left. I was flooded with relief on the drive back to town to collect Bertie that I’d coped so well and, more than that, actually had a nice time 🙂 . I was so hyper I barely slept a wink that night though.
As is usual for me, the next day I was a bit tired but good. But on Friday I was exhausted, achy and nauseous and this morning have woken with a stonking headache – the delayed after effects of the stress, worry and activity.
Although I had a lovely evening, going out for dinner isn’t something I could ever make a habit of. I worried for weeks beforehand that I’d wake with a migraine, or have a really bad ME day, and not be able to go or that I’d react to my meal and pass out in front of a room full of people and then be too ill to drive home. Events like these are fun and relaxing for healthy people, but I just find the whole thing stressful. My saving grace is that, at least for Camera Club, it only happens once a year 😉 .