The super market experience

On Monday we needed a trip to the grocery store. So we hopped into the car, I turned it around in our driveway (yes, I drive again, and mostly it’s just ok) and asked my husband: “Where to? Which store?” “How about Prisma”, he answered, and I was all: “Yeah, good idea. I can get some more shampoo from there then too!” For the shampoo I and the girls use, is only available in Prisma, out of our regular stores.

We got to the intersection where I had to decide which Prisma to go to, and instead of heading to the one in Jumbo the shopping center (“it’s full of Tamperelaiset on their winter vacation anyway”), I turned to Tuusulanväylä and Ring1, and drove down to Kannelmäki. It’s a bigger and newer one (well, ok, been there as some super market forever but newly renovated and enlarged) and lacks the shopping center buzz.

Being as cold and dreary and stark as it is now outside, I drove to the underground garage. Tell you the truth, the weather is never ok for above ground parking if you ask me – it’s either too hot or too cold or too wet or too dusty or… So garage it was. Got a spot quite conveniently, there were no huge crowds there on a regular Monday mid-afternoon.

We got out of the car and immediately I was greeted with cars and people everywhere, all different sounds coming from different direction, and a cleaning machine making its way accross our path, coming from our right, but it still seemed like it came from out of nowhere, and at least somehow from my deaf spot. I grabbed my husband’s jacket and hung on to it until he gave me his hand and I felt safe again.

We climbed to the store, using the escalator. I took the backpack, while my husband took a basket for us. Very rarely do we use the shopping carts, for they’re such a nuisance, people blocking the aisles with them and bumping into other people and the wheels being all crooked and pulling the carts to different directions like they’d have a mind of their own.

That Prisma had been remodeled again. Not hugely, but enough to have us confused for a while, when things weren’t where they used to be. We went walking down the wide aisles, picking items into our basket as we went. We walked over to the produce section and by then, the store was starting to spin in my eyes. Not like totally or in an I-will-pass-out kind of way, but my head was swimming. Best way to describe it would be sea sickness. Vertigo.

We still had some stuff to be gathering into our basket, so I pushed the sickening feeling away as best I could and carried on, with the Finnish sisu flowing in my veins. I almost got frantic, when we couldn’t find the Digestive graham cookies needed for the key lime pie we were planning to make. “Calm down, go systematic, they’ve got to be somewhere around the bread section”, I told myself and went looking, while my husband set the basket down and waited for me. And I found them.

We started towards the cash registers, via the shampoo aisles, when this sickening high-pitched squeaking hit my eardrums, making me feel like my head would explode. A lady was pulling one of those bigger baskets with wheels and the wheels were screetching and squeaking as they went. We passed her and the basket as quickly as we could, got the shampoo and some body milk I needed as well, and were ready to pay.

We got out of the store, and headed down to the parking garage again. I handed my husband the car keys: “You get to drive home. I’m feeling too dizzy.” “I was just about to ask if you wanted me to drive”, he said as he took the keys from me. We drove home, made some dinner and the key lime pie (out of Mexican limes though, for you can’t get key limes around here). I still felt dizzy, but pushed it away while things needed to be done. After dinner and a walk with the dog, I was ready to be flat for the rest of the evening.

I didn’t sleep too well that night, for whatever reason, either. Yesterday I was mostly feeling sort of ok, despite that, but when we went for a longer walk with the dog in the late afternoon – 45min. or so, 3km or so – I started having a bad case of dizziness – or vertigo – about 300 meters from home.

“I don’t always know if it’s better to rest or to push myself when my head starts to feel strange and dizzy”, I told my husband. “Probably it’s good to push a bit, and then rest”, he replied. “Well, walking here I don’t really have too much choice if I want to get home…” I trailed off. I lowered my eyes to my shoes, it helped a bit.

At home I crashed on the sofa, for the first time in probably two or three weeks feeling so bad after just a little bit of excercise. It must’ve been that my head was still tired from the Prisma ordeal the day before. I may look fine, I may seem to be “normal”, just like before, but I’m not. I wear out easily, and I seem to get vertigo easily. I’ve got a handicap, want it or not.

Today? So far so good. We’ll se how I feel in the evening, after some walks with the dog and another trip to the store – not Prisma or any other store as big as that one, though. I hope I’ll be ok at work again, in a week and a half, and not get overly exhausted and dizzy there.


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