Pretty Bad 24 Hours

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The last 24 hours have been pretty awful. Actually, just the last 22 hours, the drive to the airport was fine. And just a $10 tip to get my bike on the plane is anyways nice. Then it started.

I had maybe the worst flight of my life and I’ve flown a bunch. I went to the very back of the plane and purposely sat with my left arm against the window to free my right shoulder. Soon a guy came and sat in the isle seat. Then right when they were about to close the door, a huge couple came in. The woman was much bigger than the guy. And, of course, they came to the back and she “sat” in the middle seat, next to me.

There is no way she could fit in the seat. Her rolls on her stomach hung over the armrests. Then her arms extended even more. 1/3 of “my space” was occupied by her arm. Thus, I felt like I had to try to shrink and I did this by curling in my shoulders inward. Pretty soon, my bad shoulder was aching badly.

Eventually, my lower back joined the shoulder and started seizing up. I had to pee, but there was a zero percent chance that the woman beside me could extract herself from her seat.

I don’t ever get claustrophobic, but I did on that plane. I started sweating and getting sticky. I found myself looking at my watch every couple minutes. It seemed like time was standing still. I endured this for exactly 2 hours and 41 minutes and it seemed like days.

I had anticipated getting at least two hours sleep. I got zero. Worse than that, I was stressed the whole time.

I got to California and my bags arrive, which is another highlight. I had barely enough time to walk to the flight, the bag guys did a good job. But, while I was waiting for my bags, I started feeling weird. Sick at my stomach, dizzy, etc.

So, long story short, I’ve been laying in bed for the last 15 hours, with the stomach flu I guess. I don’t get the flu much, so I’m not exactly sure, but it is horrible. Stuff coming out both ends at random times. I haven’t eaten anything in 24 hours now. I have drank a few glasses of 7 up, though.

I thought that maybe the issue was beet juice. Trudi made me a big glass of beet juice before I left. But, she drank it and is fine. I’ve never had beet juice and I doubt I will anytime soon again.

It’s supposed to be in the upper 70’s here today and I think I’m just going to be in bed all day. The one thing positive, it is a super fast weight loss program. I was going to try to lose 2 or 3 pounds before Louisville. That is already gone, plus some. There is always a silver lining I guess.

Yesterday morning, this was the searches people used to get to my blog.  Wow.

Yesterday morning, this was the searches people used to get to my blog. Wow.

It tasted pretty good going down, but not so good the other way.

It tasted pretty good going down, but not so good the other way.

I knew it was going to be bad when I saw this approach.

I knew it was going to be bad when I saw this approach.

The connecting flight, I had this little guy screaming the whole way.  I didn't mind that much.

The connecting flight, I had this little guy screaming the whole way. I didn’t mind that much.

30 thoughts on “Pretty Bad 24 Hours

  1. jim sully

    One can use earplugs for the baby….But that human mountain range that plopped down next to ya…..
    Overweight luggage=extra $
    Oversized luggage=extra$
    Perhaps a storage compartment below the flight deck that can handle Oversized humans is in order.
    Cheezus K Rist…

  2. William Stevenson

    Jeez, that thing looked like a refrigerator with legs. Hope that you get through your illness soon. Had a touch of food poisoning from some bad poultry last week and I was shooting like a power washer.

  3. TTT

    If there is one thing obese people need, it’s skinny, self-righteous bike riders mocking them and surreptitiously posting photos of them on blogs.

  4. JPrumm

    Yea, it’s always the skinny peoples fault TTT. We chose what we do to ourselves and expect other people to accommodate us.

  5. Richard Wharton

    Steve – I’ve had a couple of incidents with fresh beet juice, both right before and during races. We know it works, but if unpasteurized, you’re prone to whatever was in the beet, and that could be anything. And until your body adapts to the beets, it can go through you like blank through a goose. Try it with ginger root, as that can act as a bit of an antiseptic. I don’t think its a flu – I think it’s a bit of food poisoning. Same thing happened to me last out at Ft. Davis SR in 2011. I won’t eat or drink anything that doesn’t come out of a bottle or a microwave now when I’m out there.

  6. Mikey

    This is one of your best! The pictures are awesome. Sorry to hear about the flu but don’t give up on beet juice. $2.49 per quart at Traders Joes. I know not totally natural but day in day out keeps everything good

  7. TTT

    I notice you don’t address the issue. Steve appears to be a good guy and blogging about an unpleasant experience is fine. But, posting secretly taken photos of people and referring to them as “this” rather than “her” is beneath him.

  8. Ken

    People that fat should be obligated to purchase 2 seats and if they didn’t do that in advance they should be kicked off the plane. My dad was on a flight and saw a 400 pound behemoth coming his way. He put the armrest down immediately in anticipation. Of course, the guy had the seat next to my dad. He asked if my dad would put the armrest up. My dad said “No”. The guy couldn’t fit. Soon, the flight attendant was threatening to kick my dad off the flight for not putting up his armrest and for making this tub of lard of feel bad. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed (the captain) and my dad was moved to a First Class seat. Needless to say my dad sent a not-very-nice letter to the airline.

  9. Mark

    On many airlines you can request to be moved if a “jumbo” moves in beside you. Those individuals choose to be that size – and they should also choose to buy 2 tickets. Yet another example of individuals not wanting to take responsibility for their own lives and outcomes.

    And TTT – the problem is society isn’t honest enough to the obese. The obese are killing themselves and they cost YOU and ME money – we pay higher insurance premiums to cover their bad habits. What they need is a physician who has the “stones” to say to them “you are morbidly obese and need to change your lifestyle or you will die sooner”. Sensitivity isn’t needed here – honesty is.

  10. Dave Bartol

    A “Fat Tax” should be implemented. That could be used to keep people thinking about their lives and the costs to others directly or indirectly.

  11. Just a guy

    Your flight was uncomfortable because someone has decided to ignore common-sense medical opinion.

    Uh, yeah.

  12. Joey Mesa

    I bet that beet juice vomit looked pretty gnarly! I’ve been juicing it the same way (beets, apples and carrots) for the last year or so, and have yet to get sick from it.

  13. Rob Bell

    My wife got sick after beet juice once. It didn’t mix well with the gingerbread pita chips she ate right before. She didn’t have any flu symptoms though. Just vomit (with beet juice coming out the nose) and an upset stomach for a while. Months later, she still can’t look at or smell anything with beets.

  14. Mike Rodose

    Steve. If you hadn’t buckled up, you would have ended up in her tummy.

    Her big, fat, disgusting, 2-seater tummy. And then onto her aircraft carrier-sized ass.

    You should have peed on her whale sized cankle to make a dent in the equation.

  15. Mike Rodose

    You fat bastahd…

    How dare you discriminate against skinny and Steve Tilford!

    You resemble a water buffalo. The fattest one on the herd. You can feed a stadium.


  16. Michael Smith

    My horror story involved a flight from Alaska to Seattle with a record number of “lap babies”, 31 to be exact. The odor, sounds, and stressed out stewardesses ( yea, we called them that back in the day) made the 5 hour flight bearable only by consuming large quantities of top shelf Scotch (bless the stew that kept in comming). Next time i left Alaska, I drove….

  17. mike crum

    if i had to pee, i would have said excuse me, and waited a minute for the lady next to you to move, then go pee. not rocket science..

  18. mike

    Holy cow…my ex mother-in-law who would have thunk,did she have a beeper letting everyone know she was backing up

  19. Rich

    Did she at least have the decency to apologize? I have never figured out why normal sized people have to make room for everyone else, but the obese get a free pass. God forbid we point out the obvious or offend them. I have a friend who has always been huge, and he lost 150lbs through exercise and felt great. He went up again after some health probelms depressed him, but he at least apologized to people when he knew they were making room for him. Airlines not wanting to offend one person just ends up offending the rest of us.

  20. H Luce

    lol… the worst experience I ever had was when I was 13, took a Greyhound bus to visit my grandmother in Kansas City. The bus was so old it didn’t have air conditioning, just openable windows. It was a 75 mile ride on two-lane highways in Kansas summer heat. At the first stop with about 65 miles to go, this big fat black guy got on, came lumbering down the aisle, and sat next to me – on the aisle seat, I was next to the window. No armrest. He was chainsmoking Camel nonfilters, and he had a fifth of Jack Daniels whiskey. He was drunk and sweating profusely, and every seat in the bus was taken and there were people standing up. After about 10 miles, he offered me a drink. I took it. He went the full way, all the way to KC. By the time I got off that bus I was so drunk I could hardly stand up…

  21. H Luce

    this is what I use for the Montezuma quick step:
    Arsenicum album is derived from oxide of arsenic. It is particularly useful when treating food poisoning that resulted from eating spoiled meat and drinking contaminated water. Symptoms of this type of food poisoning include severe, painful diarrhea and vomiting that burns your throat, as well as extreme exhaustion, restlessness, nervousness and thirst. Warm drinks and compresses generally relieve symptoms for a short time. For best results, take one 6C or 12C tablet of arsenicum album every two to three hours until the worst of your symptoms subside.

    One dose of Boiron 30C Arsenicum Album usually does it for me, the cramps subside after about 15 minutes, and the runs stop pretty quickly too.

    Drink Gatorade diluted 1 to 1 with water for rehydration.

  22. steevo

    “oh you want to bring a 17lb bike on the plane in a 5lb soft case?.. that will be 50-150 dollars. oh you want to bring 100lbs of fat on… that FREE” – airlines
    Southwest has a rule that if you need a seatbelt extender, you need two seats.

  23. Christopher Bluhm

    Couldn’t agree more. These are people. You have no idea what their situations might be. Compassion people.

  24. Joe Sales

    I’ve noticed a real up-tick in the volume of “finger-wagging” in the direction of overweight and obese people. While I agree that flying in todays world of cramped airplanes and luggage restrictions can create awkward and uncomfortable situations, it seems that the overall lack of empathy towards the overweight and obese might be both cruel and mistaken.

    There has been an incredible long term study undertaken by Kaiser and the CDC looking at childhood trauma and adult health. (ACE) The data is still being analysed but what they are finding is a direct link between childhood abuse, trauma and neglect and obesity (among other behaviors like drug addiction and alcoholism)

    I heard the physician who started the study, DR Vincent Felitti, on a CBC radio program this past summer. As part of a preventative medicine program that included weight loss as a prescription, he found that his most successful weight-losers were also the most likely to regain that weight. Many of these early patients of his lost over 300 pounds and then gained it all back. When he looked closer at underlying mental health issues he discovered that out of a pool of almost 300 obese patients, nearly half had been sexually molested as children.
    The long term study that he started in conjunction with the CDC as a result of this early data has also shown similar numbers.
    After hearing him speak for 90 minutes about his research it seemed to me that making fun of obese people was about as sporting as making fun of victims of childhood abuse.
    My hunch is that its much worse to be the overweight person on a fully booked plane than it is to be the person sitting next to the overweight or obese person.

  25. TTT

    My guess is a stern lecture from a doctor isn’t going to do the trick. Usually people who are obese have a lot of emotional issues and they get plenty of sensible advice that they have difficulty following.


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