Saturday, April 17, 2010

Panic stations

I had panic attacks both yesterday and the day before. At least I think that's what they were. One moment everything was normal, then the whole room started to spin, as if I'd been drinking, and I couldn't feel my arms or legs. Yesterday's one happened at around 9pm. I felt sick and lay on my stomach on my bed for a while. I then felt very weak and exceptionally hungry, like I hadn't eaten for days. What can I have that's quick? Weet-Bix. But that milk container is so heavy! I unplugged the phone (it was about the time Mum was likely to ring), ate my Weet-Bix in bed (the sugar tasted much sweeter than it normally does) and then went to sleep. This morning I'm fine.

I've had an up-and-down sort of week. Hopeful one day, utterly hopeless the next. On Monday night at Takapuna I played my last pair of interclub matches for the season. In my singles I was totally outgunned by a 17-year-old whose father coaches the game and whose 12-year-old sister is ranked second in the country for her age group (and can now beat her big brother). Man did that serve come down fast. His forehand was an equally effective weapon; I aimed everything at his backhand which, unfortunately for me, he was often able to run round. The Takapuna courts had ample space between the baseline and the fence, which was just as well because I needed virtually all of it. I lost the first set 6-2 in 22 minutes (yes I timed it again). The second was closer: at 3-3 I had a point to win each of the next two games. Had I won those points the outcome might have been different, but in the last game at 5-4 he slammed down four more booming serves to snuff out any chance I might have had. I broke his serve just once in the match; in that game he double faulted twice to give me a love-30 head start, and even then I only just won it.

What happened next, in the doubles with Superman, was quite a surprise. We played well but we were up against two young guys (including the one who had just beaten me) who were only interested in the singles. Once we were on top, they simply didn't care, and we won 6-1 6-1. The night's other matches also reached a swift conclusion and we were able to have a few drinks afterwards. Being a Monday night, and ... er ... New Zealand, everything is normally shut by the time we get off the court. After Saturday's experience which I found pretty horrible, I can almost say I enjoyed my tennis on Monday.

I spoke to my dad last night (my panic attack, or whatever it was, happened almost has we hung up). We had a good chat, mainly because we never talked about me. My grandmother isn't as bad as my dad had feared, but she's losing her memory and that is upsetting her. In fact she lived in morbid fear of losing her memory long before it actually happened.

Yesterday I started to think about the ins and outs of my trip for maybe the first time. I really don't like to plan things. The future, even a positive future such as a holiday, tends to scare me. I booked a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Brescia for May 12th; my plan is to spend nine days or so exploring the north of Italy, then visit Marseille, get the TGV up to Paris, go to Roland-Garros if I can somehow wangle myself a ticket, then catch the Eurostar (which I haven't booked yet) back to London.

Talking of UK flights, due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, nobody in or around the UK is currently flying anywhere.

This afternoon I'll be meeting Richard and the rest of the Asperger's gang for their monthly meeting. I'm looking forward to it. It's one of the highlights of my month.

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