Of all the things that could go wrong before a big trip, snow storms, family emergencies, financial issues, etc., falling ill would have to be my number one worst thing that could happen right before a trip.
That’s a tall order, but I have my reasons. All of the other things that could go wrong like bad weather, family or friend emergencies, money troubles are out of your control. You literally have no ability to control whether or not they happen. All you can do is take a deep breath and move on. Sure it’ll put a dent into your trip or cause you to cancel it all together, but it was out of your hands! The fates were in control, and sometimes those guys suck!
But getting sick right before a trip? Surely, surely, you could have done something to prevent your own illness!
Well, it’s officially happened to me. I’ve posted before (or really on several occasions) on how I always end up sick while traveling. Well, this is only slightly different as I was dying sick a mere two weeks before my Egypt trip.
It all began Wednesday night two weeks ago when I decided to cook a steak on the skillet. I blame my old Australian roommate, Tom, for this. I watched him cook a steak in a fryer on the stove one night in Ireland, and when I tasted it, it was actually really good! I decided to give a go at skillet steak myself. Initially, I thought I did a poor job in cooking it because the flavor was off. It wasn’t until the next morning as I was hurling the remnants into the toilet that I realized the steak was bad. So I had food poisoning on Thursday. Things didn’t get better from there.
Friday morning, I woke up with a serious headache, weakness, and exhaustion. I called my boy friend at 7.55am and told him that we needed to go to the doctor. I knew I was dehydrated without the doctor’s help, but I needed medical care. Drinking a ton of water wasn’t going to be enough. JJ took me to Urgent Care where I was berated for not being able to pee in a cup and hooked up to two bags of saline. He was such a trooper to hangout with me all morning in the doctors office.
I thought I was in the clear. My parents came to my apartment and cooked me chicken noodle soup. I honestly felt better. The only thing I could say was wrong was that I started to cough. But that’s not alarming right? People cough all the time.
The next morning, Saturday, two weeks before my trip to Egypt, I woke up unable to breathe. I tried to get out of bed, but every bit of energy I exerted caused me to sick wind even harder. Every time I tried to breathe, I coughed. Every time I coughed, I couldn’t breathe. A vicious cycle of shortness of breath and intense coughing began. I panicked.
I’ve never been as truly scared for my health as I was that morning. Not being able to breathe is awful and it is a feeling I don’t wish on anyone. My mom drove down from home to pick me up and took me to the doctor in our hometown. I was diagnosed with chest congestion. A few hours and a new prescription later, I headed home. A fever had set in and I was frozen. I crawled into bed with my coat on and had my parents pile on blankets. I slept for about four hours.
My fever never went away. It worsened. I forced myself out of the bed and moved to the den with my parents. I sank further and further into the chair as the fever ravaged through my body. Eventually, it broke and I was covered in gross sick sweat. But! I was able to talk, move, and eat. The next three days were spent under the watchful eye of my parents as I hacked my lungs out and fought a continuous fever.
It’s presently Tuesday, almost two weeks later and I am still coughing. I feel 1000% better, but my chest is still tight. I leave on Saturday for two weeks in Egypt and five days in Europe. How will I continue to get better?
I always pack extra medicine on trips. Ibuprofen, Advil, Tylenol, whatever of those pain/fever breaking pills I can pack into a bag are always taken. You never know what those pills can save you from. Unisom is a sleeping pill that I use when I travel. It helps me become acclimated to time change faster. A lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body. Always make sure to assimilate as fast as possible to the new time. Amoxicillin is the anti-biotic that I use on the regular. It can knock out any and all illnesses. I make sure to take a few days worth on all trips. This trip, I have an inhaler that I plan to take. Because I am still coughing and having chest problems, I want to be sure that all the walking we will do won’t cause the chest congestion to rebound. And lastly, I always pack either Tums, Pepcid AC, or Pepto to protect my stomach against strange foods. Having had food poisoning just two weeks ago, my body will still be very tender in Egypt. Throw in all of those new foods and flavors and I will be a volcano waiting to explode!
It’s not going to be a long two and a half weeks. I’m not 100% health-wise, but at this point, all I can do is continue to take medicine and keep a watchful eye on myself. The worst thing that could happen to me right before a big trip happened. Now I just need to push forward and enjoy myself the best I can.