Travelling Sick

As much as I love travelling, my love comes with slight caveats. I hate travelling when I’m sick. Unfortunately I’ve had more than my share of instances in which a perfectly good, albeit already exhausting trip was turned around by a sudden onset of allergies, flu, or stomach bug.

Any kind of travelling calls for a certain level of enthusiasm, motivation, and energy. Those are also the first three things that go out the window when I get sick. The first time I spent a summer in Ireland, I got sick about half way through. I think it was triggered by allergies to foreign pollens, but my busy lifestyle and lack of sleep turned it into something worse. I spent almost a week of my trip with a bad fever an unable to get out of bed. Fortunately, the illness subsided and I was well for the last week I was there. Until the night before I left… when I pretty badly relapsed. So then I had a series of three flights to get back to the US, which came to about 12 hours, followed by a 6 hour wait and a 22 hour train ride and an hour bus ride to get home.

I felt like death. I wouldn’t recommend those kinds of layovers and transfers anyway, regardless how much money it saves. Yes I travelled cheaply, but I also paid the price with my sickness. I was absolutely miserable. Being alone and leaving a place you don’t want to part with only made it so much worse.

There was another time when I was flying from Michigan to Texas and back in one day for a job interview. First off, that sort of thing doesn’t usually happen in my life. Getting flown out of state for an interview, given a free rental car, and flown home all in one day? I didn’t know what to do with myself. At the time I was suffering from migraines, which are pretty tough to handle in and of themselves, but I hadn’t realized that altitude wreaks havoc on migraines. So I’m on the plane and napping, as it’s still only about 7am, and I wake up feeling woozy and dizzy and with my vision just spiraling. I’m usually great with flights and love to fly, so this was entirely out of left field. If I’d been standing I would have come crashing to the floor, but as it was it’s strange enough to black out while already sitting and unable to fall any further. I have to say it was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life. I woke up an hour later feeling cold and hot and clammy and nauseated. Somehow the interview and the rest of the day, including the three following flights, all went pretty well.

So now I’m faced with a road trip, from after work today until late Sunday night, eating up my whole weekend. I would already find that much time in the car to be exhausting, especially since I’ll be driving most of the way, but now I can add to it that I’ve come down with a horrible head cold in the last 24 hours. The school where I teach has been passing around a two day stomach bug, but of course I can’t get that – I have to get the sort of flu that keeps me up all night in a fever, and probably won’t leave me for weeks.

Oh, what a fun road trip this will be. If I’m living at the end, I’ll tell you about my little sisters I’m going to go see get Confirmed.

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