This post is a little late in coming. I did say something in the last post about following that post up with some heartwarming story about home during the holidays or some such thing. But, then I got like, super sick, and had some time to think better of that.
What probably would have happened is a post like the one a half dozen back, where I talk about small town USA, and stuff. I already did that. So, instead, let’s talk about getting sick. Why? Because, everybody gets sick.
Three stories from three continents that maybe tell a story about seeing the world.
Egypt, 2000, sick on a cruise ship.
Say, night four of a ten night stint up and down the Nile, on a Contiki trip with a most awesome group of Aussies. Up all night, drinking and waiting for the sun to come up over the Nile. Somewhere in the midst of the evening, I slipped and got a drink with ice in it.
Now, anybody who knows anything about Egypt will tell you don’t drink the water. I mean, don’t drink the water! One drink with ice cubes in it and bang, Pharaohs Revenge. It took 2 full days to pass. I ate a complete box of Imodium AD. Pretty sure I lost weight. I flushed the toilet in my cabin so many times that I broke it. By the time I started to feel better, I had wrapped all the towels around the toilet so that it wouldn’t leak out on the floor when flushed.
I did get the pictures of the sun coming up over the river, and made it out to one Temple before I was sequestered to my cabin, on the bottom of the ship. On the bottom of the ship, where all the plumbing went up.
Moral: don’t drink the water! Let’s say, I didn’t make that mistake twice! But, some of my traveling companions did. Sucked to be them!
Europe, 2005, sick in Paris.
Everybody has the well thought out plan that goes to hell, somewhere around the midpoint. Where I have these in spades, for this particular story I’ll use Paris.
After several wonderful day wondering the Louvre, and antagonizing women with my lack of the French language, I potentially interacted with someone that didn’t agree with me. That, or more likely, I forgot to wash my hand after handling the money. (Serious, foreign currency is a huge germ carrier.)
A stop in MT Saint Michel and casual side trip around Normandy turned into 1 day running around the top Normandy sites and 4 days sick as hell in a Paris hotel.
This was one of the rare times I travelled internationally and didn’t pack a certain amount of cold/flu and stomach meds. Fortunately, there are a plethora of pharmacies in Paris. All the pharmacies are marked by green crosses. The pharmacy people are very good, and the drugs are all pretty much the same. Different names, different packages, same base ingredients.
Moral of this story? Probably, wash your hands more. Still haven’t made it to MT Saint Michel yet.
The United States, 2019, somewhere between New York and Texas.
You know that feeling you get when you’re in the middle of something and you start feel, off. You think to yourself, “hope I’m not getting sick?” Too late, you’re sick.
After days of driving and seeing people, which really was just a lot of time in my truck, alone with my thoughts, it struck. I have no real good idea about how I got the sickness, but the cold/flu hit like a ton of bricks.
I drove for as long as I could, and then pulled up at a Holiday Inn Express, somewhere in Roanoke, Virginia. I gave the desk lady my visa and asked for the location of the nearest drug store (oh, and McDonalds). After drugs, food, and the first half of the Alabama/Clemson game I crashed. (Pretty much like Alabama did. Roll Tide!) Eating drugs and drinking coffee got me the rest of the way to Texas. There, I collapsed in my bed.
Moral? I guess you just never know when things are going to fall apart. Sometimes you just have to such it up and keep moving on.
Basically, you just never know when you are going to get sick on the road.
Don’t let it get you down! It happens!
Seriously, don’t let it get you down. If you are gonna get sick, you are gonna get sick. You put a lot of changes on your system when you travel. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.
About the only things you can really do are maintain your fitness, eat healthy, wash your hands at the right times, eat drugs when necessary, and don’t panic. These things happen. It will, most likely, be okay.
Optimism keeps us all going. Optimism will keep you going too. Or, that’s my two cents.
Now, get out there. Do stuff, even if you might get sick!