So much to write about, but where to start? Let’s start with the flu shot. I had a cruise booked from November 12 to 19. Out of Miami, and miraculously none of the four ports we were scheduled to stop at had been decimated by hurricanes, typhoons or other acts of God. What a lovely thought, kicking off winter going some place warm, but I had to get there first. That meant exposure, germs, coughing, sneezing, slimey little bacteria lurking to nab an innocent victim.
It was a bit early for the flu shot, but I tracked it down – available at a local clinic. The clinic was open for seniors and immune compromised individuals. I spoke to my doctor to get in and get the shot, explaining my travel plans. Fortunately she agreed with me, I needed the flu shot, my history indicated that I don’t travel well. Three weeks before my cruise I was in and vaccinated. Take that, evil germs!
I got the shot on a Friday after work, by that night I was feeling awful. My shoulder really hurt. The next morning, full of aches and pains I decided maybe I was one of the unlucky ones to experience a more severe reaction. Oh, well better the suffering before the cruise than on the cruise. By the next Monday, I was okay, felt a little under the weather but got through the week. By the next weekend I felt awful again, body aches and pains, a headache, those normal seasonal things that working in a large office exposes one to. By the end of the week heading into the cruise I was pumped, felt great. Ready to go, confident that I had dealt with all the stuff that I now associated with that flu shot. It was worth it to ensure I was in optimal shape for travelling.
Itinerary: Friday – drive to Toronto and stay overnight at the airport, Saturday – depart Toronto to Miami where we’d overnight and on Sunday pick up the cruise. A nice leisurely, stress free, relaxed approach to getting from point A to point B. Not without risk of germs though, flying has always been the most likely place for me to pick up something.
I was travelling with my sisters – one was healthy, one was germy, also a significant risk for obvious reasons. No fear, I had my flu shot. I was taking immune boosters, I was going into this trip feeling good, I had this. Nope. By Sunday night, the first night of the cruise I started to feel awful. By Tuesday I’d lost my sense of taste and couldn’t breathe. By Thursday, I had my taste back but had started coughing. By the time it got to the weekend I was dreaming, or was it hallucinating, about my brass bed and my bathtub. I just wanted to be home.
I always bring some supplies with me when I travel, but nothing touched this. The ship’s store had no supplies to speak of, and the ports we stopped in had all sorts of available medication – but I didn’t know what I needed. I had a friend on the same cruise with me. Thank God! Not only did she bring stuff, but she brought essential oils to use. Unfortunately the cough, cold, flu whatever had gripped me too fast but at least I could knock myself out with sinus medication.
So here I sit, at home just writing about this now. Why, because it didn’t end there. I managed to go into work the Tuesday after I got back and squeaked out the week. By last Friday I was in the throes of a high fever, aches and pains, extreme fatigue and nausea. I decided to stay home Monday and heal, nope got worse. Yesterday I visit the doctor. A miracle really, because her office was actually closed, she was doing paperwork, but they squeezed a few people in, and I was one of the lucky ones. The result – “No point in swabbing you now,” says the doctor, “You’ve had this for a bit. It sounds like the flu, it’s here in the community, but something else is going on there. Sinus infection. And to be safe let’s get a chest X-ray while you’re here. Yes, you’re contagious until the fever goes away and the cough stops. Bed rest, I’ll call you when I get the x-ray back.”
Today, she called me about the x-ray. Pneumonia. Why not?