Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm alive...alive!

Well, it could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse.

...was really bad (posted as a 5.5 but at times was a -2) and I was in serious doubt if I could make the trip to Houston or not. In talking with my oldest friend (meaning I have known her the longest, not that she is actually old) Jen she convinced me that I really needed to go to the pharmacy and try to get some medicine and Gatorade/electrolytes to help me feel better. There is a pharmacy one block away, so I got somewhat presentable and began the trek hoping I would not get sick along the way.

I can now say I have no shame. When you are sick, really sick, you will do what you can to feel better. I walked into the pharmacy armed with a few phrases; "mal de tete" and "mald'estomac" being the few. I walk to the counter and very sweet looking young girl with a white lap coats begins to talk to me. We establish my lack of French, the headache, stomach ache, I mime fever by putting hand to head and then I do it. I cringe both mentally and physically, take a breath, blush, then I mime diarrhea. Oh yeah folks, no shame here. I actually just kind of patted my hip, hunched over and smiled so don't go picturing Steve Martin on me. She was so nice, and obviously a champ at charades because she got it all. She then walks into the back, picks boxes off all kinds of shelves and loads me up with 4 things for all my ailments. Even a box of sachets I mix with water to replace all the electrolytes I have lost over the last two days. She writes on each box how to take them (no, not one suppository for those of you who are into stereotyping French medicine) and I'm off to home.

On the walk back I open the pack of tabs for nausea. They are to be put under your tongue until they dissolve. I'm a block from home, I put the tab under my tongue. Every drop of moisture in my body is absorbed by this thing. My mouth puckers, my eyes squint due to lack of moisture. Then I think the tab began to foam. It has a silvery metallic and strong medicine taste in my mouth and foam is threatening to make me look rabid. I make it to our place, pry my mouth open and get a little water in it. The rest of Thursday is a blur. Thursday night was a series of 1 - 2 hour naps (better than the night before). Cyr calls to wake me up at 6am Friday. I wake up and I'm not sure if I'm ok or not. He convinces me to get dressed and helps talk me down from not taking my flight.

8:15 - I take my one piece of luggage and bag and walk to the tram.
8:25 - Damn. That tram is fast. I'm now and hour early for my train to Brussels and I only need to be here 30 minutes prior to board. I need to be more French-like and less American-early.
9:15 - My track is announced, I make my way to where the train will be. No need to check in or anything, travel to Brussels is like travel to Oklahoma from Texas, but a much better destination.
9:35 - Train was 5 minutes late due to a "Problem with the engine". Ok...but we board the train anyway. I guess they fixed it.
problems with our engine. We will be 20 minutes late to Brussels, sorry..." Well 10:00 - Announcement; "The reason we are not at full speed is because we are still havingcrapola, that means I miss my connection to the airport. No big deal, Cyr said there is a train every 10 minutes or so.
10:50 - I found and took the train to Brussels airport
11:30 - Arrive Brussels airport. Phone rings. It's Auchan. They want to schedule a time to come fix the dryer!! I'm running through the airport trying not to get sick and feeling the effects of all the drugs I have in my system. I get my point across (I think) and hang up. They call back, I don't answer, I told them I was leaving the country. They call 8 times. I don't answer 8 times. I can't handle any more Auchan.
12:45 - Am on the flight, take another nausea tongue tab thing and doze off. I hear we were on the runway for an hour before we took off. I was in and out in a drug induced coma. The flight went ok, I didn't get sick on the plan.
??:?? I have no recollection of time, I know I had a 4 hour layover in Philly. I know I went through customs there and rechecked my bags, I know was I there and sat around in different chairs. I remember I kept feeling like the seats were shaking because everyone was walking so hard and I was getting nauseous, I know I was feeling horrible but didn't throw up, and I know I finally got on the plane to Houston.
7pmish - I get on the flight to Houston. It's a small plane. A girl sits down next to me. She turns out to be so fun to talk to, kind and witty. And a doctor. A neurologist, so not really what I need, but she does have some Phenergan for my stomach. The world is a just place sometimes.
11:00 - Mom picks me up!! I suddenly feel much better. I ask to drive because she is in my car. I get half way home and have to pull over, I'm too dizzy and am scared to drive. Uhh...I just want to get home. We get there eventually and talk and then I take my Phenergan and sleep a solid 9 hours for the first time in what feels like weeks.

Today is Monday and I went to the doctor to get checked out. He took some blood and is going to get back to me. I feel pretty normal now, still light headed but not too sick. He isn't sure if it's a parasite or if I had some kind of food poisoning or what. I have antibiotics, migraine medicine, my own Phenergan and an anti-dizzy medicine (not the technical term there). I'm looking forward to finding out if anything comes back in my blood.

I'm sure all will be back to some kind of normal soon. Thanks for all the emails out there. I love to read your posts and emails, so thanks!


Justin said...

Oh Susan, sorry you had such a rough time... but thank you for making me laugh. I thought my first trip to the pharmacy was funny because I had to play charades as well... but my illnesses where constrained to my head. Don't worry it will get better... I love French pharmacies except they always try to give me nasal sprays which I hate. But my last trip I was able to tell her no nasal sprays and please just give me Actifed with pseudophedrine (and I did not even have to show my license, take that USA!).

Enjoy your trip home, and I hope you feel a lot better.

Take care,

J said...

(Hope you're better)