I’ve been extremely lucky when it comes to my health, especially given that I travel virtually nonstop. I’ve never had food poisoning, have never had a major medical scare, and never got seriously injured.
Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.
Tiffany and I have been traveling since last Tuesday. On Tuesday we flew from Detroit to Beijing, and on Wednesday we flew from Beijing to Bangkok. At the time I wrote about how I slept from takeoff until touchdown on that second flight, which was the first time in my life where that happened. I was insanely fatigued. I figured it was just part of getting older and that I can’t handle crazy trips the way I used to be able to.
But then the next morning I woke up in Bangkok and felt like death. The same was true the following day. I slept for 14+ hours each of those days. To my surprise I felt almost back to normal by day three, which was also the day we flew from Bangkok to Hong Kong.
The next morning I woke up in Hong Kong and felt the worst I’ve probably ever felt. I didn’t leave bed for 24 hours, and had aches and pains in ways I’ve never felt before. I was so happy to have Tiffany with me, as she did an amazing job taking care of me (though I feel horribly, since this is our second major trip in a row where I’ve been sick the entire time).
I do everything I can to avoid visiting doctors, though I was feeling so bad that I asked to see one. The hotel arranged for a doctor to come to my room, since I couldn’t even walk. He gave me a test for the flu, and sure enough, I tested positive for Influenza B. On the plus side, that’s apparently the less serious version of the flu. However, this also means that I’ll be weak for quite a while.
In total I slept for almost 48 hours straight (aside from the short break to see the doctor), and I still can’t really function. This morning I got up to pee and ended up collapsing on the bathroom floor because I was so dizzy.
Given that the flu can last for weeks, this of course presents a tough situation. Do I just stay in Hong Kong till I’m fully recovered (which could be quite some time), or do I try to fly back to the US on a nonstop flight? Obviously I won’t be taking the five segment routing I had initially booked.
For now we’re playing it by ear. If I start to feel a little better, then I’d feel comfortable enough taking the nonstop flight to the US in Cathay Pacific first class, since I figure I can just sleep the whole way. But otherwise I’m basically just locking myself in this room until I’m feeling better.
PS: Completely unrelated to everything else, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what kind of an on-call doctor the hotel arranged for me. His business card indicated that he was a “Specialist in Emergency Medicine,” but the bottom of his business card said “#Cosmetic #Gene #Vaccine #Sex.” Um, #WTF?
I’m grateful that I’ve had such good luck when traveling, given all the horror stories I’ve heard of people getting sick abroad.
While I’ve never felt as crappy as I do right now, I’m grateful to have Tiffany here, because I’d probably feel very alone if I were this far from family and all by myself. Suffice to say that our itinerary from Asia back to the US being on three separate tickets wasn’t ideal when it came time to make changes.
Have you ever gotten seriously sick while traveling? How did you handle it?