Me still smiling after my millionth botched IV in the hospital in Lebanon.
When I last updated this blog I was leaving on what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. England, France and Lebanon with my parents and The Husband. I was going to meet The Husband’s family for the first time ever in Lebanon and I was so excited to come back and blog all the wonderful memories. So why did I disappear? Because the trip went so wrong and was so horrific that I didn’t want to talk about it because I was just so damn disappointed.
What happened? I got sick, so very sick I thought (and my family thought) I was going to die.
In London we walked a million miles taking the Underground everywhere and hoofing it though every museum and landmark we could manage and my feet hurt. My feet hurt really really bad but I discounted it because we were walking A LOT. Then when we got to France my feet swoll up to 3 times their normal size and I sought medical treatment. The doctor in France was baffled and gave me pressure socks for the flight to Lebanon. By the time I got to Lebanon the swelling was so bad I thought my feet actually might explode. I got awful purple bruises all around the edges of my feet along with huge raised bruises all over my knees and extending out. Then the real sickness hit. It felt like the worst flu I had ever had ever. Uncontrollable shaking with chills, super high fever and excruciating pain in all my joints that rattled my bones. I had never felt internal pain the way joints were radiating fire as I was shaking.
It was awful. Here I was finally meeting The Husband’s family and all I could do is lay there and shake. I was admitted to a hospital in Saida and I can’t tell you how scary it was. My Husband’s family made sure there was some one with me 24/7 for my safety. It was a predominantly Muslim hospital and most people did not care for Americans or non-Muslims. (The Husband’s family is Catholic). As if tensions weren’t already high Bin Laden’s assassination was announced a few days into my hospitalization. Besides the cultural differences the condition of the hospital itself was appalling. Even if I survived this mysterious disease being in that hospital was probably going to kill me anyways.
Chillin’ with my flippers up. Still sick but about to be released from hospital in Saida.
After almost 2 weeks in that hospital I wasn’t really any better. But armed with a ton of Panadol I was discharged and The Husband and I made the 24 hour trip back to the United States. Wow was that trip rough. 24 hours and 4 flights with the fever, pain and swelling. Even with a wheelchair and escorts at every airport I barely made it.
As soon as we got back to the US I went straight to a hospital in San Diego where I was tested for every virus and bacteria in the world. Every single test came back negative. All the doctors kept saying is that I was “a very interesting case”. I had gotten something awful and the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was but my body was winning the war. The bruising, swelling and fever finally subsided and I was released from the hospital to bed rest at home. I very slowly got better but after all the swelling in my feet I lost all flexibility in my ankles. Getting up and down stairs was impossible and took almost a month the relearn.
Collage of pics in Lebanon, traveling home and healing.
My body had won against whatever it was and I finally got better and returned to work. I was weak but no longer sick and resumed life as normal. I was so surprised when my follow up CT scan came back showing my lymph nodes were extremely inflamed and not normal. Then my doctor uttered the words that no one ever wants to hear, the possibility that I was facing the Big C. What then followed was 2 months of not knowing, tests, scans and jumping around from specialist to specialist. And finally I got the good news!! I DO NOT have lymphoma. The assumption is that my magical mystery disease was so severe it’s taking almost 6 months for my body to go back to normal.
So there you have it! I stopped updating this blog because I wasn’t ready to tell this story yet. And now the story has been told and I feel so much better that this all actually behind me. It’s over and I’m OK!! I’m resuming living life in this space and it feels good. It’s a new year and I’m really looking forward to all the big changes The Husband and I have planned. I feel like this going to be the best year yet in our marriage. I’m so excited for what the future holds!!