13 July 2011

The company

"Let us rise up & be thankful
for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little
and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick
and if we got sick, at least we didn't die
So, let us all be thankful"

-- Buddha

I went to bed around 23:00 local time (it seems every country except the USA uses military time so I permanently converted) and briefly awoke at 3:00.  I figured I should eat a snack since my stomach had been upset since the start of these holidays a.k.a. vacation.  The alarm clock went off at 7:30 because Mom and I had a flight to Greece's most famous isle: Santorini.   

Immediately, I went to the bathroom and threw up.  This stomach ailment was becoming chronic and ruining my trip!  I opted to take a nausea pill I had brought from home for emergencies.  Obviously that didn't work because 30 minutes later I was praying to the porcelain gods again.  Now I was getting nervous: the medicine wasn't working  (for those of you who are unaware, I am diabetic so as soon as I throw up my blood glucose numbers skyrocket which in turn makes me dehydrated which in turn makes my insulin not work correctly... it's quite a vicious cycle)

I began to feel worse and knew I couldn't make our 10:00 voyage to Santorini so my mother went to the Hilton's lobby to inquire about later flights.  Still, I felt awful for ruining the first two (soon-to-become-three-) days of my mom's vacation.  A half hour later she returned just as I was sprinting to the toilet again.  Amidst puking up air (there was nothing left in me to come up) I had visions of going to a Greek hospital.  We already knew there was a language barrier and although I had insurance, surely the price would be steep because Evangelismos Hospital was out-of-network.  Knowing that, I began to have visions of dying abroad kind of like Discovery Channel's show Locked Up Abroad.

I told my mom I felt like I was dying.  She calmly told me that my stomach problems were always worst in the morning.  I told her I wanted to go to the hospital.  She assured me I should rest and that returning to The States wasn't an option.  I told her I only had two remaining nausea pills and was hesitant to fly to an isolated island.  She clarified that I may not even need more medication so stressing about the pills was pointless. 

Then she told me the bad news: the entire city of Athens was going on strike the next day, so there would be no way to get to the airport.  We had to leave tonight or not at all.

This put different spin on the situation.  So, I plopped back into bed in hopes of pulling myself together.  At Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών a.k.a. Athens International Airport I forced down a chicken & cheese pita.  The first four bites were rough and I had to wash them down with water.  Gradually -- bite by bite -- I began to feel human again.  We disembarked the plane and waited for the bus to Fira, but it never arrived.  Apparently, the bus stopped at 19:00.  Thank goodness the airport worker told my mother & me or we might have waited all night!  In the taxi, en route to The Tataki Hotel, I was relieved when we passed a clinic.

Drained, I laid on the bed and mentally debated the blessings/curses of traveling with a partner.  The pros definitely outweighed the cons:
CONS 
* Conflict of interest -- in relation to food, activities, and travel philosophies
* May make the trip worse/make you regret not going solo
* Challenges your patience, communication skills & compromising abilities

* Indecisiveness since you are not solely responsible for the trip
* Snoring (if applicable)
* May slow you down




PROS
* Trying each other's meals; sharing toiletries; another person knows the lock box code
* Always have someone who can relate because he/she has shared the experience
* Inspires you to be more patient, loving, understanding, hopeful & compromising
* Two heads are better than one when problem-solving
* Empathy and/or comedic relief during a terrible moment/day/trip
* May push you to do more than you ever thought yourself capable of
... like stand up from the bathroom floor, regroup, try to eat, and get on that plane to Santorini

2 comments:

  1. Bummer you felt like shit. But even through puking and whatever else I'm sure you still found a way to enjoy it!!

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  2. Hey JR, it was mostly morning sickness (AND NOOO, I'm not pregnant!) so -- thankfully -- I was still able to get out at night. Being sick on vacation is the worst though! I'm working on my blog, can't wait to read your next post too =)

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