Saturday, August 28, 2010

T'was quite an Odyssée - Frankfurt - Reykjavik - New York - Tampa

There is a Virus out there which is a kind of a sleeping 'thing' that the host doesn't even know he has.
Until this Virus wakes up one day and wreaks havoc, that is.
THEN certainly you know you have it.

It acts like a miserable allergy and when he introduces himself for the first time he behaves quite civil; you just scratch yourself bloody all over, your body swells, doctors are clueless and allergy meds don't help.

After 3 days he says 'good bye'. And you think - WHEW!! What did I eat? What did I touch? I never was allergic to anything in my life.
Then you forget about it.


Alas, this is a sneaky little darlin-virus. It just went back to sleep. But don't you dare to work too hard, get stressed or what-ever...??? Nobody knows. Good thing, this little darlin' wouldn't bother anyone else. It stays right where it feels at home.
Obviously in my body.

Of course, I forgot about him (or it??) too - until one day, I must have woken him up (he is kinda male to me).
He says 'hello' on your belly just with itching and swelling bubbles and crawls slowly but surley all over the body - until he reaches jet-speed and you think - oh NO, not again.
That was 6 months after he introduced himself to me.

At this time he already felt more comfortable. He spread his wings... and HOW he did.

I had to call an ambulance at night because my throat was going to close up. These nice guys urged me to take me to a hospital but I was too embarrassed - I thought 'No Way... for a little scratching allergy? Not me!'
To make this short, I called them 6 hours later and was glad they took me to the ER.
This was viruses' second appearance. And I was still embarrassed. SUCH a stupid thing - and I'm in a hospital.
Now you guess it, right? No 3 happened exactly 6 month later again.
Meanwhile I knew what to expect but still tried to sit it out at home. Not a chance.
I received Steroids, Cortizone, endless IV's in an ER and scratched myself bloody and half to death.
My body, head, face, hands, ears (like an elephant) were so swollen, that all blood vessels bursted and after all I was black and blue all over like I had kissed a speeding train.

Back home I took some very "ugly" pictures of myself and went on a search.
'Oh yeah', said another doctor, 'that's this nasty sleeping Virus - but congratulations, you got it really bad. The worst I've ever seen'.
I was consoled. Well, at least I knew what it was, right?

I received an EpiPen (finally) and thought 'ok, now I'm fine'.
Then my friend bursted onto the scene a fourth time ... well, I knew the procedure. Hospital... the whole nine yard.
(On a side note - it's unspeakably painful not only itchy!!) 
It takes 5, 6 days to look close to 'normal' again, but your body is going from being painted black, to blue, green, yellow... you get the picture?
And! I'm always completely losing my voice for about 3, 4 days.

Finally, my friend gave me a break. He went on a 10 month hibernation.
Great. I didn't even think about him anymore.

I went on my yearly trip home to Germany, had a good time, like I always have ... being HOME, what else?
Except, I had a bad stomach for years, but I lived with it (doctors didn't do anything about it here) until it got so bad in Germany that I had to see an Internist who asked me why I didn't come 5 years earlier - LOL
I WAS visiting doctors here... so much for that.

... ever since they found out what was wrong and found a remedy I gained 12 lbs. Good, I was way too skinny. - Not good for old Ladies.
(Addition on Dec. 2011: - I lost more than half of those pounds again)


All this painful stress obviously got my friend upset again.
The night before I was to leave Germany I had a funny feeeling, looked at my belly and told my son 'get me to the ER, NOW'!
My daughter-in-Law jumped back: 'Oh my God, is this contagious?'
I calmed her, no it isn't.

So we drove to an ER, they knew right away what was wrong (why didn't they here?) and filled me up with Steroids, Saline Solutions, Cortizone and what-not's. I felt better, went home, slept, felt ok and my son was happy to bring me to Frankfurt Airport. (Guests are always welcome, but when they leave it's good too - ;-) LOL

Going overseas, no matter where, I don't eat - I always take a 'sweet pill' and sleep through the entire trip.
So, that's what I did too that day.

Right! And then the shit hit the fan! (I learned this expression here...)
After 2 hours I woke up in severe pain. I went to the pantry to see if I could get some water for my last little 'virus-pill' and a stewardess (I know, old word) reacted angry "sit down, we have turbulences". I just lifted my blouse and showed her my belly.
She stammered: 'OMG'.

I was swelling up so rapidly, I immediately had to take all jewelry off as well as my watch because hands, arms, face, and HEAD are growing fast.
There was a German paramedic on board and they called out for doctors.
I lay across the last 3 seats, my legs on a Yale Professor's lap, no less!! He was SWEET!! and yes, very concerned.
All they had on board was Saline Solutions and my throat grew bigger and bigger - the Captain came and decided OVER MY HEAD to re-route to Reykjavik, Iceland.
(That's where this big Vulcano threw up recently)

Holy Cow! I was sooo ashamed and embarrassed - an entire Delta Airliner with 300 people on board was leaving it's route because of ME!! I only could think how many people would miss their connections and Oh-MY-God.

Yup, an Ambulance picked me up and delivered me and my grotesque distorted face to a Hospital. No, I really didn't care anymore how I LOOKED!
And funny, they knew too what was wrong with me.
Super sweet people there!! (and young!.... LOL) They kept me for ... I don't know anymore because I drifted in and out of consciousness. I only know this young guy kept wondering how many more Steroid IV's I would need.

Oh! And I had to pay for all of that! Anybody ever been to Iceland? Everything is outrageous expensive - even for European standards!

At one point I insisted I wanted to go to a Hotel, so I took a cab, booked myself a flight to NY (had to pay again, my ticket was not good anymore) and booked myself a room.
I was just glad I had a toothbrush in my beauty case.
Nothing else! Of course! You hardly can even take a small jar of lotion with you these days.

Yooo, I slept maybe 3 hours and woke up.
As usual, I had NO voice anymore, my face was double the size (honestly) my body, head, hands, just everything so swollen and HURTING that I thought - well, now that's it.
Nobody knew where I was, why I didn't arrive in Tampa Florida ...
I called my son in Germany (middle of his night) and left a whispered message... thank God his caller ID picked up the Iceland number and he was able to call me back in the Hotel Room. So, he left messages in Florida and as for me, I was 'lost' again.
Trying to get a cab back to the hospital was a no-no at 4am in Iceland.
So! I WALKED! It was a beautiful morning, light as day because of the midnight sun and - brrrr - COLD.
When this lovely young doctor at the hospital saw me again he gasped.
"You again?"


And there I went for another round of more steroids and I-definitely-don't-know-what IV's.
He said I must be up dancing because of all that stuff yet I was out for hours.

At this time, my virus friend really did a job on me. My face grew out to ONE side - I had a dimple on my chin where never ever was any.

12 hours later I thought oh sh... my flight is leaving 5pm, I have to go. So I paid my "tiny" hospital bill and went to the Airport.
According to what Delta had told me I thought my luggage was in Reykjavik, they had it unloaded!  I asked for it but Airport staff said "we shipped it off to Boston".
Oooooohhh K!

The trip to New York was pure murder - but I will leave this out.
Now I'm arriving at immigration. With NO luggage.
The immigration officer asked me where my suitcase was - I said: in Boston!

He almost jumped up - 'WHERE? WHY??'
Luckily, he had some common sense, I only had to show... WHAT??? My Belly and said: "Look at me, my face! Usually I am not an Elephant woman." I told my story and he did let me go, shaking his head.
I almost missed my fligth to Tampa (had to buy this one too) but after all I made it there.
And guess what! My luggage was already there, waiting for me.
I found my car on the roof top, drove home and shot myself with my EpiPen... which I hadn't taken with me. But it wouldn't have helped anyway.

Ever since - obvioulsy since my stomach was cured - my friend didn't wake up anymore.
I think a 6th time I will not
survive. But as we say: "Weed doesn't die!"
HA!!

My brother in Germany commented:
'Oh my, I only saw such things in Movies! And you did go through that?
Pretty incredible.'

The entire trip did cost me an additional $5,000.00 and nobody reimbursed me - DUH!



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2 comments:

  1. Oh My!! .. Sounds aweful! Glad you are better!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, you are a fast reader, huh?

    ReplyDelete