Folks, if you're feeling queasy, stop reading
Every year, I begin the countdown to going home to Canada the moment a new mystery illness kicks in. It's as if the angst of a 13-hr (if flying direct) or 19-hr (with 1 layover) flight is not enough ... Nope. Someone up there just feels the need to mix it up a bit more.
Three years ago it was shingles. Struck about three weeks before flying out. A weird tingling feeling in my armpit followed by debilitating pain and absolute lethargy. Inability to run or exercise. Barely able to make it through the day without Red Bull or a power nap. Actually had to take a few days off work. Constant exhaustion that lasted for months. But they gave me a peripatetic pain medication that would put me out for hours at a time, which made the flight a breeze I must admit. Other than the humiliation of waking up to a pool of drool on my shoulder ...
Two years ago, it was sciatica. Numbness running down my leg and a constant fatigue in my lower back. Limped around for a few weeks. Didn't think I could endure the flight. Found a wonderful doctor who prescribed Voltaren and B-12 injections ... made the flight.
Last year it was torticollis. After three weeks of physio I was on my way to recovery, but still boarded the plane with a wry, stiff neck ... feeling somewhat akin to Edgar the Bug (the farmer) in "Men in Black" . Overall the flight went amazingly well ... I truly don't think the guy to my left was much bothered that I stared at him continuously on the thirteen-hour flight due to the crick in my neck.
This year, I actually thought I was going to get away with it. I thought the flying gods might actually be on my side. Ten days to go and not a twinge or tingle to be felt.
Then I woke up this morning. And this is what I saw. (I've made the image as small as I possibly could in the hopes that it won't haunt you as you read through this post.)
I could not open my eye. My left top and bottom eyelids had fused together. I literally lost HALF of my eyelashes trying to pry my eye open.
The swelling had taken over my brow and part of my forehead, giving me a look that would surely have seemed seductive to a Klingon.
Unfortunately, my better half is not Klingon. I shook him desperately at 5:30 to wake him up. "My eye, I can't open my eye."
Smilin' Vic doesn't do well with rude awakenings.
Him: "Leave me alone. WTF's the matter with your eye?"
Me: "I can't see. I can't open it. I can't see. My eyyyyyye!!!!!"
Him: (snapping on the light, rubbing his eyes and trying to focus and get oriented) "WTF time is it? WTF are you going on about?" Turning to face me and focusing as his pupils grow accustomed to the light ... "ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!" "WTF happened to your FACE??????"
Me: "What????? WTF is wrong with my face? I can't open my eye!!!!! WTF is wrong with my face?????"
Him: (slowly awakening and realizing he's got to diffuse the panic) "Uhmm, it's nothing Babe. Just a little swelling. But you're gonna have to go to the doctor's. Uhmmm. Your eye's pretty swollen. And kind of bruised looking. And your face looks a little .... off."
Me: "I can't open my eye."
Him: (really trying to make up for it now) "It's kind of cute, actually. It's growing on me.... well, actually, no, it's just growing." (Cue 'man laugh' at really stupid ill-timed man-joke.)
Me: "F off. Seriously, I can't open my eye." (Struggling to open my eye). "Arghhhhh! I think I just ripped my eyelashes off."
Him: "Yup, looks that way."
Me: (through half open eye, lashes dangling limp and useless) "Shouldn't you be on your way to work by now?"
Apparently it's a severe case of conjunctivitis. Seven days of antibiotic drops should see me well on the road to recovery.
I'll be that girl with the great pair of false eyelashes on the flight from Doha to Montreal ...
Seriously, just this once, couldn't the flying gods give me a break?