Playing it by ear... lol!!
So, the best start to a trip ever!! 10 days before departure I pick up some sort of head-cold like viral thing. Unfortunately it heads straight for my ears, blocking them completely! This doesn't worry me too much as I think I still have heaps of time for it to clear. I go to the doctor to get the prescription for my malaria meds, and he checks out my ears: slight infection present - in light of the fact that I'm very soon to embark on a 4 day (the slow route) journey, he recommends antibiotics to make sure it doesn't get any worse. If I hadn't been going away, he wouldn't have given them to me. Great I think, that'll do the trick - along with the recommended decongestant nasal spray. I'm all the while dosing myself with vitamin C, hot lemon, orange, ginger and garlic drinks, echinacea - the works! And I'm steaming my head over a bowl of boiling water to try to clear my sinuses. All to no avail! Yesterday, the day before I'm due to travel, I go back to the doc and tell him that some diving buddies of mine recommend steroids as a quick-and-easy (albeit tough on the tummy and probably not to be recommended as usual run-of-the-mill treatment!) sinus-clearing solution, but it requires a prescription - he, somewhat hesitantly I must say, agrees to give me the prescription, along with a cert saying I am unfit to travel on the 29th - to whom it may concern. And I continue my chemical testing for the week with a 6-day treatment of steroids! Are they working? Well, yes, my ears have shown definite signs of improvement since yesterday, there was even one moment last night when both were clear at the same time - great I thought, maybe I'll get to go after all.. But alas no, this morning both ears were again completely blocked and I hadn't the energy to even finish my packing. There is just no way I would have been able to equalise at take-off and landing (I was apparently born with ears that are super-sensitive to pressure changes, and so even in a pressurised cabin, my ears pop 2 or 3 times between ground level and flying altitude). On top of that, I lost my appetite two days ago and have been sleeping really badly cos this situation was stressing me out so much, and have had very little energy since Thursday. So, I called Emirates this morning and have put my flight on hold. No point in booking another date only to have to change it again - I'll call them when I'm fit and healthy for a long journey followed by intensive diving. Hopefully that won't take too long - it's been 10 days so far, the virus must be almost done with me, wouldn't you think?! The stress has disappeared altogether too - I no longer have a date that I have to be better by - I'll be better when I'm better!
Disappointed? Dreadfully! But, it could be worse, I could have something wrong with me that would mean cancelling the trip altogether, as opposed to just postponing the beginning of it.. And I'd far rather be sick in the (unusually) cool temperate climes of La Rochelle, than in hot tropical Indonesia where I have no support network etc. etc.
So, to all of you who pray to someone or something - spare a thought for my ears I'd like to get on my way!