This is linked with my most recent travels and the fact I can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to going to the doctors. My motto: “everything’s fine, don’t worry about it” but this has changed of recent.
Now I may come across as slightly dramatic and there are definitely worse illnesses to get considering mines gone now and i’m completely better. If you travel to a third world country remember, there’s different bacteria which you may not have floating around back home, the food is cooked differently and standards of cleanliness aren’t as high maintenance. But it all started with the odd cough.
At this point my friend and I were in Santa Teresa in Costa Rica which is full of surfing and yoga (the word zen is splurged everywhere). With highs of 35 degree heat you’d think it would cross your mind that getting a cold kind of cough would be slightly odd. I just assumed it was the dust and air con my lungs were trying to breath off. This carried on getting more frequent, then the end of our journey came and to embrace the 15 hours of flight time back home. Unfortunately on a plane the air con gets blasted like a hairdryer on full power. Our first plane was small, cramped and full of people trying to get some z’s. Well not today people. As soon as you start to do the nodding dog movement of going to sleep I will uncontrollably have a coughing fit to which you will spring your head up with zombie eyes and look at me like I should be your next meal. I am sorry.
We finally landed in England and were reunited with our Ma’s and at this point I had 5 days to recover and get ready for he Slovakia trip. Now my Ma was questioning whether it was a good idea to go to a cold and snowy country with what seemed to be a growing chest infection. Of course I just told her not to be daft, its not that bad.
I was still that irritating coughing person on the plane all the way there with (I am quite an open person so sorry if you don’t like the image of this) a lovely, green and thick phlegm rising from the depths and into the open world. I didn’t feel too bad for the first day in which we pretended to be in the North Pole visiting Santa Claus. Until, the first hike. With the odd coughing fit going up was tolerable, then we reached the top and found the waterfall but also the high altitude which was strangling my lungs. To add to this there was a sharp pain starting at the bottom of my lungs and rib cage that whenever I coughed, there was a little person inside with a knife jabbing me to give this intense pain. Nasty little person.
We made it to the end of the week to numerous complaints from me of this pain that would not sod off whenever I coughed. We decided to go on one last hike and on our way back we still had the steep incline to do. Before reaching this I had a huge coughing fit that resulted in a popping noise from my left rib and an instant tsunami of pain. Least to say that when my friend Emily (who reminds of a bouncy and energetic little lamb) was metres ahead, would look back and see my clinging to a rock and not moving or the next time it be a tree trunk. Finally made it back and moving like a snail packed my bags the flight home the next day.
Now you know when your ears block up on a plane journey then commonly unpop when you land. Well that happened to me, but mine didn’t unpop properly until 4 days later. Then over a week later when the coughing was worse and the pain growing more intense I finally listened to my Ma and booked a doctors appointment. I mean the reason I didn’t book one before because i’d assumed from previous experience that it was just a cracked rib and the pain would eventually subside as well as the cough.
My friend came round the morning of the appointment and I physically couldn’t move it was that bad. I tried to tell her what was wrong and ended up crying from the pain (big baby I know). We finally got to the doctors and as we sat, she listened to my chest then sat down. Now this is what she said “I don’t want to scare you with the word pneumonia but you are borderline pneumonic as you have an incredibly severe chest infection”. I was on 3 antibiotics a day, up to 4 cocodamol and 8 ibuprofen together then 6 steroids. Your girls getting “hench”. This also gave me a week off work and it felt like it had just been my birthday.
Next appointment when I was feeling better I was told it was pneumonia, I then heard that they put people out in the cold when they’re ready to die from pneumonia. Slovakia was a good idea then. She also booked me x-rays and blood tests after I forgot the first time to mention I’d been to central america. Oops.
Luckily these just showed that I WAS RIGHT, and I DID have a cracked rib, with pneumonia but thankfully I am fully recovered now. Even if you’re 18 and think you’re an adult and can make all your life’s choices that’s fab but always LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS they can be right, sometimes I suppose.