TRAVEL THERE: A CRUISE IS NO TIME TO BE SICK
Except for the marvelous Pulse Fitness Center and the delicious meals at the Garden Cafe, our first day at sea on the Norwegian Epic had been pretty frustrating. What I haven’t mentioned is that my sinuses were beginning to swell and my nose was all stopped up. That probably contributed to my discontent.
Things Got Worse
I got down right cranky as we dressed for the Cirque Dreams Dinner and Show in the Speigal Tent. Bill finally insisted I have an antihistamine, but it didn’t do anything for my fussy attitude. After dinner, during the last few acts of Cirque Dreams, I began to feel really punky. I couldn’t breathe. I’d get hot and then I’d be cold. I didn’t want to interrupt anyone else’s enjoyment of the show but I was ready to go. As the cast made their curtain calls, I warned Bill that I needed to get out of there post haste.
After the Show
I was almost incoherent as we made our way down the stairs in the theater, but Bill let Deb and Joe know what was going on. Soon we were in our stateroom and Bill gave me another antihistamine. But something more was going on. My lungs felt as if they had a band around them and no matter how much air I gulped in through my mouth I couldn’t fill them. Bill was terrified and I wasn’t being cooperative, at all. Deb and Joe checked on me, dropping off some Alka Seltzer, because all Bill had told them was that I might be coming down with a cold. Deb thought a lot more than a cold was going on.
Long story short, Bill called for a wheelchair and we went to the infirmary. I’ve heard horror stories about doctors and infirmaries on cruise ships, but that wasn’t my experience. I felt like I got some of the best medical attention I’ve ever had. By the time I got the the infirmary, chills were shaking my whole body, but in a few moments, I was throwing off all the covers. Soon I was racked with chills again. Meanwhile they were hooking me up to everything. I kept trying to tell them I was OK and they kept on telling me I wasn’t, but they weren’t quite sure what was wrong.
They thought I might be having a panic attack, but if I was, it was the first I’d ever had and I’ve had no re-occurrence. I didn’t have a temperature. My EKG was fine. My blood pressure was elevated and for someone who usually has an unusually low pulse, that’s not good, but it was not alarmingly high. My blood sugar was low, but since I had about a glass and a half of wine, they attributed it with the blood sugar count. Most importantly, my respiration numbers were perfect. So, even though I felt like I couldn’t breathe in enough air, my lungs were getting plenty and sending it all the places it needed to go.
Stymied, they gave me something to help me sleep and told me to come back in the morning. And sleep I did.
The next morning I was fine. I still had a stuffy nose, but it was a normal stuffy nose. The band around my lungs had disappeared. My blood pressure was normal. My temperature was normal. I was released to enjoy the rest of my cruise with a diagnosis of palpitations. Isn’t that something Victorian ladies had just before they swooned? Well, whatever. I embarked upon my second day at sea. Come back next week and I’ll tell you about it.