Illness on holiday: I always get sick on the trip is written by Winnie Sørensen.
Illness on holiday
I'm in a luxury tent just outside the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The time is 02.07, and I'm going tomorrow game drive in four hours. The temperature has just hit 38.6 degrees. So my temperature.
It's day two out of five in South Africa - and I have a fever. It's super annoying, of course, and I'm honestly crap-miserable, but that's not really a big surprise to me. I ALWAYS get sick when I travel.
I've been sick of United States, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Emirates, New Zealand og Morocco - and this is the third time I'm spending a fever night in South Africa. If I've been there - then I've also had some kind of bodily defect there.
As always, when my other half is not there and the fever sets in, I grab my phone to write to him that now I'm fucking sick again. Lucky for him that there is no mobile connection in my tent - what could he quite obsessively just do by having a fever in South Africa?
I'm not always seriously ill. Sometimes I just get a fever and then I have to sleep and rest for 24 hours and then I am ready again.
Experienced hospital walker
When rest is not enough, I have to walk past the hospital a second time. As for example in Vietnam. After coughing my lungs out for 14 days - and my other half got a personal relationship with the little water salesman outside the hotel because I constantly had to have water in my mouth so as not to vomit from a coughing fit. Yes, so he insisted that I go to the hospital.
He simply would not take responsibility for flying home with me. Fair enough when you get sick on holiday. Then I had to go to the hospital. There were others in the queue when we arrived, but they were obviously not very ill when I took out the VISA card. I protested and said we would wait in line, but no no; the hospital director was called. And my better half now got his own personal babysitter.
I was lifted into a room with a large steel table over which hung something that most of all looked like an old-fashioned diving bell. I was going to be x-rayed. I was also weighed - and measured. And of course I had a sea of blood samples taken while I was lying and shouting at my better half: "Did you see that he unpacked that needle - is it unused !?".
Illness in the hospital: Colorful pills
We got a super good treatment and after all the research I was equipped with five packs of pills: Some blue, some pink, some white, some yellowish and some bright red. I had infection everywhere and a bad case of asthmatic bronchitis - pills would cope, they said.
It did. And I could probably have drunk river water for the rest of the trip - without it having given me more illness on my vacation. If not I would have been so tired of drinking water.
Illness on holiday: Travel fever
I always got a fever if I was overstimulated. During school I started my summer vacation with pneumonia. I finished all my exams at university with fever and flu. I think I get “travel fever” when I get sick on my vacation because I am introverted.
I'm usually pretty shy, but when I travel I get hugely outgoing. For some reason, it's a lot easier for me to talk to total strangers when I travel - and I find it really easy to fall into conversation with people.
But that does not change the fact that I am introverted. I think the fever is my body's reaction to the fact that I do not always remember to relax when I travel. I'm generally not that good at listening to the signals my body sends me - just ask my better half what happens if I get hungry and do not get food on time.
I simply do not notice that I have gone cold and become a total plague. And if I do not want to listen, then I have to feel. Bang, fever. Down and lie down. Sov, Winnie! The next day I am ready again.
To be alone when you are sick on the journey
A friend who even admits she is not the most adventurous type once asked me if it was not terrible to get sick on one's vacation when one is not at home in one's own bed?
I have always traveled a lot alone - and still do. But I have never really been like this really in deep water and without help when I was alone on the go. There is always someone who will help.
Granted. I often grab the phone to call home when I lie there in the strange night with fever. But often there is a bad connection - or I reconsider before dialing the familiar number.
What should he actually be able to do in the event of a food poisoning in the middle of Botswana, where I was not allowed to leave my tent due to lions. Or fever in the Kalahari Desert - after being in a malaria area - without taking prophylaxis. How I swear I didn 't eat those malaria pills! Yes, I miss him terribly. But it works out.
And that is perhaps the most important lesson - also in this night of fever. It resolves itself. Everything resolves. Of course it does.
And it will never stop me from traveling and experiencing the world. Both the part I had planned to see and the part that has to do with local health systems and healing. The world is in colors, just like the pills.
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