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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Health Issues

Dear Family and Friends,

One thing I forgot in the posts I did about Japan is that the very day we arrived in Tokyo we received an email to join a group on a cruise of the Baltic and the North Sea.  We were a bit hesitant to accept because we would not be back home in Ecuador until May 25th.  The cruise started out of Copenhagen, Denmark on June 10th.  The price was right and at that time I was feeling great, so we decided to do a quick turn around in Ecuador and take the cruise.  Chuck emailed his sister, Audrey and she and Jim signed on for the cruise also.

We have racked up quite a bit of sky miles so we decided to use them for the flight to Copenhagen.  I called Delta from Tokyo via Skype.  They booked us out of Quito on KLM.  A direct Quito to Amsterdam flight and then a short flight to Copenhagen.  Great!!  We booked the flight to arrive in Copenhagen a couple of days before the cruise started so we could see the city a bit.

In the second half of the cruise from Tokyo to Vancouver I started feeling more dizzy.  I also felt a little bit of constant nausea.  I tended to take a nap every day.  I just didn't feel up to par.

We docked in Vancouver on Sunday, May 21st.  We got off the ship early and took a taxi to the airport.  When we arrived in Vancouver, I still felt under the weather so Matt and Chuck handled my luggage along with theirs.

We flew two short flights to get to Richland, WA.  Vancouver to Seattle and then Seattle to Pasco.  The first flight took about an hour and the second flight about half that.

When we arrived at the airport in Pasco, Chuck went to the car rental and Matt and I waited for our luggage to be thrown.  As we waited I started feeling really weird.

Chuck got our rental car and we got our luggage.  It was a little walk to get to where our rental car was parked.  I got my roll aboard and started towards the car park.  All of a sudden I couldn't control anything.  I felt like my head was about a foot in front of my body and I felt like I was walking at an angle to keep up.  I couldn't stop or even slow down.  As I went by a pole I put my arm out and caught myself on that.  There was a bench there and Chuck had me sit there while he went to get the car.

Chuck and Matt helped me get into the car.  We went directly to the hotel and I got into bed.  I couldn't control any of my body movements.  It was such an awful feeling.

We were due to fly back to Ecuador three days later on Wednesday the 24th. Even though I had no pain, I knew my problems were in my ears.  I felt awful, but really wanted to get back home.

Wednesday morning we were at the airport for 6AM flight but I could not do it.  I felt like I had the flu, maybe I even had fever.  I knew if I flew all the way to Ecuador with my ear problem no telling what shape I would be in when I finally got home.

Chuck rescheduled our return to Ecuador for the following Monday.  Delta was great about it and didn't charge us anything for the change of dates.

Chuck made sure I would have wheelchair access all the way to Ecuador on Monday.

We had already checked out of our hotel, but we went back and they were kind enough to let us have our room until check out time...noon.  I slept for awhile and when I woke up we went to a doc-in-a-box clinic to get me some help.

Yes, I did have fever and after examining my right ear, the doctor said I had an inner ear infection.  He didn't look in my left ear because he said there was too much wax.

He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic to be taken for 10 days.  He said I should feel better in a few days but to continue with the antibiotic for the full 10 days.

We checked into a hotel to rest for the next couple of days.  I had no appetite and slept a lot.  On Wednesday morning I felt a small bit better so we went to airport to give it another try.

I successfully got to Quito with wheelchair assistance.  We stayed in the airport lounge until our flight the following morning.  It was a miserable night for me. The next morning, Thursday, we took the early flight to Cuenca.

When we arrived home I went straight to bed and slept the rest of the day.

Friday, I felt no better. I had been on the antibiotics for almost a week and I was not getting better.

We went to the Monte Sani hospital emergency room.

They took me right away.  I explained to the nurse that I was sick because of my ear.  That I was on medication but I it wasn't helping.  She took my blood pressure and left for a moment.  She came back and said an ear specialist would be seeing me in about twenty minutes.

When the doctor came I told him about the antibiotics I had been on. He looked into my ears and said he wanted to do some tests.  He said the antibiotics were not doing me any good because I had an inflammation, not an infection. He sent me to a laboratory across the street.  They tested my hearing and balance.  They even cleaned the wax out of my left ear so they could see inside. When the tests were over they came with a wheelchair to take me to his office.

He told me that I had a severe viral inflammation in my ears...the left ear was worse than my right ear.

I told him about our plans to go to Copenhagen, Denmark in about a week. I had decided to not go on the trip.

He told me there was no reason not to go.  He said he would put me in the hospital over night and give me medication via IV that would kick start my recovery and I would feel much better by morning.

We went back across the street to the hospital and they put me in a room and started the IV.  I was there over night with the medicine going into my vein.  By morning I did indeed feel better.

The doctor came by and released me.  He said go on your trip and have fun.  He gave me tons of medicine to start taking.  He said that this would take a long time to heal but I was now on the road to recovery.

This was on a Friday and our flight to Quito was on Monday. We were scheduled to fly out of Quito on Tuesday, arriving in Copenhagen on Wednesday. Our cruise left on Saturday.

I called Delta once again and asked to change the reservation so that we arrived in Copenhagen on Friday.

The changes were made and we now were leaving Cuenca on Wednesday.  I had time, with the help of Lourdes, to get the laundry done and repack for the next cruise.  Each day I was feeling a little better.

On Wednesday, we flew to Quito. We stayed in a hotel downtown, but instead of acting like tourists, we just took it easy.  Had a nice dinner out.  The next day, Thursday, we headed to the airport for our 4:00pm KLM flight.

When we went to check in at the KLM counter, they could not find where we were returning to Quito.  I told them I had email confirmation from Delta about our return flight, but that did not work.  They closed the counter one hour before the flight and we were not able to get on it.

We decided to go across the street from the airport to regroup and get a bite to eat.  I called Delta again using Skype.  Again, they were very understanding and rerouted us through the U.S.  We were now on the midnight Delta flight out of Quito to Atlanta.  Then Atlanta to New York, and after a six hour lay over, from NY to Copenhagen.

The new routing had us arriving in Copenhagen about 7 am on Saturday, the day our cruise was leaving.

We had already booked a hotel at the Copenhagen airport for Friday night.

We left Quito around midnight on Thursday and arrived in Atlanta, went through immigration and rechecked our luggage.  Neither one of us were able to sleep on the flight.  We were starting to get pretty tired.  We went and had breakfast and then it was time to board the plane for New York.

Again, not able to sleep on this flight either.  Now we are in New York with a 6 hour lay over.  We are both very tired.  I knew I was too exhausted to sit around for 6 hours so we went to the SkyClub and asked if we could use it even though we were flying on Sky Miles.  To our surprise and delight they said sure.

I went over to a nice lounge chair and immediately fell asleep.  I slept for about 3 hours.  It was enough to help me make it to next flight.

We flew from New York to Copenhagen which is an 8 hour flight.  During this flight I got sick again.  I felt like I had a bad flu.  I knew what it was, I felt this way just the week before.  I think all the changes in air pressure on so many different flights was taking it's toll. Neither Chuck or I got any sleep on the way to Copenhagen.

We arrived about 7am and went across the street and checked into our prepaid hotel room.  We both fell into the bed and slept until about 10:30am.  Jumped up, showered and met the tour bus at 11am to take us to the ship.

I will start sharing about our next trip in the next post.



  1. Good grief, what an ordeal! Hats off for boldly going forward while feeling awful. Looking forward to reading the rest of your adventure...

    1. Peter, it was rough at first, but it got better and I am so glad I went. We saw some incredible sights.

  2. You are a trooper for sure, hope u are doing great now, cause I'm sure you will be on the move again soon..What great adventures.🎼🌼🌺🎢☮🏡

    1. Terrie, I am sooo much better. I am feeling great now. More adventures in the near future. Love you.


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