A bit on the dramatic side as far as post titles go, but something I am now considering. I am newly back from a destination I had been dreaming about reaching for the past five or so years, Belize in Central America. I’d been looking at places with a strong ex-pat community and Belize popped up in several searches. When I got the opportunity to go, I paid my money and didn’t think twice about it. I’m sure many people who LOVE travel are like that when they get the opportunity to explore some new, longed for destination. I did a little research, trusted what the CDC and State departments had to say about the safety of travel to the area, then packed my bags and hopped on the plane.
The parts of the country I visited are indeed, beautiful; the people I met? Warm, friendly, and willing to talk with our tour group about their lives, dreams, goals, etc. I can see why many people have chosen to retire there. As for me? Yes, well…I am definitely grateful I took the trip. I have well over 300 pictures of the beautiful locations we visited. I’ve got a couple of hours worth of video that I can replay in order to take me back to the sights and sounds of the jungles and beaches. I also have a bunch of mosquito bites and *shudder* a small wound on my neck where a tick managed to burrow into my skin.
As I work to keep fears of Lyme disease and malaria to a minimum, I am contemplating the thought in the title of this post. I know very little about Lyme disease or malaria, outside of the basics that these are both REALLY BAD to catch. I have specifically avoided looking up the symptoms or any other information because frankly, I don’t need any additional reasons to panic. If I read the symptoms, my wonderfully active, overly creative imagination will give them to me. I’m the woman who self-diagnosed herself with a couple of mental illnesses based solely on books she’d read. The less I know before going to a doctor this afternoon, the better.
I can’t help though but to think about the stories we’re being fed daily about the Ebola epidemic, as well as the whisperings of other diseases spreading throughout the world. Is it possible that I’ve contracted some disease that will cause me great suffering, then end my life within days? Was the trip worth the deterioration in health I may be forced to endure? And you know, thanks to the other dramas unfolding in the news these past four years, I worry that because I’m of moderate means, have ovaries, and am of darkened hue, I won’t be receiving the best medical care to begin with – a fear based on countless studies, reports, atrocities perpetrated on unsuspecting people by well-respected, world-wide health care organizations (both past and present), and real life comparisons – so anything I end up with, including a cold, could eventually prove to be incurably fatal if I find myself at the mercy of the medical profession in this country.
*Sigh* I’ve decided to wait until after my visit to the doctor this afternoon to decide if:
the beauty of the sun rises,
being able to touch a pyramid that was built by humans 3000 years before Christianity was invented,
falling asleep to the sounds of wildlife unspoiled by human hands,
being free from the hurt and pain in the world, if only for seven days,
was worth the possible shortening of my life span.
(this is mostly going to be funny after my doctors visit, I hope)
*****Update, Nov. 24th, 10pm*****
After an almost 3 hour wait time at the clinic, I saw the doctor. He took a needle, poked a hole in my neck ;-), put some ointment on the spot, then covered it with a band-aid. I have a week’s worth of antibiotics to take and all should be right with the world. But of course, there’s a bit of a head ache playing in my temple. Could be a stress migraine, could be the onset of a cold, or Goddess forbid, the flu. Whatever. I’ll hit the antibiotics tomorrow and see how things turn out. Thanks for coming with me, holding my hand, and all.