Saturday, November 22, 2008
Rather Be Sick at Home
I was driving down the road recently listening to a radio talk show. A guy, who also travels for a living, was saying the loneliest place in the world is to be sick on the road.
I wholeheartedly agree. The comment brought back a couple of memories. And since I heard that radio show, more memories have been created.
Unless you have been in a hotel room alone about 1000 miles from home puking your head off, having chills and running a high fever, you probably can’t relate. No Tylenol, no aspirin, no heavy blanket, nobody to ask how you’re doing – no nothing. I remember being in such a room in such a predicament in NE Texas a few years ago and almost crawling to the door to make sure the dead bolt was unlocked. I wanted the undertakers to be able to get in the room so they could drag me out in case I didn’t make it. And I was thinking me not making it was a real possibility that night.
I also remembered the morning I was in Louisiana riding with a co-worker and was feeling nauseated. I thought I was having a bad reaction to something I had eaten that morning. By the time he dropped me off at the airport, I was sick as a dog. I remember making it through security, finding a bar in the airport and getting a glass of ginger ale to sip on to try to settle my stomach. I didn’t look that day but I was most likely the only person in a business suit lying on the floor at the gate waiting to board the plane. By the grace of God that day I was upgraded to First Class on the first row. We had barely got in the air before I was in the little airplane bathroom running out of both ends. Since I could not close the door of the restroom, the flight attendant held up a blanket to protect the other passengers from the ungodly sight.
She had to hold that blanket several different times. I think she was an angel.
I can’t even begin to explain the horrific experience when I arrived in Atlanta that night, somehow walking to the train and riding it to baggage claim, having to wait at least 30 minutes on my luggage, walking out in the cold to catch the shuttle to off sight parking, and then driving the 2 hrs home. I had temperature over 102 degrees when I finally got home.
I guess I have been fortunate when I think about it. Those examples are the only I can remember being really sick while on the road.
Until this week.
I had meetings in Atlanta this past week. I got home Wednesday night and the plan was for a business associate to pick me up Thursday AM and we would have a 3 hour drive to our destination.
The first bad sign was when he called me while on the way to tell me he was sick and was running late because he was making numerous stops along the way.
I started feeling nauseated just thinking I was about to be in an automobile all day with someone who sounded like he had a virus. I tried to get him to turn around but he said he thought he would okay.
By the time he arrived, I was really nauseated and beginning to realize I probably had a virus. Since he seemed sicker than me at the moment, I drove his car. You can only imagine the sight of two fifty something guys in dark business suits driving down the interstate sick as a couple of dogs.
When you are that sick, you try to find stopping places that not only have clean toilet seats but also clean floors in case you have to kneel on the floor. In other words, being a man of experience, I look for motels instead of gas stations.
I tried to walk casually through one hotel lobby. I was wearing sunglasses and a dark blue business suit (buttoned up because I was freezing to death). The clerk was alone at the counter. I walked right by and never looked at her and never said a word. When I returned from the restroom, I stopped and told her I hoped she didn’t mind me using her restroom. She smiled. I told her I would have asked for permission when I came in but I was afraid she would say no.
She smiled again. I think she felt sorry for me.
To make what has become a long story shorter, my business associate got better during the day and I got much worse. Somehow we had our meeting and accomplished what we set out to accomplish. I got home about 7PM, went straight to bed and when I quit shivering my wife took my temperature and it was 101.
Remarkably, I woke up the next morning a little queasy but feeling much better and actually made it to the office.
I guess it was a 24 hour virus. If you are going to have a virus, I guess the 24 hour variety is the one to have.
But I sure would rather be sick at home.