It’s been a long, slow two weeks in the world of The LITMO Life because I’ve been dealing with a combination of an unexpected bout of feelings as well as a slightly-less-unexpected bout of illness.
See – I don’t have the best immune system in the world.
In fact, since I was a kid, I’ve had one series of misadventures after another in the health world. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, then eczema, then we found out I had a heart murmur, then this wildly unfun thing called temporal lobe epilepsy. It’s been one weird event after another, and in fact, my entire family laughs about what a walking biohazard I am, despite that I otherwise take care of myself so well. After I went vegan, my immunity definitely got better – but still nothing close to normal.
So, after I spent the weekend partying at a rave and going to a swinger’s club til 3 AM a few weeks ago (more on that, later – I promise), I wasn’t surprised to wake up the next day with a bit of a sore throat, cough, and low-grade fever. The love of my life, who was with me for the weekend, also woke up a bit sick. So we just figured something was going around, and we hadn’t gotten enough rest, and it was what it was.
Fast forward 15 days. He’s completely healed, and has been working out, and working, and generally being a productive member of society. Meanwhile, I’m still hacking up a lung, with a voice that sounds like a chain smoker on helium, wondering why I won’t heal.
When I first got sick, I went to see my dad, who prescribed me a five-day course of Amoxicillin. In fact, in my hometown (where I currently am), it seemed like many people around me kept telling me they were getting sick and then getting better within a few days, so I was extra perplexed that my sickness dragged on for a few weeks. I mean, truth be told, I didn’t really adjust any of my plans and I did keep going out, but I figured that would delay the healing of my sickness for some few days – not 15 of them!
Anyway, the point of all this is after another weekend of crazy partying (I swear, more on that later!), my love (who, to protect the innocent, I’m just going to call P.C. in this blog when I talk about him in the future – for “Prince Charming” – gag if you must but also suck it because I’m in love) took me to my dad’s office to get some tests done. First, I had a chest x-ray done. Then I had to blow really hard into this machine to test my lung capacity.
I expected my dad to be like,”Yeah you have some random infection, it’ll heal in a few more days.” That’s not what happened. Instead, I heard this word: asthma.
Seriously, that’s a thing that happens to grown-ass adults who are already well past their teenage, braces, suspenders, inhaler years. And I had no idea. And apparently, now, I have asthma. It’s been mentioned before, but never in the context of a debiliating illness that would keep me from doing things.
Like the other diagnoses that had come before this in my life, I wasn’t too affected by this one. I figured it would mean a little bit of time with a new medicine, some irksome days, and that’s it. It wasn’t until my dad said I shouldn’t hike the Inca Trail trek I had planned that I freaked out.
Apparently, my lungs are so fucked up right now that it’s not likely they’ll be 100% before my planned trek in 10 days. Not only that, but as I’m just adjusting to life as an asthmatic adult, my dad didn’t think the idea of being 14,000 feet above sea level for five days was the best idea.
It’s not an overstatement to say I freaked out. Not immediately, but I spent the entire next day (today) wondering what TF to do and how to still be able to go. Then I did some research on asthma. Then I did some research on the Inca Trail. Now I’m writing this blog still pissed as hell that my plans have to change.
And yet, somehow I feel like I should be more receptive to this news than ever, because if anything, over the past month I should have learned that life is just a series of plan changes while you’re trying to plan things in the middle. You think you know exactly what works for you…then it stops working. You think you know exactly what best step to make…and it turns out to be the worst one.
Living life, it seems, really just means knowing that you don’t know anything.
So, my plans must change. Originally, I planned to fly into Lima and then spend a few days there, a few days in Cusco, five days on the trek, back to Lima, then off to Santiago to visit a friend from high school. Although I could fly into Lima and wander around, it doesn’t seem worth it to me in my somewhat-bummed state (okay, VERY bummed state) to do that, so I’m just going to reroute, fly into Santiago straight from the States, spend time with my friend, and fly back. It’s maybe not the best option, but I only have about 2 days to change my plans, and this is the best I can do right now, in the face of really fucking disappointing news.
I’m trying to be all, “well, I’m in love and traveling was bugging me for a minute, this will be great, a short trip to see a friend…blah blah.” But I’m not. I’m just bummed.