Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Flight to Yangon

I almost canceled my speech to a village in Myanmar.

The day before we were set to depart for Yangon, my husband got into a heated argument with a very questionable Malaysian rental car company in the lobby of our hotel. The situation ended up working out hilariously well. The questionable Malaysian rental car company had to bribe the corrupt Malaysian cops and the cops still left us alone. But that confrontation cost me quite a few spoons.

The next morning, both my husband and I woke early to finish packing and flag a teksi to the airport with our friends. Every Malaysian teksi has posted signs that state "This is a metered cab. Haggling is strictly prohibited." However, this particular cab driver attempted to rip us off! He did not realize that my husband and I had been living in Kuala Lumpur for several months and knew the honest price of a cab. There was another confrontation as we settled the bill, and that adrenaline rush cost more spoons.

Thankfully, we made it through security and customs without issue. We then found ourselves stuck in the smaller international terminal at KLIA because Yangon was considered a short international flight. This terminal had only two restaurants and offered absolutely no gluten free entrees. I was forced to watched my husband and friends eat their meals as I consumed my own sunflower seeds and rice cakes.

Our flight to Yangon started out fine. Yet towards the end, I warned my friend that I was not feeling well. I would have little if no strength for any activities that night. She stated that was not a problem. We would have transportation waiting for us at the airport that could take me immediately to our hotel where I could rest. I cannot express how thankful I am for friends that understand how my disease can flare up and they do not hold it against me when I must suddenly change plans.

By the time the plane had landed, I could barely walk and my situation was continuing to rapidly deteriorate. My dizziness was steadily increasing and I was having a hard time seeing. I increased my HC, but it did not make much of a difference. I was already too far behind on my cortisol need.

I had to use the restroom, but there was such a long line. I did not have the strength to wait in the line so my husband suggested I use the "invalid washroom." I'm not quite sure why they felt the need to label everything in that restroom with signs. I used the "invalid toilet" and washed my hands at the "invalid sink" only to dry them with the "invalid dryer." By the time I was finished, I barely had the strength to stand. I left the "invalid washroom" and became utterly distraught at the long line through customs. I collapsed on the floor by my husband.

We were greeted by my friend's coworker. Because of his position at the airport, he had an all access pass that allowed him to pass back and forth freely through customs. This ended up being a huge blessing. His face changed from one of excitement and joy at finding us to one of utmost urgency when he saw my weakened body and listened to my husband's explanation of my disease. My husband sternly informed me to take more HC and a zofran. I just wanted to "sleep it off" but my husband knew how dangerous that would be. My friend's coworker decided that the best course of action would be to get me through the diplomat line so that I could rest as soon as possible.

I was a Diplomat in Myanmar!
I was a diplomat in Myanmar. I did not have the strength to stand on my own, so I was held up by the coworker as he explained my situation and acted as our translator through customs. We cut all lines and were escorted past the taxi touts and into my friend's family van. The van was filled with her large family excited to meet us, yet they soon discovered that this would not be the joyous greeting they imagined. By this point, the zofran was kicking in and I was barely coherent. I placed my head on my husband's shoulders and attempted to drift off into sleep. I did not know what was going on around me, but I trusted that my husband would keep me safe.

When we reached the hotel, I still was in terrible shape. We were not even checked in before the concierge and my friend's sister-in-law escorted me up to our room with my luggage. I was still too weak to stand, so I rested all of my weight on the sister-in-law's arm. Once in the room, I collapsed on the bed as the concierge drew the curtains, flipped off all of the lights and the left the room to let me sleep. My husband returned a few minutes later after completing the check in process. He forced me to take more HC and drink Gatorade. Because I was able to keep my oral medicine down, I did not use my emergency injection.

I ended up sleeping seventeen hours straight. I woke up the next day feeling much better, but still a bit unstable. I took the morning easy as I tried to stay in as quiet of an environment as possible. I also remained on a higher dose of HC. As the day continued, it appeared as if I would have the strength to journey to the other side of the river. I would be able to speak.

I was able to make that journey.

My husband and I crossing the river.
I was able to deliver my message.

Half of the audience.
I was able to share my passion to remain Clearly Alive.

"I choose to see this disease as a blessing."

2 comments:

  1. You are such an example of strength. Love reading your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write them out and share your spoons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for encouraging me over the years. <3

      Delete

Thank you for your comment. It will be displayed once approved by a moderator.