The Flight to Yangon

I almost canceled my speech to a village in Myanmar.

The day before we were set to depart for Yangon, the husband inappropriately started an argument with a Malaysian rental car company in the lobby of our hotel. He had the Malaysian cops called on him due to his erratic and potentially violent behavior. I had to deescalate the entire situation, between the rental car company, the cops, the hotel management, and the husband. That confrontation cost me quite a few spoons.

The next morning, both the husband and I woke early to finish packing and flag a teksi to the airport with our friends. The husband caused another confrontation that included yelling at the teksi driver and calling the hotel management. He eventually "settled" the bill by throwing money in the driver's face while storming off. That adrenaline rush cost more spoons.

Thankfully, we made it through security and customs without issue. Though before we could get through security, the husband had a complete breakdown similar to a toddler throwing a tantrum. Eventually, I managed to coach him through security. 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.

Our flight to Yangon started out fine. The husband decided to swap his seat with my friend so that he could sit at the exit row and have more leg space. Towards the end, I warned my sweet 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 it was suggested that 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 the explanation of my disease. I took more HC and a zofran. I just wanted to "sleep it off" but that would be dangerous. 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 attempted to drift off into sleep. I did not know what was going on around me, but I trusted that I would be 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. The husband returned a few minutes later after completing the check in process. I took more HC and drank some more Gatorade. Because I was able to keep my oral medicine down, I did not use my emergency injection. He then left me for dinner with friends, because he did not want his first evening in Myanmar to be spent in the hotel room.

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.

Part of the path I walked across.
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."

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