Oh, oh…Shipboard illness…We’ve been snagged…

In the past several days we’ve cruised past Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Eritrea, Somalia, and today Oman.  “Another safe, uneventful night,” says Captain Fleming over the loud speaker this morning.

Within the next 40 hours, we’ll cruise by Pakistan and Iran. Oh.

Washing our hands no less than 20 times a day has not protected us from catching the virus running rampant on this ship.

Tom succumbed nine days ago, starting with a tickle in his throat, progressing to a sore throat, runny nose and cough.  It was worse than a cold, more like a flu. In a matter of days, he went through an entire $18.95 bottle of Daytime Nyquil, purchased in the gift shop.

With the excursion to Petra scheduled this past Tuesday, he was determined to make the trip, no matter how poorly he felt I’m amazed how well he did on the tortuous three hour hike and four hour bus ride considering how he was feeling.

When Wednesday arrived, the day after Petra, I made a lofty assumption that I had dodged a bullet. With five days passing since Tom’s onset of symptoms, I was yet to have any indications that I’d caught the illness in our tight quarters or while exposed to hundreds of other sick passengers on the bus or in the dining areas.

Alas, late Wednesday afternoon, a tickle started in my throat, later that night to turn into a raging sore throat. As had transpired with Tom, it seemed to get better the second day, only to return with a vengeance on the third.

Now, four days after the tickle began, I’m a mess; achy, tired, raging sore throat, worse at night, with a disgusting useless cough. I’m refusing to see the doctor (I wouldn’t have in our old life). Tom has served me all my food in the restaurant to ensure I don’t touch anything, as I did for him when he was sick.

In the past, I would have done as most of us do, see it through, pampering ourselves as much as we can, hoping it will turn the corner to returned good health.

With no fever or apparent bacterial infection, what would the doctor do? Prescribe antibiotics, which only reduce one’s immune system with the potential for intestinal distress? Plus, as we all know, antibiotics don’t work for viruses, only bacterial infections.

Other possible doctor treatment? Over the counter medications that really don’t do anything other than to reduce the severity of the symptoms for a few hours. As lousy as I feel, I don’t want to sit in the germ-filled medical clinic where we’ve heard that one must take a number resulting in waiting for hours to see the ship’s doctor.

Norovirus has been rampant on this ship. Many passengers we’ve met have gone for treatment, including one of whom had to have IV fluids for several hours. So far, we haven’t been subjected to the ravages of that particular illness on any of our seven past cruises beginning January 3, 2013. With one more cruise scheduled for June 4th, hopefully, we’ll continue to be safe from this dreadful intestinal illness.

Tomorrow, we’ll pack again, to leave our bags outside our cabin door by 10:00 pm, to be picked up and held until departure on Tuesday morning. As always, we’ll carry our two laptop bags and the cloth bag with our prescriptions, utilizing one of our two wheeling carts for ease of movement.

Today’s a day of rest, staying in our cabin, reading, writing and using up the remaining minutes of the packages we’d purchased for the ship’s WiFi. 

Tonight is the final of three dress up nights aboard this ship, Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. Having donated the balance of our dress-up clothes to the charity in Barcelona, we’ll be dressing “casual, dressy,” Tom in dress slacks and shirt with me in a long casual dress. It will have to do. 

On this ship, 75% of the passengers dining in the main dining rooms have dressed up for these occasions. At this point, we feel fine dressing casual. Our ease of travel is much more important to us than us showing off wearing in fancy clothing.

As we wind down this cruise, we look forward to our time in Dubai, hoping to add yet another rich experience to our repertoire of worldwide adventures.


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