A weird thing happened to me yesterday. I usually write in this blog every other day but yesterday was a weird day, a very weird day and I didn’t post at all.
Upon awakening in a foggy blur, I felt unfamiliar in my own surroundings. The light filtering through the various window coverings in our home appeared eerie and muted.
As I mindlessly wandered off to the kitchen to perform a series of ritualistic tasks, a wave of uncertainty washed over me. As many of us old-timers, both Tom and I toss back a small handful of prescription meds each morning and a big handful of a variety of vitamins throughout the day.
My routine was broken, when I didn’t put in my contact lenses before going into the kitchen, a habit I seldom break, now thrown off by the peculiar feel of the day. Pouring a quarter cup of purified water into my usual plastic tumbler I emptied the dose of the Tuesday morning prescriptions, tossing my head back with one big gulp.
Something was wrong! My brain had taken a quick snapshot of the handful of pills and in an instant, I realized that the chunky pills drifting down my throat didn’t feel like the usual sensation. Eyes blurry with no contacts, I looked at the one week pill case and realized I had just taken Tom’s pill, not mine!
My heart began to race as I ran into the bathroom to insert my contacts, made difficult by my shaking hands. I needed to look again to confirm I had taken the wrong pills. I had. Oh, dear.
Since I am the official pill case packer in our household, familiar with all of Tom’s meds, my mind raced through the possible consequences of having taken his medications and the possible side effects.
OK, nothing horrible will happen to me I deduced upon deciding against taking another single pill the remainder of the day, letting these medications work their way out of my system.
By the time I arrived at the Immunization Clinic, I was experiencing full-blown side effects: dry mouth and gurgling stomach. In jokingly explaining to the nurse what I had done, I was sent away. No live vaccines on the day I was having side effects of Tom’s drugs. Ha! That confirms how dangerous this yellow fever vaccine really is. I have not worried needlessly!
I was disappointed and relieved at the same time. This temporary relief was short-lived when they made another appointment for today at 10:45.
As I sit here two hours before my appointment in my usual chair, writing this blog, surprisingly I am less terrified than I was yesterday.
Most likely neither Tom nor I will become ill from our immunizations. Most likely, we won’t get bit by malaria or yellow fever carrying mosquito. Most likely, we won’t get mugged in Mombasa, Kenya, or anywhere else in the world.
Most likely, a warthog won’t attack us in our kitchen in Marloth Park in South Africa. Most likely, we won’t have to pay $1400 for each of two extra bags when we fly on Emirates Airlines. Most likely, all of the properties we’ve rented all over the world will actually exist when we arrive.
Most likely, I will still be writing this blog, 28 days from today, when the risk of reaction to the yellow fever vaccine has passed. Whew!