Didn’t go on our outing yesterday…Too sick…Watching TV from abroad…Outing is changed to Wednesday…

View from the pool at our condo.

Sunday night around 9:00 PM, we went to the front desk of our residence hotel to ask for assistance in making a local call from the phone in our condo to our cab driver Umer, in order to change the date of our outing from Monday to Wednesday. 

Umer’s business card has a series of 12 digits as his mobile number which didn’t seem to work on the phone provided in our condo. We tried it numerous ways, leaving off the country code, using 10 digits instead of the 12, all to no avail.

Over the weekend, with the utmost of hope and optimism, this virus I’ve been nursing for almost two weeks has made its way into a sinus infection that I can’t seem to shake. With a headache, pain in bending over and feeling of general malaise, I knew that no matter how much I pushed myself, a day’s outing would be torture.

We discovered from the kindly gentleman at the desk to drop the first three numbers and add a “0” to the beginning of the remainder of the numbers. I doubt we’d ever have figured that out on our own.

Hopefully, by Wednesday I’ll be able to go, as our time in Dubai sadly winds down with all of our time thus far spent staying in. We’ll fly away next Monday. Much to our concern, Tom has started with the same symptoms as mine. Is he also in for more days of this illness?

Tom suggested, “Maybe we picked up some spores from the Pyramids?” Unlikely. But that’s interesting fodder for a scary movie. Oh, that’s already been done.

The clean lines of the architecture on buildings in every direction.

Stuck inside again, the construction around our building seems less of concern today than it did a few days ago.  Luckily, my dear hubby, is a good caregiver, very sympathetic with nary a complaint about staying in while I try to recover. Hopefully, we won’t be swapping roles in a week with Tom as sick as I am now. 

In our possession are a few bottles of antibiotics prescribed for us by our doctor before leaving Minnesota, just in case. With an aversion to taking antibiotics coupled with saving them for a more serious situation, I’ve hesitated to begin the five day dose as recommended for sinus infections. 

However, nagging in my brain is the fact that in eight days we’ll be on yet another ship, exposed to a plethora of contagious diseases.  Will taking the antibiotics now to fix the sinus infection offer any prophylactic benefit against possible exposure?  Not so sure, especially since many shipboard illnesses are virus related, not bacterial. We shall see how the day rolls out.

With few English speaking TV channel (news mainly), I thought it would be comforting to watch a few TV shows on our computers since we’re saving all the movies and TV shows we’d previously downloaded to our external hard drive for our upcoming almost year in Africa beginning September 1.

Construction directly below our building which continues on all side.  It appears a rail system is being built.

Outside the US many Internet sites are blocked. I’ve mentioned that we are aware of this fact in the past. Up until this point, we’ve managed to be able to access the sites we use frequently. If we encountered an issue, generally, it was for a frivolous website we could easily do without.

Yesterday morning at breakfast (Tom made scrambled eggs to which I added avocado and blue cheese) we were easily able to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning show on my laptop (full screen) without issue. Being under the weather usually translates to “pillow, sofa and TV.” Oops, no TV, none in English, that is.

Having successfully watched Sunday Morning, we decided to try a few of our old favorites: Downtown Abbey,  The Good Wife, Grey’s Anatomy, Celebrity Apprentice and Shark Tank. No such luck. All of the network’s videos are blocked when outside the US.

Recalling research I’d done last year for a VPN, a virtual private network, I’d discovered Identity Cloaker, a for-fee company that offers software that transfers one’s web browsing to “appear” to be coming from inside the US as opposed to outside the US . (That’s a simple explanation to a much more complicated issue

Figuring a little warmth and sun might be good for us, we were only able to stay outside for 30 minutes in the windless, scorching heat.

When trying to watch US TV shows at no cost directly from the network’s websites, where most are readily available, we receive a message stating, “due to licensing laws, this video may not be viewed outside the US.”  We expected this but were surprised yesterday morning when we were able to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning at CBS.com.

With my foggy head, I wasn’t really up to downloading and installing the software for Identity Cloaker since it requires a few complicated steps.  None the less, I started the download, figuring that with little else to do, I’d take my time and get it done in time to be able to watch a few shows this evening as we relax and attempt to recover.

Alas, moments after the downloading process commenced, a message popped up: “UAE doesn’t allow access to this website.” 

Now to Plan B for last night’s entertainment, much desired after several nights of staying in. Off I went to my favorite place to shop online for our frequent Kindle e-book downloads and gifts for family, which they wrap and ship from the  US, avoiding international shipping charges. I knew that they had TV shows where one could purchase entire TV series.

Having absolutely loved PBS’s Downton Abbey and having left Minnesota the day before season 3 began, we’ve been chomping at the bit to see what we’ve missed.  Question was…will we be able to download and watch this series or will we be blocked?

The view from the chaise lounges by the pool. 

Before making the purchase for a paltry $14.95 for the entire 3rd season, I downloaded the “free preview” to ensure it would work from afar. Yes, it worked! We’re thrilled. Last night, Monday night we watched the first episode in HD on my laptop in full screen. Love that show! 

And yes, yesterday afternoon, I gave in and downed the first two pills of a Z-Pak to be continued at one pill per day over the next four days. The thought of riding an elevator to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa, or riding in an airplane with pounding pressure in my head is unthinkable.

Hopefully, by Wednesday, we’ll both be well enough for our full day outing to see the sights of Dubai. If so, we’ll be back in touch by Thursday with photos.

Sick abroad…What wll we do?

The dreaded Neti Pot!

Last Tuesday during the night, I wandered in and out of fitful sleep with my head pounding.  I never get a headache!

Dragging myself out of bed, choosing to ignore the heavy feeling in my head, I went about my day knowing something just wasn’t right.  This feeling continued all week long alleviated to a degree with various attempts: Tylenol, Motrin, and Aleve.  

Saturday morning, awakening with the worse headache yet, now with a stuffy sensation in my nose and head, I realized I had a sinus infection.  In the past, a sinus infection resulted in an immediate visit to the doctor or urgent care for an antibiotic prescription.  

Every few years in the fall, I’ve developed a sinus infection.  Whether it was due to an allergy from ragweed, prevalent at this time of year, precipitating an infection or merely a coincidence, this is a familiar plight.  Antibiotics always work within 24-48 hours, resulting in an enormous sense of relief.

Everything is different now. After the past two years of retirement and obsessively learning more about health online, we now both feel adamant that antibiotics should only be taken in a life threatening scenario.  

Generally speaking, for me, a sinus infection is not life threatening unless it develops into a more serious respiratory or otherwise infection. It is painful and annoying with pulsating headaches, congestion, sinus pain, trouble bending over and rampant lethargy.  It varies for the individual.  (No intention to offer medical advice here. Please see your medical provider for care.)

Why not give in and take antibiotics, I thought several times while bent over the kitchen sink, Neti Pot in hand, pouring warm salted water into one nostril and then the  other?  Yuck!  This is not fun!  

For us, it’s more than the desire to avoid antibiotics at all costs.  We must learn to cope with the inconvenience of minor ailments that we can easily attend to ourselves.

Many times over the years, I wearily visited the doctor, five days into the achy flu, the dry cough, the flaming sore throat, the sore elbow or the swollen knee, convinced that the ailment was only getting worse.  Leaving his office, prescriptions in hand, I already felt better and wondered why I hadn’t just “waited it out.”  Placebo effect, perhaps?  

Yes, it could be.  If so, why can’t “waiting it out” while taking advantage of home remedies, proven holistic and alternative remedies, plenty of rest, lots of fluids and a light diet provide the same end result?  In some cases it may.

So, here is my first illness since last fall, and I am trying it out.  Motivation?  To prove to myself, that while along the way in our travels when we are living on the island of Madeira, (for example) for three months, 1200 miles from the coast of Lisbon, Portugal that we can be proactive as opposed to reactive when it comes to our health.  

It’s about tolerance, creativity, patience and good sense.  Of course, we will seek medical care wherever we may be, if a situation is serious or life threatening.  I will post here with the results of this “experiment.”

The Neti Pot is calling me. I put it off this morning when I stumbled out of bed, head spinning, promising myself I’d do it at noon.  Well, noon has passed.  Here goes!