A long overdue confession...


Another photo from one year ago today in our garden in Marloth Park. This young bushbuck always stayed very close to her mom while others we've seen will wander off but not too far away. Please click here for more photos.
I don't even know where to begin. We always promised to be vulnerable and real in our posts and the past few weeks I've failed to be spot on. Today, I'll share exactly what has transpired and how we've dealt with the latest challenge, although not earth-shattering, it was enough to make us concerned. Here goes:
On day 5 of the transatlantic cruise, I noticed a small tickle in my throat. It wasn't specifically a sore throat. It was just a tiny tickle. I didn't give it much thought. 

The next night, day 6, I felt tired, dizzy and out of sorts. I went to happy hour with Tom but couldn't take a sip of my wine. I left and went off to bed in our cabin. Tom brought me grilled chicken breasts and steamed veggies from the cafeteria for dinner while I encouraged him to eat in the dining room and have a good time with other passengers.

I watched three free on-demand movies while picking at my food. My favorite was Godzilla. Go figure.

By 9:30 pm, Tom returned to the cabin for the evening and after a good night's sleep, I felt much better the next day, able to dine in the dining room for breakfast and dinner, post a new blog and carry on with our usual fun cruise activities throughout the day. The tickle in my throat continued.

By day 8, I lost my voice and started to cough...a cough from hell, dry, painful and disgusting to hear. I carried around piles of paper towels and tissues carefully covering my mouth when I had a painful bout of coughing which was more often than not.

Over the next few days, half of the cruise passengers were hacking. I was not alone. But, the worse part was I could hardly talk. Every time I attempted to say anything, I was propelled into an uncontrollable bout of coughing. It was difficult to be around. It was difficult not to be able to talk when cruising is all about lively conversations.

By the time we reach Minnesota, I felt like I was "coughing up a lung" during each awful session. I started taking Nyquil for coughing at night and at least I've been able to sleep for a few hours each night.

I didn't want to say anything about this here. After all, our dear readers have spent months reading about my health woes. I didn't want to burden any of you with more. It was bad enough, Tom has had to put up with me.

Most days, since we arrived in Minnesota a week ago, I've spent considerable time at son Greg's home with Camille and the three kids. On each occasion I found myself gasping for air. I knew why. I am grossly allergic to cats. And there adorable Morty was unwittingly a source of my breathing distress...asthma exacerbated by exposure to cat dander, a big no-no for me all of my life.

After a dreadful night last night, awake most of the night coughing, I decided it was time to get this dealt with, one way or another. At 9:00 am this morning we headed a few miles down the road to the MedExpress Care Eden Prairie, MN clinic, a walk-in urgent care center.

Of course, with all the wheezing sounds in my chest, I was concerned about pneumonia or even worse, congestive heart failure. Any recent cardiac patient would think of such things.

After a short wait, we were whisked inside an exam room and I had one of the best medical experiences of my life. The professional and proficient care included a chest x-ray, a breathing treatment, an injection of cortisone, and two prescriptions...one for a seven-day course of oral cortisone and another for an asthma inhaler.

I clapped my hands when the doctor came back into the room after the x-ray had been read by a radiologist at the local hospital to discover, I didn't have pneumonia and...the most exciting news...my heart and lungs looked great. Whew! I couldn't have been more thrilled.

The total bill for all the services including breathing treatment, doctor visit, x-ray, injection and two prescriptions (for which they provided coupons) was a grand total of $189! Not too bad considering we don't have any US health insurance.

I walked out the door smiling. Sure I am very disappointed I have to stay away from Morty but we'll just plan to do things with the kids, Greg and Camille away from their house. On Sunday at noon, I am picking them up for dinner and movie at the Cinema Grill, a movie theatre that offers full meals to eat during the movie. The kids love this.

Yesterday, we booked our flight to Las Vegas arriving on Thanksgiving evening(November 28th). Once we arrive at Richard's home in Henderson, we'll all go out for Thanksgiving dinner. This will be quite fun.

All and all I am looking forward to feeling better and have learned my lesson about being around cats. Today, we're headed to a local bar to have happy hour and snacks with Tom's sisters and their significant others.

Now, I can relax knowing I don't have some dreadful condition other than the annoyance of coughing every few minutes. Darn "cruise cough!" The clinic staff was amazing and so supportive. I couldn't have asked for more.

Gosh, just because we live this life of world travel doesn't mean we're exempt in any way from the challenges most people face at one point or another. We're very grateful we dodged yet another bullet. Life is good.

Happy day, dear readers. And please, take care of yourself!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 15, 2019:
A pair of giraffes, each munching on opposite sides of the road. For more photos, please click here.

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