Monday, December 9, 2013

Honeymoon Part 2: Epic Fail, One Of The Few Times In Internet History The Phrase Is Accurate

Ah, where were we last?

Galloping in a field of toucans and monkeys and anacondas.  Hugging sloths.

We had one last meal in our Amazonian lodge and the "rainforest" started showing it's true colors -- the rain started flooding down.  Down and down and down.  It was a Friday, so the lodge finally started filling up with other visitors which made us giggle.  First, because they were arriving in such wet circumstances, and second, because we could have really used the company.  Power in numbers against the tarantulas and such.  (I yelled at our guide for trying to prod a tarantula out of it's hidey hole during a pitch black night hike.  I never need to do another rainforest night hike again.)

The Gentleman was still suffering a fever and nausea, but he bravely survived a 1.5 hour boat ride up the Amazon river to return to the city of Iquitos.



This photo is from our boat ride TO the lodge, but add grey skies and heavy rain and it looked the same during our return.




The Amazon river was a mile wide and tasted like milky tea.  I mean looked--looked like milky tea.


Can you imagine that boat being your taxi to commute to work?  A lot of the villagers worked at a petroleum factory nearby, so their commute is something I traveled thousands of miles and spent hundreds of dollars to experience.  Hey. 

Laundry and bath time.  If these two only knew I would make them famous on the RoseRunner blog.
We took it easy during our remaining afternoon/evening in Iquitos because we simply did not enjoy being outside of our hostel, with the motorcycle sounds and smells.  The Gentleman regained a bit of appetite, so we we found a restaurant and I ate pizza and a salad.  Turns out you aren't supposed to eat raw foods (including lettuce leaves) when you are a tourist in Peru.  I got the bottled water memo, but not the no-salad-or-uncooked-produce memo.

Within an hour of returning to our hostel after dinner, I started feeling weak and achy and feverish.  No big deal, I was probably catching the 24-hour flu that we suspected the Gentleman caught, so I went to sleep ready to fight it off, lose a day of vacation, and return roaring for the next step of our honeymoon: Puno, for a voyage around Lake Titicaca.  It was the second tier leading to our honeymoon highlight: a hike to Machu Picchu.

The next morning was hell.  We had a long day of traveling (11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.) by motorcycle, airplane, layover, airplane, one-hour taxi ride, to get to Puno.

This was one of the most physically painful and uncomfortable days of my life.  I had to use the bathroom every 20 minutes.  I couldn't eat anything.  I was writhing with abdominal pain.  And I was trembling with fever chills the whole time, which earned some very alarmed looks on the airplane.  At the time I was extremely annoyed that people were staring at me because I was simply trying not to barf on them.  In hindsight, I would also have been like "THIS PERSON HAS THE BLACK PLAGUE, GET ME OFF THE PLANE."


I'm dyinngggg
We occasionally thought it was worth documenting our fall from grace.  But most of this ugly will stay only in my memory.

I was beyond relieved to collapse on the bed of our Puno hotel room.  The most beautiful sight of a bathroom just steps away.

Puno threw another obstacle in our way, however, because it is at 12,500 feet elevation.  It didn't take long for us to start getting headaches, start breathing oddly, and start wondering whether our diarrhea and other weak symptoms were from our prior illness or from the elevation.  We took prescription pills for the elevation and patiently waited for them to kick in.

A day went by; we canceled our overnight stay with a local family on a floating island in Lake Titicaca.  Another day went by, and we then canceled our replacement day tour of Lake Titicaca.  We  also canceled our plans to get up off the bed and brush our teeth and eat a piece of food and do ANYTHING living species do.

Days ticked by and all I saw of Puno was cracks of light from the hotel window.

Eventually we asked the front desk for oxygen to see if it would help.

Ha. haha. sooo dramatic.
It didn't.  It relieved the Gentleman of some degree of his headache, but I suspected the elevation was not what was killing me.  My heart rate had dropped to normal, I was breathing fine, so whatever was ailing us was some bug, not the elevation.

Eventually it had been 5 days of lying on a bed in pain, eating (drinking?) little more than gatorade, when I was convinced by my dad to visit a doctor.  (Kaiser rejected my call to the advice hotline once I told them I was out of country.  Gotta know the fine print.)  I pouted about not wanting to go see the local shaman, which was my way of joking through my fears of medicine in another country.

A kind doctor visited our hotel and then taxi'd me to a clinic.  This was exciting because I saw the sun for a minute.

We gave the hospital room below a long hard look of "nevermind, let's go back to the hotel" but we stuck it out.  I got an IV of electrolytes and antibiotics.  We were there for about 5 hours.



This was about the time that I finally let the truth sink in.  I wanted nothing in the whole world more than to be HOME.  The thought flickered in and out previously, but I was patiently waiting for the sickness to pass and our vacation to resume and not giving it any serious consideration.  


We did it sweetie! We made it to our honeymoon!

The IV did not magically cure me.  We went back to the hotel with a bag full of antibiotic pills and other prescriptions. 

We had sailed through our entire stay in Puno and the next step on our itinerary was a 9 hour bus tour to Cusco.  No part of me (or the Gentleman, who BTW was not as pathetic as me but was still suffering stomach distress and no appetite) was going to survive a 9 hour bus ride.  What's more, that 9 hour bus tour was supposed to be followed by a strenuous 4 day backpacking trip.

And so we threw in the towel.  It was done.  We started booking a flight to Lima, and thereafter a flight to SFO.  This was a formidable task.  Fuck LAN.  Worst airline in the world.  We lost megabucks because their website and phone service made it impossible to rebook our flight home, so we flew home with another airline.  Give me a holler if you know how to get a complaint heard and fixed with LAN.

We taxi'd out of Puno to the airport in Juliaca, and I snapped a photo of the only view I ever had of Lake Titicaca.  To be honest, I don't even know if that is Lake Titicaca.  Maybe it is an inlet.  I'll never see it I guess...




At the airport, ready to survive a short flight to Lima.  I kicked some guy out of his aisle seat so I had easier access to the toilets.



The flight from Lima to SFO sucked balls but truly the suckiest part was that they played the SAME Tim Allen movie THREE times in a row.  In spanish.

I have a crazy souvenir from our honeymoon and my hospital visit.

That's my arm.
Something in my vein really disliked the IV I was given.  This photo was taken today, four weeks after the hospital visit.  It is tender, painful, and bothers the crap out of me.  But at least I'm HOME.

And finally for the photo below, because this wouldn't be a proper RoseRunner post without making fun of silly bloggers a little bit.

After a week of not eating I obviously lost weight.  I also lost a ton of muscle.  My hard earned runners legs, withered away.  When we got outta that hotel to travel home, I had to shuffle slowly because my pathetic calves kept cramping on me.  Yeah, forget running--my muscles couldn't even manage to walk.  slowly.

My point is to reiterate what has been said before by those wiser than I to remind women of the stupidity of succumbing to the famous thigh gap goal.  I don't have the build for a thigh gap.  Guys, the only time in my adulthood that I have had "a thigh gap" was as a result of insufferable montezuma's revenge that stripped me of my beautiful running muscles (see below).  The minute I started running again, my thighs redeveloped and the thigh gap went away.  Running is awesome.  You can take my thigh gap, I choose running.

This is what unhappy thighs look like
Well that's about it for Honeymoon Part 2.  Believe it or not, there is a part 3.

33 comments:

  1. Ha ha! Such a terrible experience, but at least you have a great story, right? Props to you for choosing to honeymoon in a rather adventurous location.

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  2. Wow I'm sorry about all of that. I think I would honestly enjoy some sort of adventure myself versus laying in the sun sleeping somewhere. I'm glad that you are obviously feeling better from that. I actually had a reaction like that with an IV when I was much younger. It stayed on my arm for close to 6 months and then all of a sudden just went away. The doctors had no idea what happened.

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  3. Holy crap, that sounds like complete torture. I'm glad you're home safe and sound!

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  4. holy shitballs.

    I like the use of the CIM tube/beanie/scarf/whateverthefuck. What a handy piece of swag.

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    1. I know, right? That thing kind of saved my life. I basically hid my head in it during plane flights.

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  5. Thanks for the reminder to never eat raw food/salad while abroad. Actually, some people avoid eating salads in the U.S. too, which I just found out recently. Sorry you had such a shitty (literally?) end of your honeymoon, but glad you made it home safely.

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  6. Oh my gosh. Not that I'm a world traveler by any sort of the imagination, but i think i'll just stay home from now on. and those bumps are...odd.

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    1. haha. Yeah, I'm only traveling nationally for a long long while

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  7. Wow. That is a real bummer about what happened, especially with missing going to Machu Picchu. Did you find out what you had in the end? Likely a severe case of food poisoning? That is the #1 fear I have of going abroad and having that happen. I guess I've only gone to 1st world countries abroad, so generally the food is perfectly safe in those countries. Also, have you got your arm checked out by a doctor? That does not look good. Might be good to go to the doctor in general to make sure that your body is totally normal again.

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    1. I think it was bad water... + inability to recover because of poor access to good food and sleep. But who knows. ???

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  8. Oh man, that sounds terrible. Didn't anyone tell you that honeymoons are supposed to be done on beaches inside all-inclusive resorts with purified water and people to bring you towels and unlimited drinks. or something. On the plus side: you had an adventure.

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  9. Wow..what an experience! Those bumps...I would definitely go to the doctor (unless you already have?) The funny thing is that you will be telling this stories for years, and you definitely have a honeymoon to remember! What an experience....

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  10. Wouldn't it be cool if those bumps were actually from a tarantula egg-bite and someday soon all the eggs its bite left in your arm hatched and came scurrying out? Little teeny tiny baby tarantulas scurrying out of your arm! And you could blog it! I'll bet you'd get major sponsorships...especially if you could more consistently sport the thigh gap. Speaking of which...I've put on about 20 lbs in the last 4 months...maybe a trip to Peru is in order?

    So glad you're ALIVE!!!!!!

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    1. VERY SWEET OF YOU TO IMPLANT THAT HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIO INTO MY MIND

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  11. Wow - so sorry you had such a crappy (pun intended) honeymoon. But after all, you did do what many people think you're supposed to do on a honeymoon - spend it all in bed, right?

    I have had nasty stomach bugs in grungy circumstances (Egypt, Russia) and also had such bad altitude sickness (in Quito) that I had to crawl rather than walk to the bathroom, but I've never had both at the same time or had them as badly as you did.

    I do hope that you get a re-do of your honeymoon (at least the exotic adventure with the Gentleman part, but minus the tummy bugs) at some point in the future.

    As for those lumps, I second the comment expressing the hope that you've had, or are about to, them checked out, especially if they're painful or if you have any swollen lymph nodes (could be an infection). Maybe there's some fluid that was supposed to go into your blood vessels that somehow ended up in the surrounding tissues?

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    1. I barely even noticed the altitude sickness...I was too busy feeling miserable from the stomach bugs. But writhing 2 feet on the bed did make me lose my breath, so....

      I don't know if I'll have a re-do in the sense that I see Machu Picchu :( But....there will definitely be many more adventures.

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  12. This is the saddest honeymoon story I have ever heard so far...and has me SUPER excited for our week there in the spring haha!

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    1. LOL. Marci -- be careful! Don't go to the Amazon, you'll be fine ;)

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  13. Aw man, I can totally relate to your experiences, since I pretty much did the exact same holiday in 2008. lima to iquitos, to puno, to cusco to macchu piccu, wierd eh?! I actually got sick in the jungle too, I dont think it was food poisoning but I definitely had the runny bowel syndrome and embarrassingly clogged the toilet the lodge several times.. my bad! I was weak as water and couldnt eat... and clogged myself with every tablet to prevent shitting on the Inca trail every 20 mins, on the way to Macchu Picchu. I was definitely not as sick as you but it was torture.. I lost 7 lbs on the 3 week trip. I think the altitude was a big part of me not getting well. u didnt miss much in puno, lake titicaca is cool alright. if you ever go back, you should do the inca trail to macchu piccu, it was much more of an experience than macchu piccu alone (with the hoards of tourists). wish I could share all my photos with you so u can pretend u were there!

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    1. Wow, these ARE parallel trips! I can't believe you made it through Machu Picchu with the stomach bug. I couldn't even walk across Kennedy Park in Lima without stopping to regroup every 10 steps until I made it to the Starbucks. And then repeat. Repeat. repeat. THAT was when I knew we wouldn't be able to hike the Inca trail.

      Get me those photos so I can live vicariously!

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  14. That sounds horrible :( I have flown with LAN a few times though, and have had nothing but good experiences including having to change a flight with them. Sorry your honeymoon wasn't what you had planned.

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    1. Our flight to Peru with LAN was really nice! But once in the country, we kept hitting a wall when calling customer service. Serious language barrier or just plain false information. Buggers.

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  15. I am so sorry your honeymoon was so rubbish. It sounds horrific. Grimness.

    What can part 3 be? I'm actually quite excited about it.

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  16. I'm so sorry about your honeymoon. That day when you had to travel while sick sounds so awful. I hope you get a honeymoon redo one day! So I'm a longtime fan of your blog, and I think it's generally awesome. However, I did want to make one comment which a lot of people would probably post on GOMI or something instead. But I know you're not about deleting comments that aren't 100% "you're so amazing!" so I might as well mention it directly. I was a little troubled by your "thigh gap" discussion in this post. So I understand how you're mocking it and showing how one would need to be almost deathly ill to actually achieve a thigh gap. However, I think there's a bit of a fine line between engaging in an activity to mock it and just plain engaging in that activity - at the end of the day, you're still posting a photo of your newly achieved thigh gap on the internet. Personally, I don't think that is in good taste. It also indicates to me that you may have a preoccupation with that kind of body image yourself. I was once in a similar sick abroad situation in Ethiopia. I very likely also achieved the allusive thigh gap. But I never thought to look, because I wouldn't think of that sort of thing in the moment as it doesn't interest me in the least. I had heard of the "thigh gap goal," seen images of people going for it, thought it was idiotic beyond belief and never gave it another second of thought. But, unlike me, these (un)healthy living trends (whatever you would call them) seem to really stick in your mind. It makes me wonder if you mock people preoccupied with their appearance, because you fear that you might somewhat share that same characteristic with them. But you think that if you make a point of mocking them and establish yourself as entirely separate from them, no one will accuse you of having that same mindset. I don't know - this is obviously complete conjecture based only on what I've seen on your blog. I fully admit that I have no idea what's really in your mind. However, posts like this make me think that body image and, specifically, being thin is very important to you. Perhaps more important than you'd like it to be. It makes me think that if you were suddenly 30 lbs heavier, but still healthy, you would really not be ok with it. Anyway, I hope you're feeling better and planning on a running comeback soon. Best of luck training!

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    1. Hi Abby! I don't mind at all if you psychoanalyze my relationship with body image or appearance, but that is certainly more thought than I have ever put into it. I can tell you what I know:
      1) to the extent my weight affects my ability to run, I absolutely care about my weight. Whether it's because I've lost muscle mass (picture above) or gained 30 pounds (your example) I would be unhappy if it interfered with my preferred active lifestyle
      2) when I got home from Peru, all my pants were falling off me. It was impossible not to notice I lost muscle in my legs, not something I "checked" for. My point is I lost muscle, not fat, because I was laying in bed for a week not using my muscles. Once I started running again, and my thighs filled right back up. I thought it was an interesting point to make, having read Fit & Feminist's past posts, that the thigh gap goal for someone built like me requires not having runners muscles. Or lying in bed lifeless.
      3) I'm not sure I mock people who are preoccupied with their appearance as much as I mock irresponsible bloggers who post scary/stupid/eye-rolling habits with the public for praise. Maybe you have an insight into my blog persona that I don't, but I don't think my real-life lazy-ass grooming schedule or non-diet diet matches the description of "someone preoccupied with their appearance." For my professional life, I often wish I did care more about my appearance but some days its just at the bottom of my list.

      Thanks for posting here instead of GOMI! I do understand that the photo may have been in poor taste. I considered posting, and should have posted, an "after" photo with it (or a "today" photo) to show my voluptuous running thighs now, but I am actually that lazy that I didn't want to get up, take my pants off, take a picture, and upload it while writing the post...

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  17. I just found your blog today and I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time. No, not at your misery and broken honeymoon plans, but at your shittyblogger posts. I'm sorry you had such a bad time in Peru. Machu Picchu is amazing!! You should try and give it another go... or not ;)

    You're so super fast and I want a coach so that I can be just like. Maybe one day I'll do a blog about my obsession with instagram food pictures.

    BTW Congrats on your wedding! Your posts are hilarious and I love them! All one day of them that i've read. Excuse my randomness, but I wanted to squeeze everything into this one post.

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    1. Yay, hi, you sound totally caught up! Glad you are having fun so far :)

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  18. I've been a bad blogger... just catching up on your life. :)

    First, congrats on your wedding! Holy freaking crap on the part 2 honeymoon! I am glad you are alive. (part 1 looked amazeballs... 50% good is a success right? :))

    Nice job on the sub 90min half. You'll get under 1:25. I know it

    That trail run in Walnut Creek looks beautiful.

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  19. LAN once lost my bags for quite a while (I got them back) and all I got was a lousy travel kit with like a toothbrush. So yeah, not in love either.

    Jesus, your travel story beats all others.

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  20. Great, it is such a terrible experience, but at least you have a great story, right? you definitely have a honeymoon to remember. But please be carefull...okk....
    Click Here

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  21. Jesus, what a nightmare. No wonder you cut the trip short. That sounds terrible, although I second those who say you at least got an amazing story out of it. But still...I'm sorry that this happened both to you and Mr. RoseRunner.

    Also, yikes on the thigh-gap situation. That's a lot of lost muscle. Glad it hear it's coming back quickly, though.

    Okay, on to part 3.

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  22. Catching up on reading and whoa. What a nightmare trip of a honeymoon. :( I'm so sorry about your experience. I can't imagine being so sick so far away from home. Glad your back and healthy again.

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  23. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that!! I know I had talked to you about your trip, but reading about it in this post it just sounds horrendous... I am such a big baby that I probably would have demanded to go home the first day. I don't know how you stuck it out as long as you did! And traveling while healthy is no fun. It is SO much worse while sick... Do you still have aliens in your arm?? Has that at least gone away by now??

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