July 9th, 2013

Sea dragon

Er yeah France

So I probably ought to say thank you to Jason for taking care of me and, um, being totally graceful about the fact I totally ruined the trip to France.

Day one: getting to France. Went fine, except at the end we arrived so late pretty much every restaurant in the little town of Vannes was closed for the night. We went to the most expensive place and had a nice dinner anyway. However, I was depressed from two days before and am still depressed.

Day two: see Vannes (this goes fine). Go to get the car. It is not at the train station as promised. Go to get a taxi: while asking the fare, I inadvertently insult the taxi driver, he refuses to drive us to where the car actually is, then tells the next guy in line that I'm a bitch. Next guy also refuses to take us to the car rental place. I get the fifth guy in line to do it - he drops us off on the other side of an A road from the agency. We get the car (I wind up crying because of the stress), then drive IN A STRANGE COUNTRY IN A STRANGE CAR with J nav (no sat nav) to the pretty country B&B we had reserved. We go out to eat and talk about why I am depressed. It doesn't actually help matters.

Day three: it's now three weeks since I started being congested, and now, woo, it has settled in my lungs again. I am rasping and wheezing and really having a hard time of it as I'm just not getting enough oxygen. Our planned day hike around the "alignments du Carnac" becomes a one hour tour, with a detour to one other megalithic monument. We then hit a grocery store and go back to the place for supper in the yard, and I fall asleep early.

Day four: I am sicker. I am weaker. I don't want to go anywhere other than to lunch in town and then to a nearby dolmen. Then I spend the rest of the day reading and napping. Jason hangs out and reads and plays cards with me when I am awake and is generally chilled out.

That night: something goes wrong and I start swelling up. I can't breathe: the air in my lungs doesn't seem to go all of the way down. I wake up again and again as my throat is starting to swell, but I don't realize what's happening and think I'm getting tonsillitis. My face swells up worse than ever before: my lips are so distorted I can't open my mouth to see what's going on in the back of my mouth. In the morning, I won't go to breakfast because I look so horrible and feel so bad; I can't really swallow and when I talk my voice comes out as a little squeak. It turns out there's an on-site doctor (it's his place): he comes and looks at me and then runs off to get some medicine for me. One megadose of steroids later, I'm wiped out and being carefully monitored by the doctor and Jason, who are trying to figure out if I need to go to the ER. Miraculously, the fucking cold clears out of my lungs, so if I can get a breath through my nose I can get enough air; and I stabilize (after a wondrous AND NOW MY TONGUE IS SWELLING UP thing) during the next two hours.

I don't remember the rest of the day. At night, we didn't have enough food for dinner, because the stores were all closed, so we ate cheese and crackers and a box of cookies. All through this, J doesn't whine or complain about me ruining his trip; he checks in on me constantly to make sure I'm still breathing. It's nice: I know I'm safe and he'll get me to the hospital if I get worse.

Monday: I've made it through. I realize I've ruined the trip. We didn't go kayaking; we didn't go walking; we didn't even really get to enjoy the food. But I didn't have to go to the emergency room so that seems like it's a plus. We try to take the boat tour to the nearby island that's been described as "the Sistine chapel of Neolithic art," but even though it's the first of July, they haven't changed the sailing schedule for a morning departure. I feel deflated. J suggests we take a walk on the beach and it is nice and we have a good time poking around.

So: I look back on the trip and it makes me sad that we really didn't do the fun things I wanted to do. But on the other hand, J and I got along REALLY well, he got some major chilling in, and, er, we both thought not going to the ER was a MAJOR victory. We left feeling like we'd triumphed, sadly not over kayaking around the islands of the gulf of Morbihan, but, well, over Mr Death. So ... well, I figure "the Sistine chapel of Neolithic art" will probably be around in another year or two, right? And that's just how I have to look at the whole thing. We can go back; we were lucky to make it out alive. I still don't even know what set me off; the incident at the car hire place seemed too far back. My best guess is a nightmare as I hadn't had any food that was the least bit different from what I eat here. So really, I would like a specialist to help me out here; I don't want this happening to me at completely random times again, preferably ever.