Saturday, February 01, 2014

What Comes from Jamaica

Pardon me while I dust off this place that has been collecting cobwebs strung from the chipped plaster and rotting woodwork. 

I had intended to write in December and to talk about my orchestra's delightful Christmas concert. I was going to write about a performance by the Canton Symphony, too, and about going to Atlanta to see my family for the holiday. I did none of that, obviously. Well, then I was going to write about how Husband, the girls and I flew to Jamaica the day after Christmas for a five-day rest-up at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa, complete with pictures and restaurant reviews, but I didn't do any of that either. But I'll tell you this much—while the trip to Jamaica was overall a success, I came home with a souvenir I wouldn't give you ten cents for.

As I mentioned, we stayed at a resort, an all-inclusive kind of place with a massive pool, a lovely beach, a spa and lots of restaurants. We stayed on the property for all but one day when we took a trip up into the mountains for a waterfall excursion. We didn't go to the one everyone seems to be familiar with but to a smaller place that was supposed to be a little less challenging. Not having been to the other one, I can't say if it was or wasn't, but it was something I could handle without too much trouble, and the lunch that was included, prepared at a small ramshackle camp with chickens and ducks afoot, was delicious.

Mostly we staked out our spot on the beach and planned our day around meals and the occasional spa visit.

Well, on our last full day there, two days after the falls visit, I woke up with a touch of an intestinal issue, if you know what I mean. It plagued me into the next day, about the time we had to board the plane for home when it subsided enough so that I could travel. Back home, we unpacked and dived into piles of laundry when this virus or bacteria or what have you evolved into something that gave me a high fever, chills and vomiting for a day or so. For about 24 hours, I only got out of bed to hurl.

When that portion of this situation subsided, I was left with a lingering fever and abdominal pain that was uncomfortable but not excruciating. It wasn't enough to send me to the hospital, but it was enough to make me feel like laying down all day long. By the next Monday, a full week after this thing began, I still had a fever and pain, so I went to a stat care place, thinking I had some intestinal bug. And I'll admit I thought I might even have a parasite from the waterfall water I accidentally swallowed, and I kind of got a kick out of the idea. It seems like an interesting story to tell.

It wasn't so interesting, it turns out, because what I had was gall stones, and I was sent home with instructions to go to the emergency room if my symptoms worsened. That night they did worsen, with increased pain and a temperature of 103. So, husband took me to the ER. The staff there dismissed the gall stones, and after a CT scan, two ultrasounds and two pelvic exams at 3:00 in the morning, it was decided I had an ovarian cyst, or possibly an infected appendix. The two things are so close to each other in the female anatomy that it was difficult to decide which. Then the doctors decided it wasn't a cyst but an abscess about the size of a silver dollar. It's likely caused by the bacteria that made me sick initially—it traveled until it found a crevice to camp out in and to reek havoc from.

I spent the rest of the week in the hospital on antibiotics, and an ultrasound on that last day proved the abscess had not shrunk but may have even grown. I was sent home to take two very strong antibiotics for two weeks. I took the things as responsibly as possible, but I have to say there were days I wanted to chuck the things and let this abscess—Rosemary's Baby, I began calling it—take over. Those drugs caused such fatigue, as did the infection, and light headedness that I could barely finish sentences, couldn't drive, couldn't walk the dog, could barely even play with the dog. Husband did the cooking, and I did the laying down on the couch and watching movies.

Finally, after I finished the drugs, and with no fever and not much pain to speak of, a follow-up visit to the doctor left me with instructions to get back to my normal life. I still have this abscess, which occasionally reminds me of itself with twinges and mild pain, and I'll soon have an ultrasound to determine the size of it, but it looks like I might be on the other side of this infection, this souvenir from Jamaica that I'd rather not have. Five days on the beach led to four weeks of being sick. Not much of a fair trade, I say.

So, vacation in Jamaica. I have some nice memories from the trip, so I'll try to focus on those. Here are a few photos:
The daughters waiting for a table at one of the hotel restaurants.

View from our spot on the beach.
The lobby of our cute villa.


dive said...

Yikes! Get well soon, Robyn.
The girls look more and more stunning as the years pass. I wonder where they get that from?

savannah said...

YIKES, is right! Slow going in your recovery, but I hope you're competely well soon! xoxoxo

Shan said...

I'm so sorry you have gone through such an ordeal! I hope the doctors stay on top of it. Glad you are feeling mostly better. Scary stuff.
That's such a glamorous picture of the girls: A framer for sure.

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Katherine Thayer said...

I love Jamaica!