The Cold Tile Floor – Getting Sick on the Road

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If I’m going to be whimpering on the cold tile floor of a bathroom, I’d rather it be my own.

Don’t get me wrong… the hotel floor should be cleaned daily versus the every 14 days my own housekeeper comes, so in terms of hygiene, the hotel would win.

But being sick away from home blows chunks.

Sometimes literally.

I’ve had my share of getting sick on the road (or having to head out while sick).  It comes with the territory when you travel 200+ days a year.

I once flew home from Tokyo with a respiratory infection so severe that my physician said I could have ruptured an eardrum.  I’ve picked up both nasal and ocular staph infections.  I’ve walked around for weeks with a hacking cough that sounded like advanced stage emphysema.  I’ve had food poisoning on close to a dozen occasions.

I got admitted to a client’s emergency room for a Doppler ultrasound for suspicion of DVT.  (They discharged me a mere 15 minutes before I was scheduled to address their board.  There’s nothing like getting to present to a group that includes the physician who just saw you in a hospital gown and knows all your vital statistics.)

And in the worse of my many incidents, I once found myself whimpering on the cold tile floor of a Las Vegas hotel suite after throwing up seemingly nonstop for an entire night.  One of my colleagues was trying to do my hair and makeup and dress me (all while I’m in the fetal position) because I was due to deliver a speaking engagement within the hour.  I don’t remember presenting that day (although my hour long talk received high marks for my “sense of humor”).  I do remember the trashcan strategically placed under the podium.

Yesterday was not a good day.

I started feeling dizzy around noon as I was wrapping up work in my home office and preparing to head to the airport.  I chalked it up to a light breakfast and picked up a milkshake on my way to the airport.  By the time I walked into the terminal, I felt like I could faint at any moment.  I attributed this to the heat.

The airplane cabin temperature was about 200 degrees and I collapsed into my seat and proceeded to watch the people in front of me become hazy… yes, I was close to fainting.  By the time we took off, I realized I was NOT well but made it through the flight thanks to my good friend – ginger ale.

I got to my destination (which was thankfully 25 degrees cooler than home and 125 degrees cooler than the aforementioned aircraft) and after napping a few minutes in the front seat of the rental car, I finally say up long enough to make it to the hotel.   I immediately crawled under the covers

I managed to put in a room service order for some soup and sorbet and tried to overcome the dizziness that tried to take me down as I needed to work but it was no use.

I was not going to be productive.

I woke up around 3 am, freezing cold.  It was only then that I realized that the pillow was damp (as was my hair) and I’d broken whatever fever I’d had.

Today I’m fine.  And I’ll fly home to again be healthy at home.  The next time I’m sick, I want to be prepared with my cozy pajamas and the comforts of home.

But the reality is, I’ll be lying on the cold tile floor again.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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  1. Charcoal capsules have saved me more than once from food issues. First learned about them after a rough day in Bali.

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