Being on a road trip and having one happen = worst thing ever. As most people know I have some pretty gnarly allergies. I have an intolerance to lavender (makes me pass out on the spot), I am allergic to iodine, I even have a Medic Alert bracelet for this one (which is in most processed foods) *note to self: must renew epi-pen script.* and baby powder (I break out in rashes). Awesome, eh? F*$@ I’m such a loser. I changed both my eating habits and lifestyle around to avoid such things. It only takes one incident to really mess things up.
Last year on our unfortunate road trip (see post ‘travelling with friends’) while Jade and I were making our way home from Utah; I kept adjusting my sunglasses thinking I had something in my eye. We were moving along at a pretty good speed, laughing and singing horribly to music when we pulled over to get some burritos for lunch and I threw my sunglasses off… the look on Jade’s face was priceless. She asked me what the hell happened to my face then took a picture (see below, I look like something from AVATAR, thankfully minus the blue tint). My eyes had near swollen shut from an allergic reaction. First I panicked then laughed it off. I felt fine but for the last 6 hours of driving I guess it was getting worse. I was now consciously aware of my eyes and the puffy, itchy feeling that comes with it. We hit up the nearest Walgreens and they were no help, take some Benadryl they said. What choice did I have? Jade cannot legally drive yet and we were super eager to just get back home. I eventually took some Benadryl (which we always have stock of in both the glove box of our car and one of our backpacks) and had to pull over and rest for a few hours. Benadryl makes you sleepy. ‘Do not operate a motor vehicle’ is clearly stated on the box. After an hour long power nap in the now toasty hot car we started making our way back toward home. Even though I was fine to drive the swelling stayed, try explaining that at the Canada/USA border. The guards were not laughing even though we thought it was hilarious. I’m sure it was more delirium on our side… or hallucinations. We ended up staying at my parent’s house for a few days to decompress from the trip and reintroduce ourselves to our routines. After much insistence, Jade finally dragged me into the doctor’s office where they said it was an air-borne thing that infected my eyes (technically speaking ‘an inflammation of the lacteal ducts in your eyes’). Yeah, thanks tips! It went away a few days later with me putting a hot compress on my eyes and thank goodness we were in Canada and went to my doctor’s office in my hometown. That is something I am always afraid of, getting hurt/sick/injured when out of the country. I take extra precautions when eating and where we go so I don’t get sick. If Jade or I even think for a second that there could be some sort of cross contamination with our food preparation, we leave. No questions asked. I’d like to make it home in one piece, for my loved ones, my animals… for myself.
ALWAYS get travel insurance! If you’re fortunate enough to be on a good healthcare plan, activate it BEFORE you leave on your vacation/road trip/weekend getaway. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, you never know until you DO. Trust me on this one. Leave a photocopy of your driver’s license and care card (Medicaid) with a family member when you travel as well as a photocopy of your passport. Better safe than sorry.
It’s a funny story now, but when it was happening we were a little concerned.