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The Eclectic Pen - A Novice Traveler in Beijing - Epilouge

By: IONE L. (zaneygraylady)   + 85 more  
Date Submitted: 9/7/2007
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Travelers & Explorers
Words: 756


When I got home I did as I said I would. I went right to bed. I was exhausted even though I slept through most of the plane trip home. I started to get diarrhea, chills and fever. Sure enough I had caught a bug in China. I donít know if it was from the food, the ice I foolishly had in some of my drinks or something else. I tried to go back to work the next day and only lasted one hour. I went home and back to bed. I couldnít eat anything and drank sprite and water only. After a couple of days in bed when I started throwing up the water I finally decided to go to the emergency room.

The nurse immediately hooked me up to an IV. I was dehydrated. I had to pee and poop in cups for the lab. I got a second IV and was given a pill to swallow. The doctor said if I kept down the pill I could go home. I did so he sent me home with instructions to see my own doctor the next day.

My labs werenít back yet so my doctor couldnít say what I had. She said continue my antibiotics and anti diarrhea medicine. The next day the office called to say I had salmonella. Later I found out that Daveís mom, one of his sisters, his nephew and me all got salmonella. I got a call from the health department trying to track down where I got it from and when I said Iíd just been to China he didnít need any more explanations.

It took me a good week to even feel half way well. As you can probably tell from my story I am addicted to Coca Cola. I decided since I hadnít had one for a week while I was sick it was a good time to quit. Iíve tried to unsuccessfully many times before. After another week I was still feeling kind of lousy and was getting these terrible migraines. I went back to the doctor and she said it would take me a while to get over the salmonella but I was probably going through Coke withdrawal. She said I should not have quit cold turkey but should taper off. I have been allowing myself one Coke a day and my headaches are gone. I feel much better and have lost ten pounds.

I recall the conversation with my mother in law and nephew about the illness all being in your head and she pointed to her stomach and said itís all here. She was right. I think I got sick because I was not careful enough about what I ate and drank due to my flippant attitude. My mother in law was right. There I said it.

Traveling to Beijing and thinking you know China is like visiting New York City and thinking youíve seen the United States. I would like to see more of China but I want to spend as much time as I can with my son and his family. I plan on visiting once a year. I hope I can take some side trips with them sometime.

What I liked most about my trip were the people. The Chinese people we met all seemed to like Americans and our culture. From the salespeople trying to make a sale, the cab drivers trying to get some extra Yuan and the clerk in the hotel store they all had a certain charm. Sure they were all trying to make some money but I believe they were genuinely interested in us. They were all good-natured and tolerant of the fact that we couldnít speak the language. Jesseís new family was wonderful to us. They made us feel welcome from the very beginning.

I learned a lot from my trip. I learned to be more generous due to the generosity of Irisís family. I learned to be more flexible because when you travel to a foreign country you must be flexible if you want to enjoy yourself. I learned to not be jealous due to the kindness of Jesseís family to Jesse, Andora and all of us. I learned that you can communicate without words due to the fact that I did very well understanding gestures and using my own while I was there. Most of all I learned to appreciate the small city I live in, Kalamazoo Michigan.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by IONE L. (zaneygraylady)

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Silvercat - - 9/7/2007 6:43 PM ET
I have so enjoyed taking your trip with you! Sorry for the illness, but am glad you are okay and on the mend....and like Dorothy said in "The Wizard of Oz, "There is no place like home"! :)
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