There Is A First For Everything

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Well, as you can see from the above photo, my trip has had an unexpected stop: the doctor’s office. I thought I could push through not feeling well, and travel on, but in the end, our bodies have the perfect way of letting us know when it is time to rest, and mine has done just that.

It all started last Sunday as my husband and I were in Verona, Italy. We made a stop there on the way to Venice specifically to see Juliet’s balcony (supposedly the balcony and home of Shakespeare’s tragic heroine Juliet Capulet, of Romeo and Juliet), and to put a good word in for my friend, Terri, who deserves to meet her own true love. You see, legend has it that if you leave Juliet a note under her balcony that she will grant a lucky spell on your love life wishes. I have already found my own true love, my husband Erik, but I definitely want to see my friend find her own happiness in love very soon, so I thought why not give it a shot for her? I will keep you posted on how that goes……

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(Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy and my note to Juliet) πŸ˜‰

Anyway, as I was caught up in the romance of it all, I also started to feel feverish. You know the feeling….you can’t get warm, your entire body starts to ache, and you just have the overall feeling that something is not right. However, I pushed on. After all, we had Venice to get to, and I had never been there before, so I was damned if I was going to let myself get sick (as if we have a choice, right?!)….also, who gets sick in VENICE??!!!!

By the time we arrive in Venice a couple hours after the stop to Verona, I am running a very high fever and my throat is starting to hurt. So, instead of a romantic first night in this beautiful and romantic city, I found myself laying on the couch of our rented airbnb apartment, dosing in and out while my husband enjoyed a nice glass of red alone. NOT how I pictured arriving in Venice, but nonetheless, I WAS in Venice! “Tomorrow”, I thought, “I will be better”. I pushed on.

The next 3 days in Venice were magical. The city is everything and more that you hear it is…..even when you feel like shit. Which I did. I smiled through it though, wandering the streets hand in hand with Erik, enjoying a gondola ride, and visiting the museums, all the while knowing I was getting sicker and sicker. I pushed on.

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(beautiful Venice)

Next stop on our European adventure was Milan, Italy. My fever had been gone for a couple days, but my throat was not giving up its fight. I also had never been to Milan before, so I knew I was not going to give in to my illness and get some much needed rest, so I bought some throat lozenges, ate them like candy, and I pushed on. Erik and I enjoyed seeing the sights, and had a wonderful dinner we will never forget with some fabulous Italian red wine. So delicious! One of those dinners where everything comes together just right with the ambiance, the food, etc., and of course, I was with my love. I almost forgot I didn’t feel well…for a moment at least……I pushed on.

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(the beautiful Duomo of Milan, or “white cathedral)

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(I found this piece of art in Milan, and although my husband and I could not figure out why it was in that spot, I knew exactly what it stood for to me at that moment…that’s right….screw you illness!!!….) πŸ˜‰

Yesterday we headed back “home” to Holland. We drove from Italy back to the airport in Geneva, where our little side trip from spending time with family in Holland had began a week prior. As we made our way through Italy, and then France, we enjoyed lunch in a quaint, fairy tale like town, called Chamonix. This is where the famous Mont Blanc is located. Mont Blanc, or “white mountain” is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the highest mountain in western Europe. Β It is quite a sight to see for sure! The entire Alps area is stunning and a true marvel of Mother Nature. During this trek back to the airport, my throat was finally starting to feel a bit better, but I started to have some congestion. I now had a cough, but again, I pushed on. I thought for sure I was coming to the end of me feeling bad, after all, I am usually a very healthy person, so being that I was now 5 days in to not feeling well, I just knew it was about to be over……WRONG!

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(me in front of the Mont Blanc and the Alps, in Chamonix, France.)

By the time we landed at the airport in Amsterdam, I was in a downward spiral of sickness. I could no longer hear out of my right ear, the pressure in my sinuses (not that flying helped with the pressure!) was unbelievable, and I truly thought I might reach my end right then and there. How tragic right? The girl who loves to travel so much, traveled herself right to the grave. Okay, that is a little dramatic (okay A LOT), but at the moment, I really felt THAT bad! I knew I couldn’t push on any longer.

This whole story brings me to the right here, right now……..

My father-in-law was very kind and called his own doctor for me first thing this morning. I had an appointment set for 10:10am. Now, I have never been to a doctor outside the USA, but I knew it was a must for me to continue with our trip, so off the 3 of us go (Erik, my father-in-law, and myself) to the Dutch doctor. As this blog is titled, “There Is A First For Everything”.

Now, you might expect that I would be going to a professional office building, like most of our doctor’s offices are located in the states, but as I found myself walking into what looked like the backyard of a beautiful, traditional Dutch home, I knew this would be quite a different experience. And it was! The doctor’s office was actually in a renovated garage, but you would never have known it (except for the walking in the backyard part…). It was warm and cozy, and very welcoming. The waiting area had everything a US doctor’s office would have, chairs and tables, and magazines, however, it had a beautiful view of the back yard of the home we had just walked passed. Very serene. There was a door in the waiting room that I knew had to lead to the examination room. The doctor opened the door, and instead of wearing a white coat, he was wearing a nice pair of pants and a sweater. He was very welcoming, almost like someone who would welcome you to their home. Erik and I enter the examination room (we weren’t sure if the doctor would speak English or not, so Erik was to be my translator if needed), and it was everything you would see in a doctor’s office in the US. Very professional, but in a very relaxed setting. I actually think it would be great if the US could adopt such a system! Anyway, long story short, the doctor spoke very good English, examined me, and let me know that I have a full blown sinus and upper respiratory infection. I would need antibiotics to make it go away and feel better. I thanked him very much for seeing me on such short notice, and then we headed over to the pharmacy, one street over from his office, to pick up my 2 prescriptions. The entire trip this morning to the doctor and to the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotics was extremely quick and efficient. 3 cheers for the Dutch medical system!!!

I can no longer push on. I have cancelled my plans for this evening, and instead will enjoy a quiet and relaxing night at “home” to get healthy again. I now know that I should have probably gone to see a doctor while I was in Italy, but I kept thinking it would go away. A word to the wise my friend, ALWAYS listen to your body. I need to start doing the same.

Well, there you go…. a wrap up of what I have been doing the last week. Don’t get me wrong, I am still so very thankful for all the beautiful places I have been able to visit, whether sick or not. Although, the being sick part has not been so fun. However, it happens.

Once again, thanks for being here in this GIHY community. Thanks for letting me share my life, my truths, and my adventure with you. I look forward to sharing more pictures and thoughts with you as Erik and I head to the UK next week, but until then, I think I will just get caught up on some books I brought with me for the trip, relax, and enjoy my medications. πŸ˜‰

Have a fabulous (and healthy!!) weekend my friend!

Much love from me to you…… from Haarlem, The Netherlands.

Kalee xo

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