Am I allergic to the world!?!


Well, I’ve made it this far.  As I write this I am collapsed in a hard bed in a very small hotel room, air conditioning buzzing loudly, but not loudly enough to drown out the sounds of honking horns.  I keep having to fiddle around trying to turn it off, turn the temperature up. Etc. because having Lyme disease apparently means you’ll even be cold in a place where the temperature is 95* with 95% humidity.

Wow. The last 40 hours have been an absolute blur. Traveling when you have a chronic illness is not an exciting or fun experience as traveling should be.  In the last 40 hours I’ve been in four airports (mostly on the floors of them) on three planes, taken one crazy taxi ride through a city I (ignorantly) didn’t realize would be so impoverished, and now, in one hotel room where there is no warm water and I have barely left the bed for 12 hours.  I sound entitled and elitist and uncultured. But when you are sick, exhausted, and overwhelmed, cultural shock is SHOCKING.  All I want is the familiar right now.  My bed, my cats, a fire going, my essential oils diffusing, healthy food cooking, a warm shower, peppermint oil for my headache, quietness.

I had two eight hour layovers in airports where mostly everyone spoke Spanish.  I spent most of the time on the floor, in and out and consciousness.  There was nothing I could eat…soda, cookies, pastries, chips were all that could be found and the snacks I could bring were things my system doesn’t do well with (you can’t exactly pack grass-fed meat and vegetables in your suitcase!). Each airport had store after store selling fragrance, and the air was saturated with it.  Each stall in the bathroom had individual air ‘freshening’ machines dispersing sick chemical scents.  It seemed the bathrooms were always being cleaned with bleach or ammonia.  The noise, the heat and then the overly air conditioned areas.  The lack of sleep. The confusion (I speak very little Spanish and have never traveled internationally before- immigration, customs, money exchange- all new to me).  Even with my strong and independent nature, all of this has been just too much for my little Lyme-infected, chemically-sensitive body to take.  By the third airport I was an absolute mess.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I was nauseous and in a ton of pain and shaking.  I ended up on the bathroom floor breathing in those disgusting chemical fragrance fumes and bleach and ammonia and crying because everything hurt so much.  I threw up and had to drag myself off the bathroom floor to make my last plane where I spent the duration of the flight curled up in a little incoherent ball, largely unaware of everything around me, all I could feel was pain and nausea.

I stumbled off that plane into the humid and hot city of Iquitos, Peru.  I managed to get a taxi and the drive through the city was intense.  No organization to the traffic, dogs and trash everywhere, honking, tons of pollution from the motorbikes, I couldn’t breathe.  My head was pounding.  I made it to the hotel and they were so nice, allowing me to check in hours early. But once again, the space reeked of chemical air freshener.  As I was checking in I had to run to the lobby bathroom to throw up 😦  I made it up to my room, which was filled once again with chemical fragrance.  I threw up again.  Took a shower and there is no warm water, so I was freezing.  I got out and my teeth were literally chattering and I was shaking all over. I climbed into the bed and fell asleep.  Woke up to my period starting and severe cramps.  Tired running the shower for a long time, but it never got even close to warm. Now I’m back in bed, hungry but still nauseous, just sick sick sick in every way, all over. Everything hurts.

There’s no way I’m leaving the hotel as 1. I’m sick, 2. I’m a white female and look like I’m five and don’t speak the language and 3. 70% of the population in this city is considered to be living in extreme poverty and I had three people on the plane tell me it is not safe for me to travel alone here (I have since realized that I totally can wander the streets there just fine, and I did at the end of my trip!)

I am sitting here, in the darkness, glow of my phone as I type this, noisy streets outside, and wondering if this was really the best idea.   I’ve always wanted to travel and experience other cultures and other places, I’m open minded and well educated and aware that the majority of the world does not enjoy even close to all the luxuries  taken for granted in the US – clean water, paved streets, access to healthy food…but being in a foreign developing country when you are sick and alone and just not ideal.

So, why am I here?  I’m here to heal in ways, I hope. I wanted a radical shift in perspective and environment, and so far I’ve gotten it, just not in a positive sense. Tomorrow I go to a retreat center in the jungle where I’m hoping the energy of this entire journey so far will shift.

At the moment though I just feel disoriented, confused, sick and alone.  The part of me that would normally be excited by the novelty and adventure of all this, the part of me that could handle airport food and not having all the luxuries I’m used to (and I know I have been capable, I’ve backpacked in the middle of nowhere for weeks and am not someone who is unable to adapt, I prefer simple, basic living, am a minimalist- but now I’m wondering if even that preference is a luxury) has really disappeared with this illness.

I “need” access to healthy organic food I need access to a bunch of supplements I need access to safety and quiet I need access to so many things now that I’m sick (do I truly NEED?)..otherwise I fall apart and get sicker.. So..what do people who live here do if they become sick? How are they all not sick? With all the chemicals and toxic food.  Are many of them sick but just functioning? Is being sick somehow a choice? Cultural? Is being sick and thinking about it, seeing doctors, treating it, letting it define you somehow a luxury? AM I ESSENTIALLY ALLERGIC TO THE WORLD!?!!!!!”;'(-&?#($!”!©[®{¢{•×•Π!!!!!! I’m so f*cking confused !!!!

At least my migraine has subsided a bit.  

Back to sleep I go, eye mask and all, trying to black out all the confusion.


2 thoughts on “Am I allergic to the world!?!

    • Thank you! It did! I did a month long ayahuasca retreat which was a struggle mentally and physically but there are not words to describe the amount of negative energy and trauma that I cleared. It was like 40 years of intensive therapy in one month! And so much of what my Lyme disease stems from is deep trauma and repressed emotions. I cannot recommend ayahuasca enough, it literally has saved my life! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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