If you haven’t read part one, read it here.
We stayed in a beautiful and spacious room with a wonderful view. The hotel knew we were celebrating our anniversary. The bell hop gave us a bottle of wine and the hotel had chocolate covered strawberries and sweet treats waiting for us in our room along with a handwritten card and a spa discount certificate. Pity I didn’t get the chance to use it. I did drink the wine though. You must forgive me for the sparsity of pictures in these posts. As you can imagine, I wasn’t in the picture taking mood.
On Monday the 13th of October, our anniversary, we awoke and discussed what we planned on doing. Being the mushy woman I am, I had my heart set on going to a romantic dinner along Fort Lauderdale Beach and staring into my husband’s eyes that night, but we decided to play the daytime activities by ear. I suggested that since it was Columbus Day, maybe we should stop by the mall and get a few things since there would be sales. VERY BAD IDEA. Yes I did get some good bargains on some skinny jeans but, what was supposed to be a short stop at the mall turned into a four hour adventure at the end of which we were both feeling unwell. Anthony felt worse than I did, probably because he was the one who drove and had to deal with all the traffic while I napped in the passenger seat. When we got back to the hotel he went straight to sleep and slept through the evening and the entire night. He was sick, I couldn’t wake him, that would’ve been cruel, so much for the romantic dinner.
On Tuesday I awoke and went into the bathroom. I didn’t recognize the person who was staring back at me. The rash was back and it was back with a vengeance. I got my trusty Histal out and dosed up, got my makeup bag out and proceeded to cover the spots on my face. Like many Jamaicans, most times we visit South Florida, we spend the majority of the time shopping. We wanted to be different this time and just enjoy the area. Do some “tourist” activities, spend time together, relax. To that end we decided to go to Jungle Island. We had a great time there and it was a nice sunny day. We really enjoyed it. But near the end I started to feel ill and the rash which was a little itchy and unsightly in the morning had begun to intensify. On the way home I felt as if I was on fire. We stopped at CVS and I got some hydrocortisone cream, hoping that lathering it on would’ve helped.
We got back to the hotel and I was really hungry. I decided to remove my makeup and go downstairs and grab a pizza for our lunch. By then my rash was so bad that I could see people staring at me concerned and frightened as the spots on my face resembled something highly contagious. I decided not to leave the room again until it went away. That Tuesday was agony for me. The itching was the worst I’ve ever felt, worse than chicken pox. I started to wish I had some tamarind bush to boil and bathe in. My mind was filled with one thing and one thing only “Do not scratch it, do not scratch it, it will make it worse”. Anthony fell asleep but I could not, I was too itchy to sleep. In his sleep my husband’s foot would stretch across and touch me. Even that was agonizing. It intensified the itch in that area. I kept nudging the foot so that he’d move it and he would, but shortly thereafter it would return until one time when he got up grabbed his pillow and said “Fine! I’m going to sleep on the couch!”.
I felt terrible. Aside from the fact that he did nothing wrong and we were on our vacation, remember, Anthony was also ill. Although he had not had the misfortune of the dreaded rash, he was experiencing joint pains that seemed worse than mine, weakness and the occasional fever and by now his gums had started to randomly bleed. He had enough to deal with. I apologized and he understood but he thought it best to stay on the couch. I didn’t sleep much that night. Every time Anthony passed the door to go to the bathroom he would peep in to see if I was asleep. I was always awake.
Wednesday morning I took the last of the bottle of Histal, and quite frankly it didn’t help much with this new mutant version of the rash. Anthony offered to change our flights so we could go home early. I refused. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to travel like that. Determined to do something to help me, Anthony set out to CVS to get me more medicine. He came back with Claritin and Allegra and ordered me not to leave the hotel room for the entire day. It really helped. On Thursday morning I felt much better. I took a cold shower and it felt so good. It seemed to calm the heat of the rash for a bit. The rash had started to subside but now I began to feel some swollen, hardened, painful bumps at the back of the neck, all around my ears, under my arms and around my groin. My husband informed me that these were in fact my lymph nodes which were now inflamed. Who knew we had so many lymph nodes? I should have paid more attention in high school Biology. Great! Just when we thought it was going to be over, another fun symptom to contend with. We took our usual pain killers and felt well enough to go out. We went to the mall and did a little shopping and returned to the hotel. ChikV, like many other diseases, makes you quite tired so we weren’t able to do much. We took a nap and in the evening we met up with a friend for dinner.
Friday was our last day. The rash had fully gone down now and we decided to check out the beach. Being from the Caribbean we were pretty sure we wouldn’t enjoy it. That it wouldn’t be as nice as the beaches at home. We were pleasantly surprised. The water was actually very clear, we could see right to the bottom. It was shallow for quite a far distance out. The sand was soft. It was wonderful and refreshing. By far the best part of the vacation. We both wished we had gone in sooner. We’ll definitely be back. We got out, checked out and headed to the airport. After an uneventful flight, our friend picked us up at the airport, we got some fast food, went home and collapsed into bed.