Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One Awful Day

I hate to complain, I really do. However, today was kind of awful.

I made a tactical error in booking hotels ahead of time via Hotwire. Kind of. Hotwire is pretty cool and worth using, but as far as I can tell there's no reason not to book your room the day of your stay rather than a few days before.

That said, today was always going to be the most grueling leg of my journey back to Tucson. I needed to get from Texarkana to El Paso, which is a journey in excess of 800 miles. That's a 12 hour drive which, while exhausting, is certainly manageable.


However, last night I fell asleep in my Texarkana hotel room shivering a bit, with an achey throat. I woke up ill.

My symptoms were coughing, a burning throat, shivering (especially in the cold weather), back pain, and a general feeling of weakness in my muscles. It felt very similar to whatever I had after Christmas, and it may have been a resurgence. In any case, all I wanted to do was go right back to sleep, maybe find a doctor in town, and spend a day recovering.

Unfortunately, I had a hotel booked on the other side of Texas, and unless you pay extra for Hotwire's insurance you can not receive a refund. I either had to muddle through or waste Fangamer's money.

Of course, I opted to muddle through.

Two hours after leaving the hotel I had to stop at a gas station and rest. Unfortunately, the bathroom at the gas station had only three stalls and was quite busy. So, I sat on a bench outside of the bathroom for quite a while, counting the people coming and going under my breath. It took a while, but when I finally counted only two people in the bathroom I went in, did my business, and returned to the van for a nap.

That nap guaranteed that I wouldn't arrive at the El Paso until quite late, and when I woke up I was still feeling awful.

In the end, after several hours of driving I finally invested in some Ricola and Advil. I normally hate to take any sort of pain medication, but that Advil did the trick for a long time. From about 5PM to 9PM central time I made fairly good progress. Eventually, though, the aching returned and the coughing got worse, even with liberal use of the Ricola and Advil. I finally arrived at the hotel just a little while ago, at about 12:30 AM mountain time. All in all, the trip probably lasted about 15 hours.

On the bright side, that day is now over. I should be able to handle tomorrow's meager 4.5 hour trip with no problems, and then I'll be safe at home. The nightmare will be over.

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