The month of October was spent making final preparations for our trip to Switzerland. Since the delirium of winning the Grand Prize, our enthusiasum had dampened. We weren't looking forward to a grueling tour bus marathon of 12 cities in 7 days. The only thing that appealed to us about the trip was flying business first class. So as our departure date of November 12th approached, our mood was more a sense of dread than anticipation. Our flight was scheduled to depart Newark International Airport at 5:15pm. We had made arrangements for a limo to pick us up at 1:00pm. Our bags were all packed and ready.
Monday, November 12, 2001
During the night, I made a trip to the bathroom. I felt dizzy, and had to hold onto things to make it back to bed. When I took my shower at 7:00am, the dizziness returned, accompanied by a feeling of nausea and the beginnings of sweats. I crawled back into bed, and told Eleanor I wasn't feeling well. Our doctor told Eleanor to bring me into the office to be examined. In the meantime, reports of an airplane crash in Queens, New York came in over the news. Terrorism was a possibility. Newark Airport was closed as a precaution. Not long after that the limo service called and cancelled our ride to the airport.
To get to the doctor's office, Eleanor had to get me dressed and out to the car. I had to move in very slow motion to prevent a wave of dizziness from overwhelming me. Once in the car, I had to recline the seat and put my baseball cap over my face. It didn't take long for the doctor to announce that I had "labyrinthitis", a viral infection of the inner ear. She gave me a prescription for Dimenhydrinate (also known as Dramamine) and sent me home. She said that labyrinthitis usually runs its course over a few weeks. In the meantime, I was to keep still and rest. Furthermore I was to avoid sudden position changes as well as bright lights. She also advised me not to do any reading. Those instructions were easy to follow. The only time I felt halfway better was when I stayed in bed in a certain position.
Eleanor called the travel agent and told her what happened. She was informed that this was a special arranged trip. If the airports reopenned for business, and the trip has not been rescheduled, that's it. We lost the trip! For the next 4 days, I remained in bed with no improvement. The anti-dizziness medication had absolutely no effect at all. I became convinced that the doctor made the wrong diagnosis. I thought to myself, "It must be a brain tumor. I'm going to die!".
Episode 6 Life is Good!