Well, let’s just say that the appointment with the travel clinic did not go at all according to plan.
First off, I don’t know what immunizations I have received and, with switching doctors so many times, it’s a mystery as to where my records are that would list what shots I received at my pediatrician. We’re trying to get access to my records somehow, but for now I only know what I’ve received from 2005 to the present.
Also, the appointment took over an hour when it was supposed to only take 45 minutes. These appointments aren’t free and they charge by length, so that’s an extra $25 I was not very happy that I had to spend.
Then, on top of that, they are putting a red flag on my file saying that, as of right now, I can’t go to Tanzania this summer, even though I’ve already been accepted into the program and spent over $3,000 towards the trip already thus far. I’m doing all I can in acquiring letters from my various doctors and therapists (I already have permission from my psychiatrist), and hopefully that will be enough for them to sign off on me going again. Other than that, I'm going to keep going to the gym and trying to eat better so that my body will be strong enough to withstand this strenuous activity.
No. I have no idea what I will do if I’m on top of the Mountain and am all of a sudden hit with a wave of pain. There’s nothing I can do to prevent the pain from occurring and, once it hits, there’s not much I can do to stop it. But, I don’t think that I should bail on this opportunity because something bad might happen. I could just as likely get hit by a boulder or slip and sprain my ankle and neither of those possibilities would stop me from going, so why should this? I know that I need to go. I just have a feeling that this is something that I really need to do and do now.
The proceeding meeting with the ED counselor was short but good all the same. We’re meeting again after my next study abroad meeting to talk about steps for me to take when I’m in Africa. For the record, I do not plan on being able to be a vegan for my study abroad, and especially not on the hike. Now, this does not mean I’m going gung-ho for the red meat and cheese; I will still be keeping it to a minimum. But, I will be in a country with limited health care options and we both think that I need to start building my system up to some of the foods I will be eating to lessen the chance of adverse reactions from my IBS and disuse.
This is not a vacation. This is not Paris, London, or San Francisco. People eat what they can when they can and, just as many of the people I will see can’t afford to be picky, neither can I while I’m there.
There is still a lot that I need to do and a lot about myself that needs to change, or at least be progressing towards a better place, before I go. There are a lot of habits that I continue to hold on to that I just can’t shake. Yes, I still count calories. Yes, I still weigh myself every day. And, yes, I let these numbers influence my choices (most of the time). I am only allowed one piece of luggage on this trip and there isn’t a bag on Earth large enough to hold all of this baggage.
Why does this all have to be so hard?