Rookie Mistake: Traveling While Sick

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I woke up on the morning after my first night in D.C. with allergies. I blamed the feather pillows and the hotel carpet, but I will never know for sure. As the days in D.C. progressed, my allergies got worse, and turned into a sinus infection. It was difficult to take care of myself properly since I wasn’t home. By the time I got on the plane to go back home, I had congestion, fever, head pressure, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, YOU NAME IT! I rarely get sick, so this was the ultimate struggle for me.

An hour before the flight, I took a decongestant along with Tylenol to reduce the fever until I could get to my medicine at home. I boarded my plane back to New Orleans, and everything was going as expected. When the descend began, things changed dramatically. I felt the change in air pressure like never before. My ears began to feel this excruciating pain, and it took over my whole head. There was so much pain that it reached my gums, and my teeth started throbbing. I tried popping my ears as usual, but it didn’t work. I pulled out a stick of gum and started chewing for my life, but that didn’t help either. I could barely hear out of my ears.

When I the plane landed, I went to the restroom and blew my nose, hoping that my ears would pop and I would find some relief. The pain was too excruciating for me to fully blow, but my ears almost popped. By the time I got home, my hearing had improved, but the overall pain had not subsided.

Listen, I encourage everyone who gets any type of sinus problems to avoid flying. That change in air pressure destroyed me. I felt like I was getting hit repeatedly in the ear with a hammer. Luckily for me, my eardrums didn’t rupture, and I recovered quickly. In the event that this happens again, and I cannot avoid flying, I know to purchase “Ear Planes.” Those earplugs are supposed to assist with the pressure changes that caused the pain in my ear.

​I know better now.

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