After a while, everyday life can become tedious.
Sometimes, a traumatic event can require a break from our usual environment.
Occasionally, we just need to get away.
A vacation can remedy all three of these scenarios in a very short time.
Bright rays of sun, walking through the sand on the beach, the ocean’s waves, sleeping in, cell phone on silent, and no responsibilities for a short duration, can refresh and reset the mind.
Long days (and nights) blogging, networking, and marketing became my schedule 6–7 days per week for a long time.
On January 25th, 2019 my father unexpectedly passed away.
My anxiety and stress were at an all time high.
I decided I needed a vacation.
The Vacation I Planned
I decided to travel with my family to Cocoa Beach, FL for a week to clear my mind, relax, and have fun with my daughter, mom, and nephew.
We had a driver take us from our home, to fly out of Detroit Metro Airport. We would fly to Orlando, FL and we would have a driver take us from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. We would check in to the resort and vacation would officially begin.
What Actually Happened
I started Day 1 off on the wrong foot. I couldn’t find my ID or Drivers License. Fortunately, I had an expired license, so I brought additional paperwork. (social security card, birth certificate, etc.)
I battled alcoholism for most of my 20’s and even though I rarely drink now, I shouldn’t drink at all. I suffered several pancreatic attacks and gave up drinking for years. I recently started drinking rarely, but I decided, this vacation I would treat myself to a few of my favorite drinks.
At the airport, I decided to have a beer.
And That’s Where Everything Went Downhill
I noticed slight abdominal pain on the plane ride there. I chalked it up to the drive and some turbulence on the flight. After we landed and arrived at the resort, everyone else was hungry but I had no appetite. Pain was beginning to hit my stomach so I took some Kratom powder but I didn’t think it was anything serious.
It wasn’t much longer before I felt what I can only describe as being stabbed by multiple swordsmen with blades of fire in my abdomen. The nausea set in and I started to throw up. I should have called the hospital then but I thought I could wish it away.
After hours of throwing up and now being bent over in so much pain that I can barely walk, I decide to head to the hospital.
I knew what it was. That beer triggered a pancreatic attack. I hadn’t had so much as a sign of pancreatitis in 7 years.
The Hospital Visit
I was immediately given something to stop throwing up. They drew my blood and administered an IV but couldn’t give me anything initially for pain until they knew what was wrong.
When they rushed in with Morphine and Toradol and moved me from the emergency room to a regular room, the pancreatitis was confirmed.
Due to the fact we were out of state, they couldn’t pull up my medical records. The doctor in charge walked in the room and told me he couldn’t figure out why a well fit, drug free, 34 year old man has pancreatitis.
(When I was drinking heavy in my mid 20’s, the hospital knew what I was there for when I came to emergency. It seems like I got pancreatitis every 3 months, that’s why I feel addiction has made me the best damn wellness coach.)
Surviving The Hospital Stay
It definitely didn’t hit me that night. I was in too much pain. The type of burning pain that can be paralyzing, with no position offering any comfort.
The next morning was a different story. After finding out I would be there for essentially the duration of the vacation, I went into instant denial.
It doesn’t hurt that much, doc. I’ve had this before, doc. I can take this here from here, doc. They were all lies that fell on deaf ears. The nurse said, “Well look at the bright side, you have a great view.”
I looked outside and indeed I had a great view. If you are ever in this unfortunate situation, here are a few tips to make the most out of a hospital stay while on vacation.
Tips On Making The Most Out Of Your Hospital Stay
DON’T GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA– If you went with your family, please don’t get on social media. It’s for your own benefit. Your timeline will be flooded with pictures of THEM vacationing and WILL be a constant reminder that you’re not.
REMEMBER YOU ARE ON VACATION– While you may not technically be on the vacation that you wanted, enjoy your time off. You will be tempted to grab your phone or laptop and work on a work project, but don’t do it.
USE THE TIME TO REFLECT– Slow your mind down and reflect on yourself as a person. It’s much easier to picture ourselves and put things in perspective when we are outside of our element. At home or work, the everyday stresses of life can become overwhelming.
TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME– Don’t get me wrong, the ENTIRE time that you are in your hospital stay you will be thinking about when you can get discharged. It’s much more difficult of a stay when you are looking at how many days total your projected stay is. Focus on, I’m in here today. I didn’t plan on it but I may be out tomorrow. Who Knows?
How It Ended For Me
In the end, I was released with 1 and a half day left of vacation. Unfortunately, watching my favorite team Michigan State, lose in the Final Four was much more painful than anything that I’ve ever experienced.
I was able to go into the ocean, relax with my family, and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean. Even if for only one night. Upon returning home, I reflected on how much I enjoyed that vacation.