Sick at a conference

Ugh. I’ve been looking forward to this for ages, and here I am tucked up in bed in my hotel room. Just a cold, but I think I have a fever, so am taking it very easy, not to mention not wanting to infect all the other cheery attendees.

It sucks, being sick away from home. I ventured out to the pharmacy earlier for drugs and supplies (softer tissues!), but I’m definitely missing comforts of home.

Where/when have you been inconveniently ill?

I woke up in a hotel room in another country with my feet and one ankle badly swollen from an arthritic flare up.

My flight home was that night. I was looking at standing in an airport for my first flight for a good few hours, then a 10 hour flight, then more standing for my connecting flight, then an almost 3 hour flight home.

Lots and lots of NSAIDs got me through, but those first steps that morning had me seriously worried!

Hope you feel better!

Bummer. Have room service bring up some chicken soup.

Whats the topic of the conference?

I’ve had my incidents, but when it comes to spoiling a trip, nothing beats my mother breaking her ankle while on vacation in Hawaii.

I had that very cold the weekend after Christmas when I took a quick trip down to Columbus to hang with some friends. Sick on the drive down (only 2 hours but still, I was alone), sick when hanging out with my one friend and her kids at the hotel, sick at lunch the next day with my other friend, sick all afternoon shopping with my other friend. I was in bed at the hotel by 8 PM and sweat it out aaaaallll night. I had to stop on the way home and take a nap at a truck stop.

That was the worst of it but it took me 2 whole weeks to be done with that cold. Ugh.

I have two.

The first, I was in Europe on business, attending meetings with a group developing international standards. On the way home, I severely sprained my ankle boarding a train to Amsterdam, (I was in Belgium at the time). I heard something crack. Fortunately, I was traveling with friends (business competitors, actually) who helped me through the train stations and airport. As I was on business, the flight home was business class and I was well taken care of by the flight attendants, so it wasn’t as bad as it could be, but if it wasn’t for those business competitors, I probably would have had to seek medical attention in Belgium and it would have taken a few more days to get home. As it was, I was able to see my doctor within 24 hours of the accident (I was very tired by that time; I had been awake for about 32 hours).

The second was in the US. I was at another standards conference, this time with my wife. She had a “little cold” when we left home on Sunday. The meeting was close enough to drive to and it was to last a week; she had to fly out to a meeting for her job that Wednesday. On Monday, she was bedridden, but I was fine. By Tuesday, I had developed a cough and she still couldn’t get out of bed. By Wednesday morning, she was feeling better but I had a bad fever and had to walk out of some important meetings. Before she left for the airport, I was coughing so hard I was hyperventilating and blacking out. Wednesday night and all day Thursday were a feverish blur. As this was at a five star hotel, the hotel housekeeping staff were checking in on me and bringing me bottled water and soup from the kitchen, but I was really out of it most of the time. I expected to see some kickback from my boss for the $50 tip to the hotel staff on my expense report, but I never heard anything from it (my boss was also at the conference and saw how sick I was). By Friday, my fever had broken and I was well enough to pick up my wife from the airport and make it back home.

Traveling on business is rough. Much worse if you’re sick.

Had a hormone related migraine at a sci-fi convention last weekend. Totally understand how you feel.

I had just gotten my vasectomy when my parents made a surprise visit. Sorry I cannot get up and do anything fun.

Two incidents come painfully to mind.

First - I was on vacation with my wife and disabled mom, we were driving back to IL from FL (a three day trip when mom was with us), day two, seemingly out of the blue, I started feeling achy and feverish. By the time we stopped for the night outside of Atlanta I was running a temp of 104 and wracked with chills. Got mom settled into her room and I crawled under every blanket I could find, fever broke sometime during the night and I stayed functional enough to help mom and get home.

Second - Club Med in Cancun, on day two of the trip I started getting sick, awful belly cramps, high fever, and out of control diarrhea, by day four I was so weak I could hardly move and was honestly feeling like I was going to die there. Could get no help from the people at the resort except a nurse who gave me imodium, so I pulled myself together enough to get my bag packed and caught a cab to the airport, I laid my credit card on the counter and told the airline person “please get me home as soon as possible, I do not care what it costs”, she got me on a flight to Chicago in less than two hours. Turns out I had both salmonella and ecoli poisoning, it was terrifying to be so sick and helpless so far from home.

Happens I just came home from the Pennsylvania Farm Show with a cold, but I was home before it really took hold, so it doesn’t count.

What does count:
–My back going out (turned out to be a badly ruptured disk) while I was lying in bed (alone) in a hotel in Boston. (Science fiction convention.) Woke at 4 AM in agony, spent the rest of the night on the floor, but I could walk, so I had a very painful trip home the next day. Saw a doctor a day or two later when I realized I couldn’t lift my left foot above horizontal (it’s OK now, this was years ago).

–My only (so far!) encounter with viral gastroenteritis started 6 PM on a Saturday at another science fiction convention. I was up until the wee hours purging everything I’d eaten since at least Friday lunch (yes, I was able to recognize Friday lunch). The next day I had a fairly lengthy bus-and-Metro trip to get to my Amtrak train, which at least would have a bathroom. Since I had no appetite anyway, I didn’t eat all day. Mercifully, no accidents on the transit. The DC Metro is notorious for fining people who eat on the train; I have no idea what happens if you shit on the train.

Not work related, but my husband got sick whilst we were in London for a convention. We’re talking diarrhoea and vomiting, sometimes simultaneously.

We had to stay another night in the hotel because there was no way he would last the four hour drive home when it was at its worst. The next day I loaded him up with buscopan, got him into the backseat with a water bottle to sip on, and just floored it as much as I could to get home.

I came down with a cold once at a conference too, at the Broadmoor in Colorado. I remember skipping all the presentations and seminars I was supposed to be attending one afternoon to go and lie down on a deck chair in the warm sunlight by the hotel’s lake… which would’ve been nice if I hadn’t been snuffling and breathing through my mouth the whole time.

I also get colds regularly on my vacations–I suspect I pick up germs on the flight out. On one proud occasion, I came down with a bad cold during a tour of Wales and managed to spread my own germs on all manner of public conveyance from a canal boat and the tour bus to a taxi, a train, the London Underground, and my flight home.

The worst for me happened a couple years ago. Mr. Athena and I were in Chicago, at a work conference (we work for the same company) and decided to stay a few extra days after it ended and hang out in the city.

We were scheduled to fly out on Sunday around 5pm. So we got up Sunday morning, checked out of our hotel, left our bags with the hotel doormen, and walked to the Art Institute. Mr. Athena mentioned grabbing some coffee or breakfast on the way, but I really didn’t feel like it, which was unusual to me (I’m the type who doesn’t function without coffee). At the time, I just put it down to the after-effects of a week of eating poorly and drinking a bit too much.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Within an hour of getting to the Art Institute, my stomach was NOT happy. I was feeling very, very clammy, and on the edge of vomiting. I ended up spending a couple hours in the public bathroom, vomiting, trying to pull myself together & not succeeding, and vomiting again. We had NOWHERE to go, as we’d checked out of the hotel, and we needed to catch a plane. I was absolutely miserable, trying to keep myself close enough to a bathroom so I didn’t end up puking in the museum itself.

When I finally reached a moderate equilibrium, Mr. Athena threw me in a cab, we sped to the hotel to grab our bags, and then to the airport. Spent another hour in the airport bathroom; by then, I’d emptied my stomach so it wasn’t quite so dire as it was earlier.

We made it on the plane, we got home, and I was fine the next day. I think it was a bit of food poisoning. But it was truly one of the worse experiences of my life, to be THAT sick, and not have a bed or private place to retreat to.

About 15 years ago, very good researcher friend of mine (who lives and works in south America) was flying to the states to attend a medical conference that we were both attending. She came down with classical dengue fever on the plane. Was deathly ill the entire meeting.

She still gave her talk!

Suck it up, buttercup :slight_smile:

My then-boyfriend had set up a long weekend at a lovely B&B in New Hampshire. I had been under a lot of stress, so I was really looking forward to it.

Woke up the first morning for breakfast, and felt fine. Had some delectable homemade blueberry muffins (local blueberries!) and lovely brekkie foods.

And at the end of breakfast, The Migraine hit like a thunderclap. I had to take every medication in my migraine arsenal.

BF was very sweet – made sure I had ice and my microwaved heat pack. I then told him I’d go to sleep and he should go do something else rather than just watch me sleep. The owner of the B&B stopped by the room to see if I needed anything (she brought ginger ale!), too. I was terribly embarrassed about being a pain in the neck, but the B&B owner said not to worry.

I slept for a couple of hours, and was ok when I woke up, but damn, I hated losing part of the beautiful sunny day to a damn migraine!

I got a very bad cold on the way to a grad school interview. I was up all night with my throat on fire, headache, fever, and my nose running. I had to go through a full day of multiple interviews, trying to sound engaged in the scientific research programs of each faculty member I met. Worse, I met with an aged emeritus professor who was interested in some coursework I took in college. I was deathly afraid of giving her my cold and killing her.

I slept on the plane home and crawled back in to bed in my room absolutely miserable.

Missed the second day of a 2 day course my company had sent me to. I had a bit of a reputation as an irresponsible dude back then, so I have no doubt some people thought it was probably too much business travel type shenanigans. Was honestly so ill I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of the hotel room in time for check out.

I didn’t even try to go to the morning session today, after a night of almost no sleep and mouth-breathing and fevered tossing. Took my life in my hands and drove the 4.5 hrs home, even though I’d prepaid another night in the hotel. No refund, natch. My darling husband has made me my dream perfect salad for dinner, and there are cookies in the oven and a cup of tea steaming on the coffee table, and a dog curled up on my lap. Ahh.

I had travelled to Seattle for a 4 week training course from New Zealand. I was about 3 weeks in, my wife had been with me for the first 2 weeks and had gone home, and I finished training for the day. On my way back to the hotel I knew I had a migraine on the way. My usual response is ibuprofen and paracetamol with codeine (8mg), max dose, repeat in 4 hours time but try to sleep.
I headed off to a Walgreen’s to get the drugs, and discovered that the US is a bit touchier about codeine that the UK or NZ. You can get them from a pharmacist in both those countries, but you need a script in the US. I wasn’t going to go to an emergency clinic for basic painkillers.
In the end I relied on ibuprofen, Tylenol PM and a hot bath to soak my neck and shoulders to ease the pain. It wasn’t as effective as my usual regimen, but I went to sleep and made it to my course the next day, and I got to the weekend to recover.
Next trip I’ll get a script from my doctor and take my own (effective) drugs with me.

Not to one-up you, but I had a migraine while I was chaperoning a field trip for fifth graders. We’d gone to see a live show at a local theater. The stage light followed some actors as they went into the audience and I got a high-powered light right in the eyes. Light triggers migraines. :frowning: I had an hour-long bus ride back to the school, then had to drive from school to home.

I have since developed a cocktail of Imitrex, ibuprofen, and caffeine, and I carry the Imitrex and ibuprofen with me. Migraines suck unwashed donkey butt.