Ghana-via-Lisbon 2012: On the Plane After a Four-Hour Delay

(Post written on Aug 27, 11000m above the ground; TMI warning for health-related issues.)

I have never felt as haggard during a flight as I do just now.

The malaria prophylaxis is giving me few side effects, but of those that I do have, the constant nausea is the worst. It’s not the I’m-going-to-throw-up-right-this-very-second kind of nausea, no, it’s more like I’m-going-to-throw-up-in-10-to-15-minutes. Except, 10 to 15 minutes later, it still feels the same, and 10 to 15 minutes after that, and 10 to 15 minutes after that… You get the idea.

This also means I haven’t been able to eat much, if at all, ever since I left for Africa—the first time. By now several people have commented on my weight loss—no wonder considering I can’t even finish an entire bread roll for breakfast.

And then there’s my nose. My nose and I have a special relationship. As soon as it feels the air is too dry, it start sneezing. And I don’t mean once or twice, I mean ten, twenty times. Easily. If not more.

And right now, we’ve apparently decided we won’t annoy the entire plane with incessant sneezing (good choice), but instead we’ll just shut down completely (bad choice; very, very bad choice).

So now I can’t breathe through my nose, which, in addition to giving me a gigantic headache in and of itself, also means my ears won’t pop to adapt to the change in pressure—more pain that certainly doesn’t help the headache.

Add to that the fact that my entire body feels as if a velociraptor is using my innards to sharpen its claws—what? that’s what I imagine it must feel like—and I’ll just say even a bunk bed in a dorm of six has never sounded more heavenly.

Just as soon as I get off this goddamn plane.

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