* * *
A staff member whipped a garbage bag open and it sounded like dynamite going off in my head. My teary eyes squinted to see what was happening, but the lights were too intense and I quickly pulled my hood over my head and face again. I took a deep breath. There were too many voices for my brain to interpret. Each person that spoke sounded like they were doing so through a bullhorn. My husband, checking his phone for football scores, clicks on a video of a sportscaster and I jump up, grab my head and move to another seat. There is laughing, sobbing, registration clerks typing and asking for information, family members squabbling over what to do, a security officer telling someone to step further back, and then there is the door...the door slamming over and over again as another nurse walks into a back room after screaming out a patient's name.
* * *
I am back in Marrakech, Morocco. We are at a lively dinner show. As the tajine arrives, belly dancers begin to roam the room, followed by snake charmer's flutes and drumming. Our group laughs and talks amongst ourselves - there are 10 of us at dinner and the conversations go from what we ordered for dinner to what is happening around us. A woman with a stacked candle display on her head danced by. The trumpeters begin their music. My head begins to throb, and I turn to a fellow traveler, a neurologist. She advises me to take advil and stave off any headaches. I do so, which means no wine for me for dinner...tonight. I snap some pictures in the restaurant and try to listen across the table to some of the conversations there. My friends yell to me as the bellydancer climbs on the table. We all clap and yell loudly, provoking her to dance more wildly for her dollars. And then the hookah is ordered and slowly passed around the table. More laughing, more dancing, more loud instruments, and yes, more food.
Because in Marrakech, it just keeps coming!
* * *
I am taken to the room with the loud slamming door for bloodwork and urine sample. It is a little quieter back here, but she cannot find my vein. She tries three times and finally gets it. I nearly pass out when I stand up to walk back to the noisy waiting room. My head is still throbbing and I haven't eaten much in two days since arriving home from Morocco. I drove myself home from JFK after a long flight with heavy turbulence. I'd been taking advil for every subsequent day since the infamous restaurant dinner. The next day we traveled to the Atlas mountains and climbed up to nearly 3000 km. I had a difficult time with the altitude and stayed back at the restaurant on the hilltop while some others hiked further. I was feeling off and not myself. I was tired, possibly dehydrated, and the late nights in Morocco were a challenge for my current schedule. Let's face it, I live a more zen lifestyle, I go to bed early, and I don't do loud noises and crazy energy.
Haha, Marrakech is laughing at me!
Driving home from JFK was rough. I hit rush hour traffic in Brooklyn. And finally when I got 2 miles from my exit (over two hours of driving later), I found myself in stand still traffic due to roadwork. It took me another half hour to drive those final two miles, get off my exit and head home. When I got home, I crashed. I hadn't eaten more than some bread and yogurt on the flight. It had been hot and Royal Air Maroc was stingy with the water and beverages. Did I mention the turbulence? It was pretty bad. Our pilot finally went of course to go around it, but I was invoking Archangels Michael and Raphael to wrap white light of protection around our plane...while trying to ignore it by watching a movie.
After sleeping in the next day, I could hardly move. Forget my head pounding, I had a full blown migraine. Unfortunately, I knew these well due to my concussion last December, but hadn't experienced one symptom since April. I thought I was out of the woods, but Marrakech had other ideas.
As I write this, it is 5 days since I arrived home and I am still not well. Today I haven't taken any advil for the first time, and I have a slight head throb. But my gut still isn't right. I'm not sure what exactly happened because we left the hospital after 5 hours of not being cared for. I'd never experienced such neglect and lack of care in an emergency room before. But I couldn't take the noise one more minute, and since we hadn't even seen a doctor on the floor in the entire time we had been waiting in the back room, I could hardly wait any longer for one to show up and decide that I could have something. I told the little girl who was supposed to be caring for me that I could go home and at least take advil. Her response, "you don't have to check out, you are free to go any time."
Bye bye. Home it was.
I stopped at CVS and got myself coconut water and electrolytes. The one thing I found out in the ER was that I was NOT dehydrated. But, maybe I needed electrolytes. Maybe it would help. My head was feeling better, and I went home to rest, and slept until 11 am the next morning. I was feeling better, but not great. My detective archetype believes that the migraine was triggered in Marrakech due to several things, exasperated by the turbulent, hot flight home and stressful drive...oh, and most likely a travelers bug in there too.
* * *
I went to Morocco with no expectations.
I landed in the continent of Africa.
I rode a camel on the beach.
I met some fabulous people.
I ate wonderful, heavy food.
I stayed out late...
danced a tad...
drank a little...
and I shopped and haggled in the famous souks.
Oh, I may have pissed off some snake charmers.
Morocco is no joke.
I came home with an experience of a lifetime, some clarity, a travel bug and a migraine...
...a Marrakech Migraine!
|Yea, they aren't happy...|