Peru, Last Part!
Ok, so I am in the hyperbaric chamber, under pressurized oxygen, kind of freaking out since it is shut like a submarine. To combat the fear, I am lying on my stomach, with my face as close to the oxygen as I can. I was so glad when the hissing stopped and they opened the chamber and I got out! I felt better already, finally able to take a breath, a full breath! Still a bit dizzy, but the weird wet breathing noise had stopped.
Back in the mini-van ambulance to the clinic, where I was put back on the IV for the remainder of the night. They were nice enough to let Karen stay with me, and she slept in the other bed as I lay awake staring at the ceiling, with the freaking IV and old-lady oxygen tubing not letting me roll on my stomach or side, which is where I like to sleep.
In the early morning, things got a little chaotic, as the doctor came in to tell me that I needed to fly to Lima and stay there for at least 2 days before I flew home, and that he needed to go with me. No problem, I thought. Well, there was a problem, b/c the stupid idiots from our tour tried to tell Karen that she needed to fly to Lima at 7 am, when I wasn't going to be able to go until 11 am. That caused a lot of angst for me, as I didn't really want to be alone in a Peruvian clinic without Karen around! Finally it all got worked out, and I was bundled into another ambulance to drive the 3 blocks back to the hotel to shower and pack up. I managed to talk the doctor out of making me fly with oxygen, telling him that I hiked for days on 1/4 of a lung, so I thought I could make it on the flight.
The flight to Lima was kind of strange, the doctor really meant he was flying with me, he sat beside me and checked my oxygen levels a couple of times during the flight, as well as got us to the hotel and checked it there, and gave me some medicine. Nice guy, interesting talking to him about Peru and his thoughts on the country.
Karen had booked us into a nice hotel, well, very nice--JW Marriott--to spoil me a bit. Lima is an interesting place, doesn't rain and is basically a desert. It sits on some very high bluffs made of dirt. Great views, but kind of weird since the bluffs are crumbly dirt. We visited some pre-Incan ruins in Lima, as well as some Incan ruins on the outskirts. We basically had a private tour, so that was cool. The ceremonial sacrifical area was creepy, and there was a place where the sacrifical girls lived until they were selected for sacrifice. A huge honor for the family, not so good for the girls.
We walked around Lima a lot, got a strange near tour of the City by a taxi driver, going to a famous museum of Peruvian items, and then he took us to some famous Spanish houses where we were able to touch a book from the 1500s, everything was just out in the open and not protected! We also saw a catholic church with some beautiful tile work.
New Years Eve came and we ate at some Italian restuarant, and saw some fireworks over the ocean. I was feeling much better at this point, but Karen had come down with a cold. Our trip ended with the long flight back to Virginia. I was never so glad to get home, and this was the only vacation that I've ever been on where I lost weight!
After we got back, we got a copy of the doctor's notes, and then I got kind of freaked out. I was dehydrated (which is why it took the nurses 5 tries to get the iv in) and basically in super bad shape due to the pulminary edema. Lesson learned and happy to be ok! I don't have an itch to go back.