Jet Lag. UGH!

JET LAG! Mother Nature’s way of punishing you for going on a vacation with a long airline flight. This is my third bout with jet lag and by far the worst. Either I was exposed to some super bugs, or, I totally wore myself out having fun in Israel, or, I’m not as young as I was on prior flights. Probably all three. UGH.

I first experienced jet lag over 40 years ago after a three-week bus trip around Europe. If you ever saw the movie “If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium” you will understand. I got back to my apartment late in the evening and managed to get to work the next day. Then it was just a couple of days of waking up at 2 a.m. having no idea where I was or what time it was.

I didn’t tempt fate by going on any more very long flights until three years ago. The first day back was rough yet I recovered without much of a problem.

This year my body is letting me know that it doesn’t appreciate what I have done to it. I got home Friday afternoon after about 21 hours from wake up to flight 1 to a layover in Rome, then flight 2 and home. I managed to stay up until 8 p.m. and then crashed. Unfortunately, between floating in the very salty dead sea and eating salty/pickled foods, my body was a bit bloated and choose to unload every 90 minutes all night. Still, on Saturday I was up, spent the day visiting my mom and stayed up until 9 p.m. anticipating no further challenges. When I woke up Sunday, after another night of every 90 minutes, I felt fine. I went to church. Ran a couple of errands and was at home thinking all was well when BAM!  1 p.m. and my body said “it is payback time for all that good food and walking and stairs and long flight in a hot and crowded plane.”  I fell asleep on the sofa for four hours, woke up to a bit of dinner, then back to sleep all night, blissfully needing to get up only every three hours. By Monday I was a mess. I hurt all over, my back was miserable, I was coming down with a cold, and slept most of the day. Tuesday I was somewhat better but the cold had set in and I was taking something for it.

Today everything seems to be fine and the cold symptoms are going away. For me. Not for hubby. He had the same sleeping and up and down all night situation but he has what sounds like a very bad head cold. He called the medical plan and got a phone appointment. The doctor listened and laughed. Yep, super jet lag with some type of virus (clear nose snot. If snot is yellow or green, it is bacterial). Take Robitussin and Tylenol so you cough less and feel batter. The rest is your body’s immune system trying to adjust after two weeks of Up and Out every day, pushing yourself much harder than you do at home, different food even though it was fresh and a lot of vegetables, plus that many hours on an airplane. Don’t’ worry, the worst is over in about four days and your immune system will kick back into function. Gee Doc, thanks.

Some years ago I had a couple of Air Force pilots assure me that you can kick jet lag by staying up until your regular bed time and then getting eight hours of sleep. We were all younger then. Sorry Bob and Paul, it just didn’t work this time.


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