My time in Ireland was amazing. My strawberry-blond hair and freckles made me appear to be a local and I was welcomed in Dublin as such. Everyone was SO friendly. My itinerary: Dublin -> Cliffs of Moher (in the running to become one of the Wonders of the World and rightfully so) -> Galway (great pub scene) -> back to Dublin (friendly Hospital).
Yes, I ended my joyous Gaelic Getaway in the Emergency Room of an ENT hospital in Dublin at 9:35 a.m.
At around 3 a.m. on Friday morning I woke up with excruciating pain in my left ear. I tried to tough it out as I hate to admit pain or weakness, but by 8 a.m. the blood streaming from my ear was a pretty tell-tale sign that things weren’t going too well. Afraid of staining the pristine white hostel (Times on Camden- I HIGHLY recommend it), I awoke my brother and his girlfriend, and we went downstairs where the very helpful receptionist called a taxi.
This little problem with my Hearing Hole put quite a dent in my plans. We were supposed to check out the local gardens, see a few museums and pop into the Jameson Distillery. But instead… we went to the emergency room. My brother and his gf were good sports and helped orchestrate everything.
While in the emergency room a young doctor from Toronto proceeded to make small talk with me while cleaning out blood from my ear with a vacuum (that was a lot of fun):
“So what are you studying?”
“It’s too bad you have to leave so soon, me and my friends are going to the jazz festival in Cork this weekend.”
Mister Doctor, I really hope you’re not trying to hit on me after I have been up for six hours in pain with blood leaking from an orifice on the side of my head.
Turns out I ruptured my eardrum, probably from flying with a cold. I am currently on one oral antibiotic, two different ear drops, one nasal spray, and two different kinds of pain relievers. All of which I need to use three times a day. I also have to stick a vaseline-covered cotton ball in my ear when I shower, I can’t fly for six weeks, and am not allowed to blow my nose.
However, other than this little debacle, the trip was great. We rented a car and drove three hours on the “wrong side of the road” to get to the Cliffs of Moher, which were jaw-droppingly beautiful. We were all walking back when it started to rain and suddenly a huge rainbow appears right in front of us, with one end protruding from the Atlantic Ocean. So obviously we did not get a pot of gold… or a leprechaun.
To my brother, Matt, and his girlfriend, Lisa: you guys made this trip incredible and I am so glad you made the trek from San Diego. Matt, even if we were six beers deep when we had our brother-sister bonding moment in the midst of drunken Irishmen in a crowded pub, I meant every word. And Lisa, without a doubt, you get my stamp of approval!
Being so far away from family and friends has made me appreciate them so much more. And it has made me appreciate the new friendships I am forming on my travels, whether they be for one night or for a lifetime.