Day 1 First day in Belize. It’s amazingly gorgeous here. The water is turquoise and the way of life here is just so relaxed. I badly needed this. The past 2 months I’ve been suffering from what I now know is inflammation. And a very painful one at that. In one week, I saw a rheumatologist, a gastroenterologist, a neurophysiologist, an opthamologist, a retina specialist, and got vials of blood drawn, a chest CT scan, pins poked and electrical pulses zapped through my muscles, eyes dilated twice, an eye angiogram with dye contrast and many flash photographs taken of the inside of my eye. All this within 7 days. Least to say, I’ve had quite the busy week. So flash forward to me sitting on a pier with nothing but turquoise blue waters surrounding me is pure and utter tranquility. I love it. I don’t want to leave. Because of my hypothyroidism and anemia, I started levothyroxine, a thyroid medication on Monday and Thursday night I started a steroid immunosuppressant, prednisone. It has worked wonders. No muscles pains, no joint pain, no fatigue and euphoria is one of the drugs side effects. I’m not ready to give up without a good fight. I will win this and I will get my full vision back on top of my good health! Day 2 Woke up in ultimate paradise. I left my heavy thoughts behind and woke up free as a bird without a care in the world. My inflammation has gone away though I still have blurry spots in my right eye. I had breakfast at the hotel. Fresh fruit – watermelon, pineapple, and papaya with toast, eggs and orange juice. Then Fern and I caught the resort boat into town and we rented a golf cart to drive around the island. We shopped for a bathing suit for Fern and for lunch I had my very first conch burrito. I loved it! I have to have it again before I leave. Conch has a chewy texture reminiscent of octopus. We stopped for snacks at a local market because markets are my favorite things to visit when traveling. I’m not the sick girl here. Just one who was in need of a vacation. My soul feels rested. I feel rejuvenated and relaxed and stress-free.
Day 3 Woke up naturally at 7am to the bright sun shining through my floor to ceiling window that opened out to the white sand beach. Had the same breakfast at the hotel and spent the morning under a thatched roof cabana in a lounge chair with books, journal and snacks just being at peace. The tropical breeze is like a lullaby. Boats fly by every so often driving up and down the coast of the island. Later, ventured out to a neighboring resort, Costa Maya, where a man named Bigs we met at the airport works. The walk was about 15 minutes along the shore. Bigs had the server bring us traditional Belizean food because we didn’t want anything from the tourist menu. Fern had a pan-friend tilapia and I had coconut shrimp with rice and beans. Came back to my hammock and lost myself in the sway of the ocean breeze. Day 4 Slept in this morning. Bananas were in the breakfast fruit plate mix today. After breakfast we went swimming off the dock. I touched a starfish and swam with the fishes. Fern jumped off the dock. We laid out and took a nap on the dock’s lounge chairs after swimming. We went back to our rooms to shower and before the boat left for town. We were famished. This time, in addition, to the conch burritos that I so thoroughly enjoyed, I also found rock crab pupusas while walking around town. We sat at the local park and watched the kids play and fishermen bring in their catches for the day. We stopped at a bakery to get some sweets for later. We caught the last boat ride back and it was only 6:30pm but in the middle of the ocean it was already pitch black. The speed boat bounced up and down on the waves in the abyss.
Day 5 I still wake up and run to the window to make sure that I’m not dreaming. Yup. It’s still paradise. And I’m here. Enjoying every second of it. Of being alive. One more day. Sitting in my hammock with my journal and book and Belizean pound cake. The tropical island breeze soothes my senses. There are all these honeymooning couples here. Makes me wonder if I’ll ever have honeymoon. I can’t really even begin to imagine it. Maybe one day. This trip was to clear my head so that I could re-evaluate what I want out of life. Mortality struck me the other day. The day I realized I wasn’t going to live forever. We did a night out on the town after kayaking and conch collecting. We had dinner at Fido’s, a beach bar restaurant that seemed popular with the locals as well as tourists. Still obsessed with conch I ordered the conch fritters, which were amazing. These crispy, doughy balls of flavor infused with bits of conch. We finished the night with a chicken drop bingo game of sorts that brought out a crowd and then ended up at ladies night at bar called Wet Willy’s. I enjoyed myself for the first time in a long time and was beginning to start feeling like myself again.
Day 7 Last day in Belize. I have to say relaxation was a success. I don’t think I can get more relaxed than I am right now. Tomorrow I get on a plane and fly back to reality. But, I’m ready to face everything. I needed this trip more than anything. And I truly believe it was timed to help get me through everything and to garner me the strength to face what is to come. I feel healed and can fight this and everything else that comes my way. Sometimes you have to wonder if coincidences are really unexpected or are they timed with utter precision in this big, grand plan called life.