Travel is frequently awesome, especially for work. The thrill of the alarm going off at 3:00 a.m. to catch the 6:15 a.m. to Austin, the trashy magazines and airport muffins, the sweet, sweet sounds of the TSA agent clucking disapprovingly over having to hand-search all the shot tapes.
No, really, it\’s cool. I could sit behind a desk all day or I can bop around the country, knowing that at the end of the day, there\’s a king-size bed in my future. Which is great, because the one thing that makes traveling for work completely, truly, unbearably awful? Being sick while doing it.
Sitting in Newark Airport at 5 a.m. is surely enough to make anyone feel like garbage, but today, I feel like a special kind of crap. I\’m staring down the barrel at a two-week shoot, and am trying to will the germs to stay in New Jersey. I felt it creep up the night before, but was hoping it was just an allergic reaction to the 1,000 Sharpies and post-its that litter my desk. I take my first dose of Tylenol Cold n\’ Flu as we take off and hope for the best as I snooze my way to Texas.
The next morning, my head feels like concrete and my throat like razor wire. Through a complex system involving email, a webcam, some color samples from Home Depot, and a few phone calls, My-Brother-in-Law-the-Doctor, aka Dr. Danny, (we\’re so proud), declares it strep throat. He suggests a strong course of OTCs, plus tea and cough drops. I offer to skip all that and go straight to morphine and whiskey. Strangely, he doesn\’t agree and I\’m left sucking down cherry Halls like they\’re going out of style.
On the plus side, it feels like I\’m eating glass every time I swallow, so meals are quick and liquid, leaving my Target shorts that much looser. Despite the strep, I love Austin and am actually having a great time. The only way to really make it through the day is to keep on keepin\’ on with the meds, so I\’m energized beyond belief from the decongestants which now make up 50% of my bloodstream. The people are awesome, the weather is great and each location is more fun than the last. Out of all the places we\’ve been, Austin\’s at the top of my list for a revisit.
The weather is great, sunny and warm, topping out at 90 degrees most days. When we leave for San Francisco at 5 a.m., it\’s dark, but still at least 75 degrees. Landing in the Bay Area, it\’s a brisk 50, and less than four hours on the ground, with the climate change, my strep turns into a sinus infection. I could at least be undercover and suffer in silence with a bad throat, but my cover\’s blown 30 seconds in to my first scout when I go through approximately 20 tissues in the first two minutes. I snuffle my way through two days and by some miracle, no one backs out, despite my Typhoid Mary presentation.
I hop a flight to Los Angeles and spend the 49-minute trek holding my eyes into my skull, as my sinuses do the best to push them out of my head. When I finally arrive, all in one piece, I collapse into bed and don\’t move for two days. And then I do it all over again.