Sick on the Road

Feb 02


No, not sick OF the road, we are loving it out here. Getting sick, though, is part of life and I suspect there is an increased chance when you are always in new places with unfamiliar stores, germs, etc. I got to experience this first hand on our last night in Anza-Borrego. I wasn’t feeling quite right at bedtime and in the middle of the night I woke up with that weird feeling. You know, the one where some very low-level part of your body is trying to tell you that they’ve initiated an evacuation order, the countdown has begun, but the message isn’t too clear for a while — until it is?

OK, enough subtlety – I barfed.

I had wondered over the past few months how that eventuality would work – it’s a pretty small bathroom. It turns out that when push comes to shove (so to speak) you figure it out quickly. Once all of the excitement is over, though, the real questions arise. How do you handle being sick on the road? We were far away from any city and we were supposed to drive that day to Painted Rock Petroglyph Site for our first night of boondocking. 250 miles to a remote location with no hookups. The first question was, do we leave at all or do we stay in place for another day so I can get enough rest. Since we needed to be in Tucson is just 2 days and we figured it would be better to get closer to a city, we decided to pack up and go but boondocking was out so we set our destination for Yuma, AZ and reserved a spot at an RV park there for the night. I was pretty out of it so that meant that I was not going to do the driving so Leslie got behind the wheel for her first day of towing (she did great!).

Our insurance comes with a 24 hour nurse hotline which is a great resource when we’re on the road.  I was able to call in and talk to a nurse who not only listened to my symptoms and suggest next steps but also was willing to give me the location of the nearest urgent care center that took my insurance if I got any worse. That took a lot of the worry out of being sick in an unknown area and is a service that all insurance should offer (and something that full timers should look for).

Honestly, one of the worst parts was the roads in Imperial County California. It was like driving over a washboard on a roller coaster for mile after mile. While the speed limit was technically 55 MPH, anything over 35 would have us in the air every few hundred yards. I was never so glad to get on an interstate as I was when we got in Interstate 8 near El Centro. Bumpy roads are tough any time but they are much worse when you have had a night like I did. Resting in the car, though, counts as resting and once we got to our spot in Yuma, I went to sleep. By the morning, I was feeling a lot better which kind of confirmed our theory that I just had a bit of food poisoning*. I was feeling good enough to drive the next day to Tucson so we ended up making it to our first major destination on schedule.

Now that we’ve been in Tucson for a couple of days, I’ve had some more time to rest, I’m pretty much back to normal now, which is great because I want to feel good as we watch the Seahawks take on the Broncos in the Super Bowl today! Early next week, though, Leslie and I need to go get our flu shots because, while it turns out that being sick on the road isn’t that different from being sick at home (drink fluids and get plenty of rest), it’s best to avoid it in the first place whenever possible.

* we’re pretty sure that the culprit was some chicken salad from the local grocery store since that is the only thing that I ate that Leslie didn’t.



  1. Sick is no good! I’m glad you’re feeling better. Enjoy your travels!

  2. BUMMER, but it could have been a lot worse!

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