Nicole goes to Puerto Rico

During the summer of 2006, I attended a conference in Puerto Rico and was naturally thrilled at the chance to do some site seeing. After convincing my professor and crew to play hookie one day, we had the hotel arrange for us to go on a rain forest tour. It was beautiful. Water cascading down rocky cliffs, flowers with the most striking colors, …. and bugs. (Note: if you ever go into the rain forest, old navy flip flops are not proper foot attire. Cover your legs and feet!)


During our long trek through the wilderness, everyone was awed by the beauty of the place. I was swatting at mosquitoes and trying not to itch. By the end of the trek, I looked like my feet had the chicken pox. Just as we were about to leave i feel a sharp prick on the ankle. OUCH! Looking down I saw a large woolly spider on my foot. Being a huge girl when it comes to spiders, i jumped about a mile into the air and ran off to the car screaming. Spiders are just not my thing, especially when crawling on my foot. Exhausted from the trip, we went to bed as soon as we got back to the hotel.

The next morning i got dressed in my dress pants for my presentation, gathered my things, and put on my high heels…. or tried to. My left foot didn’t quite want to fit into the shoe. I look down and my foot was swollen. Having only old navy flip flops and jogging shoes besides my heels, i wedged my foot in and dealt with the pain. What can I say, I’m a trooper. But by midday, my foot was about to explode out of my shoe. My roommate slathered me up with hydrocortosone cream and got me back to the hotel. By the time we arrived, I could hardly stretch a old navy flip flop over my foot and the swelling reached my knee. Do I go to the hospital? Nooo…. I didn’t want to miss my flight!

We get to the airport later that night and I get escorted to my plane in a wheel chair. First leg of the flight was to Atlanta. Just a hop, skip, and a jump, and with only a 30 min layover I’d be home in no time. Here’s the thing though: rising in altitude makes swelling worsen. By the time we made it into Atlanta my whole left leg was swollen to the point I couldn’t bend at the knee. Medics wheeled me off the plane and asked me to go to the hospital. I said I thought I could make it to Bradley and promised I’d go straight to a doctor so they let me on the next flight. I couldn’t fit into my seat though without sticking my leg into the aisle. Since that isn’t technically allowed, I got bumped to first class with a whole second seat to myself to prop up my leg. :)

I made it to Bradley and saw a doctor, who scolded me for not going in right away because I could have died or something, but I survived and now I have a cool story and an actual reason to now be creeped out by spiders other than they look gross.

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