Bali 2023 || I almost died today (literally, not clickbait)

I can’t sleep. I’m terrified I won’t open my eyes if I close them and that my epitaph will be inscribed with August 1991 – February 16, 2023.

Bali is not where I want to or plan on dying.

Today started out fine, although I was dead (lol) tired from last night’s shenanigans with Flora. I woke up later than usual which was expected, and I went straight to work in my hotel room (too late to shower and head to a cafe). Around noon (and after all my morning meetings), I finally was in dire need of some caffeine so off I went to The Slow. I always see it and the aesthetic fits how I want my dream home to look like (tropical concrete!).

I had a cup of coffee and some tuna which was medium rare and simply seared on the outside. The food was okay. It wasn’t mind blowing but was not horrible. And if I didn’t almost die today, it would probably be forgettable. However, their wifi connection was non-conducive for my workcation so I eventually left for Zin Cafe.

Zin Cafe’s servings (and service) is A+. Plus, their wifi is GREAT. It’s almost a coworking space at this point. Everyone upstairs of the cafe were working. I ordered another tuna dish and soda, and went on with working.

A few bites in, my lips started to itch. I even messaged Kara about it and told her if “it’s the chili or I’m having crazy allergies”. I have zero known allergies and have never really suffered from any allergic reaction, sans that one time I got urticaria for a few months after a bowl of seafood ramen. Granted, I blamed that on the stress and anxiety of going through biopsy (and the month I had to wait to find out if I had a tumor in my neck) for what ended up as a simple infection.

I had been eating seafood almost exclusively when I got to Bali because I really do enjoy it. But then in the middle of the meal, I just felt … strange. It was a weird feeling that I couldn’t pinpoint. In 15 mins after finishing that meal, I had paid the bill and started heading back to my hotel.

My heart was beating so fast when I got to my hotel room, and I gaslit myself into thinking that that’s due to walking outside and climbing up the stairs to my room. I took some more work calls before setting my alarm for 15 mins so I can take a nap. Maybe I was just too tired from drinking last night.

I regulated my breathing but my heart beat did not slow down. At all. In fact, it seemed to beat louder and harder, that I was feeling it throughout my entire body. I stood up to go to the toilet and when I passed the mirror, I saw my bloodshot eyes. My face was red. My skin was red. And I immediately knew, I needed medical attention.

I headed downstairs to the reception and when Nini (staff who mans the lobby) saw me, she immediately stood up to ask if I needed help. She helped call me a bike and called the emergency room with my details. When I finally got to the emergency room, they were ready and waiting for me. Everything happened so fast. The alarm I set for my 15-minute nap rang while I was in the emergency room.

When I lied down on the bed, they were checking my vitals and the doctor kept asking me if I can still breathe. I said I can, but my head was also starting to hurt and there seems to be pressure building up in between my eyebrows. My body started shaking uncontrollably at this point. They were quickly trying to find a vein which was an issue, given how inflamed my skin was. In total, I have had 6-7 unsuccessful needle insertions. The medical team asked if it would be okay if they inject via the vein in my foot (the only veins that were clearly visible were on my feet because it wasn’t inflamed enough) BUT that it would hurt so much more. I could feel my chest tightening and was having a harder time breathing that I readily agreed to wherever they can stick that needle in.

At this point, I had already started crying. The thoughts that I kept trying to fight off my mind was 1 – oh god I’ll never see Rox (my dog) ever again and she’ll think that after 13 yrs, I abandoned her; and 2 – of all places, Bali, really??? Thought #1 was making me panic and I had to consciously lead my mind to more positive thoughts – such as the fact that I have travel insurance (thanks to that tiktok of a girl who got into an accident while cliff diving abroad so she needed insurance to cover her trip back to her home country) and global healthcare (thanks to my current job), so I knew that whatever happens to me, my family will not have to drain their life’s savings for me.

Luckily, they managed to connect to a vein in my left hand and they were able to inject me with something and connect me to a dextrose. The doctor did say that the meds will make me drowsy and I soon slept in the emergency room for a few hours. When they woke me up and checked my stats, it was already so much better and I was cleared to be discharged. That was also when I found out that when I came in, my (clearly resting) heart rate was at 150bpm (too fast for a resting heart rate) and that my oxygen had dropped to below 80 (normal is at 100). The doctor was even asking why it took me so long to seek medical help, to which I said that I genuinely thought that it was simple exhaustion.

I went back to the hotel and did a video call with my family. I asked to see Rox and I think that was when it hit me, and I just started ugly crying. Bawling. Full on. Honestly, it’s been the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced while traveling alone.

I don’t think I’ll travel alone anytime soon because this was such an experience.

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