How to not get sick on a germ infested airplane.

 

How to not get sick on a germ infested airplane.

I just flew back from Vancouver on Friday and I’m packing for a trip to London on Wednesday.

As I was walking through the Vancouver airport. I couldn’t help but think and worry about the coronavirus that seems to be spreading; especially since Vancouver has so many Chinese and Canadians flying in between both countries.

I’m always worried about getting the flu while traveling, and realistically, the flu will affect more flyers than the coronavirus will, but it still seems a bit scary.

My mom who never really worries about me, told me yesterday that I should get a mask to wear on the plane. And then this morning, my friend Shary, posted a video on how to protect yourself while flying.

So I am sharing a few tips from that video and a few others that I regularly practice.

Pre-flight

– Vitamine Boost: I load up on vitamines leading up to any important trip. Traveling is exhausting and you’re more likely to get sick if you’re run down and tired, so I try to be proactive.

– Hydrate: I drink a lot of water all the time. I feel it just helps your overall health, but if you aren’t a regular heavy water drinker, try to drink a more leading up to your flight.

In- Flight Tips

Tip # 1 – Disinfect! Disinfect! Disinfect!!

I’ve always known that the inside of an airplane is basically a giant petri dish. I used to try not to dwell on it, but I’ve just added disinfectant wipes to my travel bag. Moving forward, before sitting my butt down in my seat, I’ll be wiping down all surfaces; from my seat and headrest to my seatbelt buckle and window.

Tip # 2 – Rubber Glove It!

I think there is a fine line between being careful and being paranoid. I can’t see myself wearing gloves the whole flight, but I am packing a few pairs of latex gloves that I’ll put on if I need to go to the restroom. I suggest wearing them if you need to go and then pop them in a plastic baggy; the same one that you will put your used wipes in after your wipe down.

I try my best to avoid having to go to the rest room on flights. I load up on water the day before my flight, but I don’t drink a lot on the actual flight.

Tip # 3 – Drinks? No thank you!

This is going to be a hard one for some of you, but I suggest not drinking anything from the stewardess or steward in flight. For sure say no to the water they serve, it’s from a huge tank. Guess who else, besides me, don’t drink that water? Most flight crews!! They bring their own bottled water.

I  also suggest that you say no to anything served in one is those plastic cups. The air on planes is recycled, so don’t put your mouth on anything that is out in the open or that others are touching.

Ask for the can of pop and bring your own straw if you must? I bring my own water bottle that I sip during the flight.

Tip #4 – Have mask, will travel.

There were lots of travelers in Vancouver wearing masks in the airport and a few on my flight. I’ve never worn one before, but I just added a few to my travel bag. Coronavirus or not, there is nothing worse than boarding a long flight and hearing that one passenger cough that horrible cough, you know that super gross wet cough.

I think if you’re the one coughing, you should be the one wearing the mask; I wish the airline would hand them out to anyone who looks sick, mmmm what a great idea!

I will be putting a mask on if I get stuck sitting near anyone who looks or sounds sick; better safe than sorry.

Tip #5 – DO NOT USE RESTROOMS AIR DRYERS!!!

This tip is not just when you travel or fly, this needs to be a new lifestyle rule! And here’s why; a few years ago I was visiting casinos with my coworker, I’ll call her Mary, because that’s her name, lol. Anyway Mary and I were on the road in Vancouver actually, going from casino to casino, drinking lots of water and coffee along the way.

I’m pretty sure we visited a dozen casino restrooms (bathrooms for my US readers) that week and each one had those had air dryers.

The night before we left YVR, Mary said her throat was starting to tickle; and by the next morning she was full on sick with a fever.

We were on different flights; I kept checking in on her to see how she was doing. I felt so bad for her, traveling when you feel like shit is the worst!

I felt fine until that evening when I got home. Like Mary, my throat started to tickle and by the time I was ready for bed, I had a high fever.

Long story short, we were both sick with some funky antibiotic resistant strain of, I am not sure what? We both had several trips to the clinic and both of us needed several different types of meds before we got better.

I’ve never been that sick in my life; and in case you’re  wondering, yes I do get my flu shot every year.

While I was bed bound, I saw this report on how restroom air dryers are the perfect distributors for bacterias and germs. I will spare you the gory details, but I am convinced that’s how Mary and I got sick. And I’ve not use one of those air dryers since and I never ever willI again! I suggest you do the same.

Wish me luck on my next trip, I am going to do my best to stay healthy! Fly safe to all the snowbirds getting ready to head south.

It’s also a great to update your suitcase emergency stash every once in awhile. I’ve just bought new supplies for mine.

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Since I travel a lot, I have things that I don’t unpack. In addition to my emergency pack, I also have a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a razor and a lint brush that stay in my suitcase. It makes packing a lot quicker!

Oh and I have some cool, super cute, oui-liette travel stuff coming up shortly!!

Thanks for reading, be well!! Like, share or leave a comment!

muah!

Liette

Facebook: @oui-liette

 

 

 

 

You’re so vain!

You’re so vain! Actually, I am so vain!

(Hey if you’re super squeamish, skip this post; I’ll be sharing some pictures of stitches and stuff.)

I am aware that the word vain has a negative connotation; it means into yourself, self absorbed…self this and self that, just plain selfish!

I would say that I can be vain, in the sense that I care about my appearance, but I don’t think I am selfish? I post a lot of pictures of myself on social media and in my blogs. I am certain some would call that vain? But to be honest I don’t really care. I try not to judge others and anyone who feels the need to judge me can suck it!! So there! Lol, ouff I am feeling feisty!!

Recently my vanity led me to make an appointment to see a dermatologist for the first time. I had this little, super little, skin colored thing on the bridge of my nose that I wanted removed. I’m certain no one else noticed it, but I knew it was there and I wanted it gone!

Well it turns out that that little thing was cancerous! Did my vanity save my life? Well that maybe a bit dramatic? But did it save my nose? Maybe??

You can see it in this pic.

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I had been meaning to make an appointment for the past year to get checked, but I just kept forgetting about it. Then before I moved back to Canada from Las Vegas I finally made an appointment.

I called on a Thursday and had an appointment the following Friday! My fellow Canadians will be able to relate to my shock and excitement of getting in to see a dermatologist that quickly.

After a full body exam the doctor removed a few things; 5 things to be exact. And by removed, I mean he used what looked like a razor blade to cut them off. He froze the spots so it didn’t hurt.

I went home with my new wounds. They were annoying, but not painful. I would need to return in a few weeks for a follow up and  to get the results of my biopsies; they have to test anything that they cut off your body apparently.

By the following day the cut on my nose was red, but was starting to scab over. I felt a little self conscious, but I went about my normal daily routine.

Within a week I was all healed up and on the go; the following week I was back at the clinic  for my results.

The doctor told me that he had good news and not so good news, mmmm, this didn’t sound promising. Turns out 4 of my samples were fine, but one came back cancerous. This isn’t what I was expecting on this sunny Friday afternoon.

The next thing I knew, the doctor and I were looking at a picture of the different skin layers and he was explaining what the next step would include. To be honest, I could hear him talking, but I only have a vague recollection of what he said.

I do remember asking him if it was pre-cancerous? I must not have heard him correctly the first time? Turns out I had and it was not pre.

I left the clinic and called a friend who asked me a bunch of questions that I couldn’t answer. I remembered him saying it was the kind that moved very slowly  and that they would take skin off my nose, test it onsite and if they got it all, they would stitch me up. But if there were still cancerous cells, they would dig deeper.

I also remembered him saying that I would have stitches for a week to 10 days. The following day I called back and asked for the name of whatever it was that I had so I could google it.

It was nasal cell carcinoma, which is super common for caucasiens. I was happy that my caucasien ass and nose were getting ready to move from the desert back to the Arctic where I/they belonged. Yes, I’m fully aware that people in Canada get skin cancer, but at that moment, I felt like this place was inhospitable to my pasty white Canadian skin!!

The day of my procedure my friend Staci game with me for moral support, thank you Staci!!!

I waited maybe 15 min before my turn. I was on a table and the doctor was freezing my nose.  I thought it would be similar to going to the dentist, they prick you with a few needles and you wait for it to kick in? Nope, it wasn’t like that; whatever he used froze me instantly. It was so fast that it took me a minute to figure out that he had already started doing his thing and then it was over. I swear it took less than 3 min from start to finish.

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Oh I forgot something, when I arrived and was sitting there waiting for my turn, I noticed that everyone who walked out had huge bandages. I worried thinking, man why does everyone look like they’ve had large chunks of their faces chopped off?

I quickly found out why; once done phase one they sent you back to the waiting area while they tested your, well your flesh I guess, lol. If all was clear you would then go back in to get stitched up.

Within 20 min, I was back on the table getting stitched up. I was all clear! Yay!

Since everything had gone so fast and well, I imagined that I would have a small clean cut. He kept telling me everything looked good and it would heal well.

At one point I asked him how many stitches he was giving me, because it was taking a long time. He said there were a few underneath that would dissolve on their own and some on top that would need to be removed…ok..

I was relieved when he said he was finished and his assistant would clean me up and put a smaller bandage. As she was prepping, I snapped a quick selfie and OMG!!

It looked like I’d been hit between the eyes with a hockey stick. Ugh this had just taken a shitty turn, my poor nose!

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I sent this pic to my mom and she said I looked sad and a little high. I think a little high would have helped!! She then said you look like a hockey player…see, told you!!!

They sent me home with a small bandage that would come off the next day. As my face started to thaw and throb, I thought this would be a great time to start my very own pity party for one.

Yes, I realize that I am fortunate that it was caught early and that I will heal and hopefully not have a huge scar. And yes I realize that others have much worse life threatening health issues and I’m being a whiny baby, bla, bla, bla!! But at that moment I just wanted to be pitiful! I am vain, remember that part from the beginning of my story?

I eventually fell asleep and woke up to find my bandage hanging off the side of my nose. I must say that I did wake up with a better attitude. I decided that instead of hiding myself away, I would go out there and own this big gash on my nose. And by go out there, I meant that I would be working from home for the next three days until I’d be forced into the public to fly back to Canada, lol.

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Trying to be positive, I  focused on how well the rest of my skin looked, sans makeup.

I mustered up the energy to put on some lip gloss before heading out to the grocery store. My next stop was to the pharmacy so that the pharmacist could look at me and tell me it looked the way it was supposed to look. That night I went out to eat with one of my friends; ok I did pick a restaurant that I knew wouldn’t be busy, but I was still out.

Here is some advice for anyone dealing with face stitches; stay away from large magnifying mirrors the day after your procedure? Trust me you don’t need to see all of that magnified!! It’s not good for your spirit, sadly, I only realized this after it was too late.

Before I continue to whine, can we take a quick  look at the two pics below?

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The photo on the right is Sunday night and the one on the left is Tuesday afternoon. Please feel free to stop reading at any point if you think I am making a big deal out of nothing. Side note, it must be nice to be perfect without a tinge of vanity, good for you!! Lol, sorry, moving on.

Recovery Day 2

I was expecting my movers first thing that morning, so I brushed my teeth, washed my wound and put my baseball cap on because my hair was dirty. I realize that my vanity seems to be wayning, because I couldn’t care less what the hell I look like. I dig through my purse to find my lipgloss and then think, fu&$ it!!

The movers start boxing up and loading all my shoes on the truck, including the sneakers that I had set aside to wear for the next two days.  I suddenly have two options, pink fuzzy slippers or winter boots; fuzzy slippers it is!

As I am walking through Whole Foods in my slippers looking like I’ve been beat up, I feel that I’ve hit an all time  personal low; and I don’t even care. I fear that I’m one step away from Walmart in my pajamas? Slippers in Whole Foods is certainly the gateway to Walmart in pajamas??

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At least my nose has stopped bleeding and leaking gross stuff. I see people that I know and they tell me it’s not as bad as they thought it would be; they are obviously big fat liars!! My pity party had been replaced by annoyance and anger.

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I am getting my hair done tomorrow, clean hair should help camouflage what looks like a bloody caterpillar on my face.

Recovery Day 3

I woke up this morning to an extra special treat, my eyes are starting to bruise, yay me!!

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Trying real hard to stay positive the only thing I can come up with is that the yellow ish coloring does make my blue eyes pop; so there’s that. I did make an effort and put on a bit of eyeliner and gloss. I am on my way to get my hair done.

My hairdresser always makes me feel awesome! I needed this little pick me up. Hey never underestimate the power of a fresh color and blow out!

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My wound is very red today, I am hoping that’s a good sign?? It’s my last day in Las Vegas, I fly out in the morning.

Recovery Day 4

No hiding today I will be flying all day. Before leaving for the airport I consider extra red lipstick, but that may just draw more attention?

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I ham it up a bit afted being dropped off at the airport. I almost forgot what I looked like, until I see the picture, but it’s fine. Canada here I come! Side note for all the men out there, if a woman says fine, it’s sooooo not fine.

Recovery Day 5

Someone asked me if I got a nose job? I tell them that I’m pretty sure that when you get a nose job they don’t cut the top of your nose! Some people are dumb!! The angry stage has apparently arrived.

Recovery Day 6 & 7

Blah! Over it!!

Recovery Day 8

Recovery Day 9

The doctor originally told me the stitches would need to stay on for 7 to 10 days, it’s 9 days, they need to come off!!

I feel like the stitches are pulling my skin. I can’t wash my face or put face cream on without that pulling feeling. It’s becoming really uncomfortable.

I have a cocktail party tonight and things planned for the weekend. If these stitches don’t come off I may hurt someone…I am not kidding, things could get ugly.

I was able to get in to see my doctor who tells me I need an appointment to get into the clinic at the hospital where they take out stitches. I’m on the verge of crying when she says, let me call and see if they can take you?

She comes back and says, go now!!! She said tomorrow they have 165 appointments; it’s almost 2pm and it closes at 3, so off I go!!

Thank you Sherrie at Clinic C and nurse Heather who took my stitches out!! They took me right away; I was in and out within 15 min.

I instantly feel better!!

Recovery Day 10

Everything seems to be flattening out, still red, but getting better. Because everything was swollen, my skin seems to be peeling a bit.

Recovery Day 11

I’m finally feeling like people aren’t just staring at my nose; and I’m thankful that I seem to be healing well. I figure that in another week I’ll be pretty well all healed up!

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The drama seems to be over! Again, I am aware that in the grand scheme of things, this was a very minor health scare. And I am super fortunate that it was taken care of early and quickly.

During a pep talk from one of my friends, which I appreciated her effort. I felt the need to reminded her that whenever she has a pimple on her face it ruins her day and sometimes her week. So maybe I’m not the only one who is vain? I think we all are? Maybe vain isn’t the right word? Maybe it’s proud?

Whatever it is, I think it’s human nature to want to look your best and that even if you think you’re a relatively confident person, you aren’t immune to bouts of self doubt.

I hope that this post motivates you to make an appointment for your yearly check up! Especially if it’s been a few years! My little spot could have been a lot worse had I put off getting it checked. Who knows what my nose would have looked like had I waited a few years??

Thanks for reading!!

muah!

Liette (your sassy, vain and at times drama queen blogger!)

 

 

 

 

Hotel Safely

Hotel Safely – Better Paranoid than Dead!

Tips to keep you safe!

I have probably slept in more hotel rooms in the past 6 months than the average person will stay in the next 6 years, ouff it’s been a lot! I am writing this post from one now; fun fact, I can’t wait to be back in my own bed in Vegas!

I am lucky that I get to stay in nice hotels in “safe” areas. But I do watch a lot of Dateline so I am naturally always on high alert when on the road, especially when I am traveling solo. My main goal in life is to not end up on an episode of Dateline; I am weird, I am aware.

On this trip I was shocked when I was told that the hotel I am currently in, which is a really nice hotel, had a horrible incident a few weeks ago. The hotel is attached to a mall and a pharmacy. Long story short, a woman was robbed and beaten to a pulp in the elevator leading to the pharmacy!! I have used that elevator on previous trips! It really isn’t a shady area. I guess it serves as a reminder that shady people can be in none shady areas.

Here are my personal safety tips that I am more than happy to share with you!!

Hotel door check 

Where you aware that people walk the halls in hotels checking doors to see if they can find one that isn’t complete shut? This has been a huge issue recently in Las Vegas.

Have you been in a newer hotel and noticed that the doors slam shut by themselves? If your door isn’t completely shut it will open if someone simply pushes on it. Some older hotels may not have this feature?

When leaving or entering my hotel room, I close the door shut myself and  then pull on the handle to make sure it’s shut. Your door needs to click so it can’t be pushed open.

Not to freak you out, but this is a thing. People have been robbed while in their rooms; while they slept! Being in your room is apparently not a deterrent, that was the shocking part to me; and in one instance, here in Vegas, a couple was robbed then killed. If it’s happened here, it can happen anywhere!

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If you see someone who seems to be loitering in the halls, call the front desk!!

Peep holes

Ok, this one may boarder on paranoia? But I am standing by it!!

I am fully aware that peep holes theoretically help keep you safe, because they let you see who is at the door without opening it. But I have always been a bit weary of them. I’ve always wondered if people would be able to peep in? Then I heard the story of a woman sports caster who was filmed while she was in her hotel room, minding her own damn business! Her peep hole was tampered with.

Now will your peep hole be tampered with? Probably not, but do I feel safer with a post it note over mine? Hell yes!

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I travel with a few office supplies in my laptop case; one day I put a post it note over my peep hole and it stuck….get it? Lol, so now that’s what I do, it makes me feel better; so crazy or not, I do it.

This picture below is my worst nightmare, hence my post it notes obsession.

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Door stop

This is my new fav safety feature. Have you ever checked into your room and notice that you’re in an adjoining room? It’s super creepy and it makes me feel unsafe that the only thing between me and a potential psycho killer is one door lock; they don’t even come with a door chain.

I have always thought that the chain and metal thingy on the inside of your hotel door would keep the bad guys out. But after doing a bit of research I have discovered that if someone really wants to get in, it’s not that difficult; these won’t keep them out.

But there is something that will help reinforce your door, all your doors, not just hotel doors. What is this magical high tech safety tool? It’s a cheap rubber door stop!! I just bought four for $9. I am adding 2 to my suitcase for when I travel and spoiler alert, I will be giving these to all my travel friends this Christmas as stocking stuffers.

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Is this overkill for US and Canadian travel? Maybe, but remember, better paranoid than dead!

Valuables in your room

The previous three tips were to keep people out of your hotel room, but what about the people who are able to get in your room?

In all of my travels, I have only had one incident where something was “removed” from my room by the hotel staff. I accidentally left lose cash in my jeans pocket and just like that, pouff, $80 was gone.

We know not to leave money or jewelry laying around, but you may be leaving something more valuable in your room unattended? What’s more valuable or just as valuable as cash? Your medication!

One of my friends recently shared that she ran out of her medication way before the end of the month. She suspects that the cleaning staff may have taken some of her medication while she was traveling? If you think about it, it’s super easy to do; who among us keeps a daily count of the number of pills left in their bottle? It would be so easy to take some, but not all, without being missed right away.

Do not disturb

I am not very worried about hotel staff being in my room, I like having my bed made for me! I do make sure anything valuable is in my purse and not left in my room.

But I do have coworkers that I travel with who, once checked in, put the do not disturb sign on their door knob and turn on the TV when they leave their rooms. Some will keep the do not disturb sign out for their entire stay. They just don’t want strangers in their room alone with their belongings and that is a perfectly valid feeling; so remember that is an option for you on your next hotel stay.

You can even call housekeeping and let them know that you won’t require your room cleaned during your stay. If you run out of clean towels, they can deliver to your room while you are there; please tip if you ask anyone to bring anything to your room, it’s only fair.

Valet park

I am a big valet park fan, is it because I am a bit of a diva? Partly, but the main reason is that I refuse to park and walk alone in a parking lot or garage in a strange city.

And if a hotel doesn’t have valet park, don’t be shy to ask hotel security to walk you to and from your car. This winter I was in Moncton, at downtown hotel, that didn’t have valet parking. Their main lot is well lit and close to the main hotel door, but their overflow parking is a building away; it was dark and shady. I actually drove back to the front desk, from the overflow lot, and asked if someone could walk out to meet me; they were more than happy to oblige. Please know that this is an option, hotels want you to have a great experience on their property, they will assist if asked.

When I was younger and a bit more timid, I would put myself in situations that didn’t always feel safe, but with age comes a “fuck that shit” attitude!! If it feels iffy, don’t do it!

Be friendly

My final hint is to befriend the hotel staff. I make friends with the concierge, in addition to getting great recommendations on where to eat and where to go, they can also keep tabs on you. They are usually stationed by the front entrance of the hotel, say hi to them as you come and go and remember their name.

On my last trip to New Orleans we made friends with our concierge, every evening he knew where we were planning on going.

I also always ask the front desk staff if it’s safe to walk around the hotel at night? A few times, they have flat out told me that it wasn’t safe. I once asked for directions to an outlet mall via the train; the front desk staff told me in no uncertain terms, that I was not to take the train alone! If someone tells you that, listen, they know their city better than you do.

If you are afraid or nervous about anything, talk to the front desk staff; learn their names, tell them, hey I am alone, can you have someone walk me to my car? Tell them where you are going and when you expect to be back. A side effect of being friendly is they will remember you on your next visit and may even upgrade you! Friendliness is always in fashion.  If finally again, you see something that makes you feel uneasy, tell someone, because it’s better to be paranoid than dead!

Those are my safety tips, do you have any to share that I haven’t listed?

Travel safe!

muah!

Liette

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