I had designated the next day as a work day. It was finally time to catch up on my blog, and it would also serve as a sort of penitence for me for having left all those children. But around three in the afternoon, something horrible began to happen to me.
“Eh, it’ll pass. Must be really tired or something,” I thought. Oh, how wrong I was.
It continued. My limbs started to actually go numb and I could no longer ignore the fact that a fever was spiking. Nothing seemed to be wrong with my stomach yet, so I thought, “I must have the flu really bad. I’ll just go sleep it off.”
But sleep wasn’t an option. I was getting powerful chills all over my body and I was sweating profusely. I wrote about my symptoms on Facebook and decided, after prompting from one/many of my mother figures, that I should go see a doctor. I had the good sense to extend my stay before I left and after a lot of trouble finding the damn place (tuk tuks in this city have NO idea where they’re going, if you’ll recall), I walked into International SOS. I was freezing cold and I couldn’t stop shivering. I wasn’t walking in a straight line at this point and must have looked very drunk. My face felt like it was going to melt off and my head had begun to hurt from the fever as well, but before I could see a doctor, I had to fill out several sheets of paper and wait until the doctor could see me. Through a haze of feverish dreams, I filled out all the papers (and had to return to the desk three times to fill in blanks I’d missed), thinking I was definitely going to die and that I probably had malaria, until the doctor finally came to see my and I shuffled behind him like a zombie.
“What wrong with you?”
My doctor’s English was not great. At one point he pointed to a sheet of paper and asked, “This your name?” while pointing to my birthday. I got cheeky and responded, “That’s my name day,” which he took to mean simply, “Yes.” I explained the situation several times before he was done asking questions.
“Okay, we do full blood count, and get stool sample. I think food poison. Maybe amoeba.”
A nurse that spoke about the same level of English as my doctor came to draw my blood. I couldn’t watch, despite not being nauseated by blood I didn’t think it was something I could handle in my state. The actual nausea was beginning to surface. My temperature at 7PM was 101, and by 8:30 it was 103 despite taking an entire gram of tylenol AND 500mg of ibuprofen. When I complained about being really cold, the nurse told me, “You have a very high temperature,” and half an hour later came back to check on if I felt better or not.
“I feel a little less cold now, thank you.”
“I turned off the AC,” she responded, and then laughed. My temperature had actually gone even higher.
I don’t even want to explain how I obtained the stool sample myself.
The doctor came back finally around 9:30, stating they hadn’t found evidence of bacterial food poisoning, so they were going to assume it was an amoeba and would give me antiparasitics and electrolyte beverages to stay alive through the purging process.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“If you still have fever in a couple days, or if you get rash, Dengue fever.” I whimpered a little bit.
“Okay, I’ll come back.”
The nurse came by with a bunch of medicine for me to take home but couldn’t pronounce any of it. So when she said, “This for pain. This oxy… oxy… oxyflacaslop,” or some other unintelligible mixture of letters, I actually chuckled.
Once my temperature had started to go down from 103 (it was now 102 again), they were ready to release me and I walked back to the hostel to prepare for recovery. But recovery would not come that night.
No, the deepest nightmares of my life would come out and torture me instead.
I don’t know if I’ve made this evident before, but my least favorite thing to do in the world is throw up. I hate it with a burning passion that cannot be extinguished. Near 11PM, the Purge (part II) was to take place. My body rejected everything including my powerful antiparasitics that made my mouth taste like chalk and metal on a perpetual basis. Every half hour, like clockwork, I would rise, run to the bathroom, and violently puke and remove waste from my body in the most unpleasant way possible, and this continued until 6:30 in the morning. My body woulnd’t even stop trying to throw up when there was nothing left to get out. And then, just like that, it was over.
I didn’t puke again after 6:30. Sitting on the floor of the bathroom stall, tears streaming out of my eyes from pain and fear and internal strain, I washed up and went back to bed, and I stayed there. I stayed there for four. days. While it was happening, I wanted to die. I wanted to go home and be held and eat nothing but chocolate for the rest of my life while a Disney movie played in front of me. I apologize for scaring everyone with my pictures from the hospital.
In retrospect, I will not be adding any sauces to my food that have been left out on the table. Call it intuition, or pyschic ability, but I somehow knew that was what made me sick. Oh well, time to go eat a hamburger.