Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sick day.

Really, really sick day.

The worst bout of food poisoning in my life incapacitated me on Sunday. I have never vomited so hard.

Got to hand it to the efficiency of the body: it sure knows how to purge fast. I could feel my body working overtime to expel every last bit of whatever it was that triggered red flags in my stomach. I couldn’t keep water down for more than an hour. I passed in and out of an exhausted state, alternating between vomiting, groaning, staring at the wall, and sleeping. Time had little meaning.

As a slight consolation, all of the guys (three of us) were struck by the food poisoning. Our room turned into a convalescent ward, a zone for groaning, cursing, and bathroom noises.

It really sucks to be sick away from home. When the body is reduced to such a weakened state, the psyche immediately seeks the familiar, the comfortable, the safe. I was more keenly aware of the fact that I’m in Africa yesterday than ever. All I wanted was for my mom to fuss over me and pat my head.

Fortunately for us, one of the interns is a naturopathic doctor (Dr. Julia). She was amazing today. You can tell when people have the caregiver gene, and she’s got it. She would come up occasionally to check on us. Even though we rarely needed anything, the act was comforting in itself.

By the evening, the worst had passed. I was enervated and my muscles sore from lying on a floor cot all day. Drank a coke, which had the dual benefit of carbonation and sugar. Later that night, I downed a cocktail of jam, salt, and warm water to replenish my electrolytes. A well-timed Benedryl helped me through the bulk of the night, keeping my asleep despite my dozing throughout the day.

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