If you saw my first post, you’d know that I touched a little on the horrors of travelling travelling, namely from a health standpoint (read: Delhi Belly). As I see what I’m doing more as travelling-staying-still-ing, I didn’t expect to come down with anything.
Perhaps that was a bit too optimistic. If someone in South Africa so much as sneezes in the general direction of Britain, I catch it. Such is the magnanimous fortitude of my immune system.
Since I got here, and thanks to sick beeble no. 1, I have been con constipado.
No, not constipated, thank you very much, I’ve had a cold. That’s just the lovely Spanish word for it *pulls face*.
In the second week, it then progressed into full blown acute tonsillitis, to the extent of me being unable to swallow and having massive great big welts on my throat…TMI?
I had a course of antibiotics, and the family were nice enough to give me the a day off to recover (it was a Friday and so I had the weekend also). I thought I was all in the clear.
I arrived in Laredo with the sniffles, okay, fine I thought, a bit of fresh air and I’ll be peachy.
No such luck. At around one and a half weeks in, I came down with Gastroenteritis.
I have never, ever in my life, felt so ill. And thats saying something because just over 3 months ago I was in hospital with appendicitis (or maybe that was worse…time is a great healer and eraser of pain…). After being up all night I caved and begged to be taken to the doctors which, looking back, was in general a greatly embarrassing experience.
You see, the problem is, when you’re suffering from Gastroenteritis, you don’t give a flying fuck who knows about it. You feel so awful, you’d quite happily call the pope and tell him every little nasty thing your body is doing to try and rid you of this illness.
In hindsight however, I see that trying to explain my symptoms to the doctor in broken Spanish, and having to sit with my pee bucket (they don’t use little test tubes here they use tubs) in my hands while waiting to get it tested, were both very embarrassing things to be doing in from of the dad I was staying with. If you don’t know the symptoms of Gastroenteritis google them, I dare you. Read the horror stories. They’re a little to graphic for even me to explain on here, and that’s saying something (have you read my post: Talking crap…?). He later admitted to me that he and two other of the family members had had a bit of an “upset tummy” and was trying to work out if we’d eaten anything bad…but it didn’t hold a candle to my illness.
The good doctor gave me antispasmodics to help with the pain, and a diet of Aquarius lemon water (which, by the way is amazing if you do ever go down with this, I think it’s what helped me recover so quickly, even though the last thing you want to do is drink), and BRAT….bananas, rice, applesauce, toast. No fruit, no dairy, no salad. I ate nothing, and then a little cooked rice and carrots with fresh lemon squeezed over it (again with the lemon). Within 48 hrs, I was feeling pretty ok except for a mild stomach ache. I was lucky. In some people it lasts for a week…
Aside from being hard on me physically, which dear god, it was, it was almost as hard emotionally. I conclusively did not want to go and wake up another family member, this kind of thing is best handled alone when in a house of near strangers, and there was nowhere in the world I more wanted to be than back home with my family.
In fact, when I called my mum at 6am crying, we almost decided to book me a ticket home and cut the trip short. It was that bad.
One good thing to say about Gastroenteritis, is that once the virus is out of your system, recovery is near instantaneous. So when I felt better, I called home and said I was going to tough it out.
Here’s hoping I made the right decision…
P.S. Though the word embarazada may sound like the Spanish for embarrassing, I can promise you it’s not. It means pregnant. Which can cause much confusion, especially at the doctors. The word you’re looking for is vergonzoso.
P.P.S. Bucketful of soz to anyone who did find the site with the Gastroenteritis horror stories…but better to be safe than sorry right…?