Monday, July 21, 2008

salmonella, not just my sister's nickname

I’ve just been released from Peruvian hospital. Two nights on an IV drip. Interesting. I’m fine now, in case you’re wondering. But two days ago, ugh.

It started Friday morning. I woke up feeling off but I got better after a piece of toast and headed to school. One art class down, another to go. I started okay, but finished outside, on the cool concrete, with my head in my hands.

I wasn’t the only one. Another volunteer hadn’t even made it to school. She was hugging the toilet bowl while I was helping gorgeous kids stick eyes on paper fish.

A visit from Dr Victor that afternoon yielded answers. After a blood and “pee pee” test, it was revealed I had salmonella, a severe urinary tract infection and amoeba. Am I sharing too much, btw?

Anyway, the UTI is an interesting one. Firstly, the doc kept calling it a “pee pee” infection which never stopped being cute. But secondly, I’ve had a UTI before and it makes me cry when I pee. With this apparently “severe” infection, I felt nothing. But whatever, he’s the doc and I’m chewing antibiotics as I type.

But, it was the amoeba which was really screwing with me. The Doc said one strain would be enough to make someone ill and I had over 100. Winner.

He said I should go to hospital. I imagined what kind of treatment one would receive at a third world facility. But, after some reassurance from the Peru’s Challenge president, I packed my bag for a two-night stay at Casa de Hospitalo, courtesy of my travel insurance.

The thing is, you get any of these conditions in Australia and you might take a sick day but here, the bacteria is so much stronger than we’re used to, it takes a lot more to fight it off.

I spent two days on an IV drip. I also spent two days throwing up the very little food I ate. Hope it shows on the scales.

I returned today to a volunteer house full of casualties. Everyone who ate at the restaurant I did on Thursday night has been diagnosed with something. It’s just unfortunately I was diagnosed with three of the four things going around.

We’re all blaming the guy who booked the restaurant, his favourite, even though it was a farewell dinner for a group of four who had requested we go somewhere else. Of course, he couldn’t have foreseen such consequences, but it’s nice to have someone to stare down en route to the bathroom for yet another chuck.

On the plus side, the little cutie pictured below, whose face, to me, has rascal written all over it, saw me feeling sorry for myself outside class on Friday and decided to help cheer me up. A sequence of big hug around the neck, kiss on the check, and an adorable look which seemed to say “is that better?” was repeated about 10 times before she ran from an approaching teacher, no doubt trying to get her back inside. To be fair, she was probably only making me sicker, the snotty face and all, but she was too cute to reject.

Immune system and self portrait abilities both amiss


So, the trials and tribulations of Peruvian food. I am on a strict, self-prescribed diet of vegetables and bread until I leave.

2 comments:

Rick M said...

Should have just stuck to eating the guinea pigs. Good to see you are better though...but I don't think you went into NEARLY enough detail about your illness.

jax said...

vomit, vomit, vomit, headspins, tears...it was beautiful

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