So, since June 2005 I have actually only been sick once – sick as in, needing to stay home type of sick. That was within my first two months here when I came down with some serious shigella, became dehydrated and fainted. After 48 hours I was on the go again. Fortunately that was just before clinic opened.
I like to think I’ve become immune to a lot of the pathogens floating about the hospital, Freetown etc. People here get sick all the time and I’ve managed to avoid illness altogether, except for the occasional bout of diarrhea which is never severe enough to keep me at home. Unfortunately Friday evening, my stomach started acting up and I realized I would need to stay close to facilities. There went my planned weekend beach trip! It was bad enough to keep me in bed most of the next day and I decided that the remedy would be lots of fluid and no food. I figured if I don’t eat anything, nothing can come out. I did venture out after 24 hours, hoping that water, coke and ORS would keep me upright. I enjoyed a bit of the lantern parade and went to church in the morning. I think a 30 minute walk in the hot sun due to a transport crisis did me in yesterday but some ORS revived me again. After 24 hours without food I got pretty hungry and thought I better eat something – soup and crackers it was. It seemed to go well, except for a bit of nausea afterwards. In the evening I decided to try oats and so far so good.
I’m at work today and besides a splitting headache and a teensy bit of nausea, I’m fine. I’d hate to say I’m actually sick…maybe ‘sick small’. As long as my stomach doesn’t explode, I’ll be fine. We’ll see what the day brings! I guess I’m not as immune as I thought, but I have to say that getting sick only twice in 6 years is pretty impressive, especially considering there are a huge variety of pathogens in my work place! To the rest of my friends out there who are unwell (there’s a lot of illness in Freetown right now) – get well soon!