The Week of The Sick, Round II

As noted in my previous entry, I was vomiting earlier this week. The day following I felt fine – better than I had in weeks, actually. My sinuses had finally cleared so I could breathe properly and after twenty four hours of sleep I was ready to get back into the swing of things.
By evening of the second day post-vomiting I was not fit to eat dinner again.
So, you know the feeling of a gas baby? Like you have a giant, uncomfortable bubble in your stomach that leaves you cramping and swearing that whatever it was you ate, you will never eat it again so long as you don’t have to feel this again.
This was like demon spawn gas baby.
Think The Exorcist gas child, complete with head spinning and pea soup spewing unpleasantly.
It seems like every time I’m laid out sick – which is, thankfully, rare – I am never around any form of comfort. What I wanted more than anything was gatorade (the rate at which I started to dehydrate was alarming) and ginger ale. Maybe some chicken broth and cream of wheat, though even the toast I had available I had to force down. Food is largely an unappealing thought currently.
It was so painful and unpleasant that I actually texted the volunteer coordinator, who told us to contact him if we got sick, and said that I wanted to see a doctor.
I am really, really stubborn about my sickness. I won’t call in sick unless I’m absolutely certain that I’d be useless. I won’t see the doctor unless I’m desperate, and I really hate taking pharmaceuticals.
They are really casual about pharmaceuticals here. Really casual. The volunteer coordinator texted me the name of an antibiotic to take in lieu of actually going to the doctor. I wrote it down and my roommate Wendy picked it up for me for 35 rupees (less than a dollar). Of course, now that I’ve taken two dosages and am not doubled over in pain, I note that they gave me a drug in the right family – it does a similar thing, but it’s missing a component that I need in case this is caused by a parasite. So I’ll go to one tomorrow and get the right drug.
Here’s to self-medication in a developing nation.

I am really sick of being sick. I am sick of living in my pjs, I am sick of having to force myself to eat and drink. I am sick of not sleeping through the night without bolting for the bathroom every few hours. I am sick of the only time it doesn’t hurt is when I’m blissfully passed out and I’m sick of sleeping all day.
The landlady who chided me on the rooftop in my previous entry came by late afternoon when my host family was out and force fed me toast and heavily-gingered chai. Well. She didn’t actually force feed me, but have you ever tried saying no to an Indian housewife and mother when your Hindi is shaky? Hell, I think even if I spoke fluent Hindi she would have steamrolled me into consuming the four pieces of toast (toast is made by holding a piece of bred over the flame of a gas stove rather than in a toaster here, which means the charred taste is really only covered by a bit of marmalade) and the cup of chai.
The lack of personal space here is double edged.
On the one hand, at one point I had three strange faces peering at me in my sick haze, speaking in Hindi at me and looking at me like I was a creature in a zoo.
On the other hand, can you imagine an American landlady caring enough about a foreign subletter to make her toast and tea when she’s laid out?
There are aspects of this country that I could fall in love with, if I let myself.
And if I can stop being sick long enough to do so.

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One Response to The Week of The Sick, Round II

  1. Jacomina de Regt says:

    she’s got the ginger right!
    hope your internal bugs/immune system adjust soon to living with strange food and all that comes with it..

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