Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Still Hanging in There/ The Malaria Post

Sorry to have been M.I.A for so long. It’s a function of having fully adjusted to living here. Once you solve all the logistical problems like how to use a squatty potty and how to keep monkeys from stealing your clothes off the line life becomes pretty routine. And once you get used to being spoiled by fresh mangoes and ripe pineapples anytime you want, it stops feeling like a vacation and starts feeling like home. Homesickness has reared it’s head a time of two since my last entry in December, but mostly I’m hanging in there. I’ve just been swamped at work, with everything for visits from the organization’s president, to 1 a.m. nights in the office, to writing a million and one proposals simultaneously.

In February I contracted 3+ malaria. I was a little concerned about the high fever but mostly I was just pissed off. I had this lofty goal of spending a whole year in East Africa with no prophylactics and not getting malaria. Imagine my dismay at making it well past the halfway mark (almost to the ¾ mark, in fact) only to have to admit defeat. It’s still a lot better than my last stint in East Africa where I didn’t even last 6 weeks. Other than the typical symptoms (i.e., feeling like death, coughing up a lung, grandma-ish joint pain, etc.) I got some puzzling ones like earaches and debilitating dizziness. The absolute lows included cold sweats, shivers, and fevers well over 101, but on the upside I got a Friday off from work! The most annoying aspect of malaria was seeing an incompetent doctor who asked me what medication I should take (You tell me! You’re the doctor!!!), and then told me I should come back to the hospital if my fever went over 150. Not 105 but 150. Yeah...moving on…despite all of that, malaria did have it’s amusing moments like being overcome by dizziness on the way to the bathroom and smacking my forehead on a table on the way down. Yeah, I got to sport a nice little forehead knot that lasted long after the last malaria symptom were gone. L

Having had malaria before, I wasn’t all that worried (even though the malaria I had the first time was a little milder). All in all, I popped the 24 prescribed pills, slept a lot, drank a lot of juice and got better, thank God, but you better believe I’m still pissed about not achieving the malaria free year.

Of course it could have had something to do with this:

And, yes, I used repellant. And, no, obviously it didn’t actually repel anything L*sigh*

1 comment:

  1. wow malaria more than once! now you are truly an African! :) that fact that you were mostly just annoyed by that scores you major points on my how african are you scale [i seriously keep one; in my back pocket. and i measure people against it regularly. you pass muster] I can't believe you've been gone for nearly a year now! remember when last year around this time we were preparing to turn in theses? oh life! miss you!