Sometimes I wonder how on earth I survive. It seems I have some pretty powerful guardian angels watching out for me!
I’m pretty health conscious overall. I try to be clean and hygenic. I bleach everything when I clean. I’m cautious about what I eat. I exercise. I’m aware of my surroundings generally.
But even with all that, sometimes you will catch something anyway. And I caught Typhoid Fever.
Here’s a website in case you want to know http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/typhoid_fever/
I think I got it from swimming in the ocean near my place. The locals will often go crap on the shoreline during low tide. I won’t be doing much ocean swimming any more. The restaurant I eat at has very clean practices, so I am sure it wasn’t from contaminated food.
I’ve been a little ill off and on since a couple weeks in but I put it up to adjusting to the heat, a new environment, a month without electricity, etc. It was never too bad. Turns out all my symptoms were the Typhoid/ Salmonella incubating in my system this whole time.
Monday I woke up not feeling great but good still. I took some sunrise pictures, did a short workout, ate breakfast, taught a class, ate lunch, everything seemed normal.
I went for dinner, I’m talking to my friends, the food has almost arrived and I started feeling very tired and dizzy. Then apparently I fell over with a seizure. A full-on bite my tongue seizure. I came to feeling so disoriented. It felt like I was waking up from being asleep. I had been having a really intense dream. I remember thinking the dream was so vibrant and full of color and sound and then I was waking up. I couldn’t focus, everything was blurry, I didn’t recognize anybody. It was really weird.
I couldn’t move my hands or feet, they were stuck in this weird position, for a while. Throughout the night this happened 2 more times. There were also several times where my muscles would tense up and I couldn’t talk, but I was still mostly aware.
I was taken to the local clinic. I don’t remember much of anything. But I remember saying that I could feel the IV moving in my veins. The nurse had used a non-typical IV solution for me because they had run out of the normal one they use.
Why? Because of a freak accident that had happened earlier where a small, 3 C-battery lamp had exploded and severely burned three people.
The IV happened to have a milk product in it, which luckily my friend John was able to catch very quickly. He literally saved my life several times that night by being diligent and watching every step the hospital staff made. I can’t thank him enough.
John and Caroline came with me while I called my mama before heading to Nampula to a bigger clinic. I am relying on her heavily in my time here because of what a wonderful Shaman she is. This island has a lot of bad history to be worked through.
Fazlo drove us all to Nampula through seriously torrential rain. It was a scary ride, I can’t lie, but he maneuvered through everything like a pro. Dodging people, cars, potoles, and animals in the road when he could barely see past the front of the van.
The doctor in Nampula didn’t believe anything any of us said at first. He just kept asking what drugs I had taken and not believing when I said none. He agreed to keep me overnight for observation and then get a full blood draw in the morning because the laboratory was closed. He was quite obviously placating us and still thought I was just on drugs. He flat out insisted I hadn’t had any seizures even though it was notated by the first clinic.
Through some weird miracle I mentioned that my tongue felt like it was made of metal ever since the first seizure. That stopped him in his tracks. All of a sudden he believed. The blood tests were ordered, the laboratory was suddenly not closed, and I was given a bed in the clinic.
I spent the night with all my limbs feeling like they needed to stay contracted. It hurt so much. I’m really glad John stayed with me because the intensity of the whole situation would have been unbearable by myself. I owe him a lot of gratitude.
2 IV rounds of antibiotics and a round of safe hydration fluids, a restless night, some translation issues, a round with police over said translation issues, borrowed money to help increase my inability to get my visa squared away, wonderful friends that gave us a place to lie down, eat something, and rest before the trip back to Ilha, the taxi car’s fan belt breaking, waiting for a new car to drive us back….
I’m just glad it’s over. I don’t feel as dizzy today, though my kidney hurts and every muscle in my body is sore. Every one. I’m drinking lots of bottled water. I’m staying in bed and resting.
That wasn’t even a little bit fun, but I’m on the mend thanks to the friends I’ve made here. The work I am supposed to do here will be trying I think, but I also believe it is worth it.