06 August 2007

Mosquitoes Ruin World Tours

Let me start by apologizing for the big delay in posting this past week. While I would have loved to write, my 107 degree fever combined with excessive body aches and bacterial intestinal infection kept me in the hospital and away from my computer. Lets back up a bit.

On my last day in New Delhi a group of us in the office decided to go to a street market so I could get some bangles for my Mom, grandma and sister. At said market I was coerced into drinking a lemon ice frozen thing (There wasn’t all that much force put into it. I opted in, definitely, but it sounds better to think someone forced me to drink the thing). What I did not know is that this lovely little drink had a water born bacteria in it that would – 12 hours later – give me an intestinal infection that can only be described as the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me.

While at this market I was also bitten by a lovely little mosquito whom I have named Wayde. Wayde the World Tour Ruiner. Wayde decided to give me Dengue Fever (also known as “break bone” fever). Needless to say, I was flat on my back in India for two days, suffering with extreme dehydration, weight loss and overall “not so good” ness. Annika the Great was lovely enough to escort me to the hospital where, after numerous trips to the cashier, I was able to get some antibiotics prescribed to me. Mind you, at this point I was unaware of the fact that Wayde had infected me with Dengue, and I just thought I was dealing with food poisoning.

A day passed and I woke up feeling as good as new, which made me decide to continue on to Thailand. One awful red-eye later, I arrived unscathed and really tired. After a seven-hour nap I felt good as new and had a lovely first day getting to know Bangkok, even seeing Harry Potter in the most incredible movie theater I have EVER seen (cost? $3). I went to bed dreaming of the eleven-hour bus ride to come that would take me to a campsite to visit one of our partner program teams.

I woke up unable to move because my body was so sore. After a nice hot shower I felt better, but not so “hot.” Erika (also amazing) and I shuffled my bags to our Bangkok office to prep for the bus departure. The walk there nearly killed me, so I logged on to WebMD to check my symptoms.

Now, while WebMD is a wonderful tool, no matter what you enter into the “symptoms” box, it always seems to tell you you’re going to die within the next 20 minutes. Symptom: Sore throat. Diagnosis: Devastating lung disease. Outcome: Death. Needless to say, based on my symptoms, I was supposed to “rush to the nearest medical center or hospital,” so I did.

After a fifteen-minute ride on the back of a motorcycle taxi (bad idea) Erika and I arrived at the hotel – I mean hospital – at the mall level, where we found a Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Gucci store and Fendi store. Umm….WHAT? We went up an escalator and through the luxurious lobby to the admin desk, where I had to fill out only one sheet of paper before being seen.

At this point, my back was KILLING me sitting, standing, leaning and breathing. With a fever of 104 and weight loss of 14 pounds in 7 days, the doctors all but forced me to check in, and I happily obliged. They also made me ride in a wheelchair, which made sense, since I couldn’t walk. Then it was time to put my IV in…more on that soon. Don’t want to frighten you to death all on the same day…

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