Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sickness: stomach bug or mosquito?

This was a very hard week. Sunday, Joy was able to fast for the first time in years, so we fasted together while the getting was good. In our church, fasting means going without food or water for two consecutive meals. Then we had a nice, normal dinner.

Joy and I sat down to spend some together after putting the kids to bed, and I was not feeling well. My stomach was processing dinner much too quickly and much too frequently, let's call it that. I kept feeling worse. I finally got out the thermometer and started tracking my temperature. In 90 minutes my temperature went up 2 degrees. I hurt.

I spent the entire night getting up to go to the bathroom, then laying back down for maybe 5 minutes until I returned to the bathroom, maybe for an hour before the next stomach cramps. I was so miserable at one point I TMI TMI TMI TMI TMI TMI TMI TMI. Oy, was that a terrible image that will burn your retinas!

Mom reminded Joy to remind me to take Vicodin and that was a lifesaver.

It took me over an hour to eat a piece of bread; my mouth was so dry I couldn't swallow it. I had Joy cancel my classes. By early afternoon she finally got hold of the AUN clinic who agreed someone would come get me. I finally slept three hours straight and my fever broke, but I still hurt, was dizzy and weak, and of course the GI problems.

The clinic offered to give me some IV fluids, and I figured right after fasting it was a particularly good idea. With the IV in place, I was able to drink more and eat a few crackers. I was well enough to go home again with some stomach medicines that slowed things down but did nothing for the pain and cramping.

Blood tests claimed I had malaria. Again. When I expressed my doubt because of their last two false positives, they reminded me I had pain in my joints. I said, "And that's nothing new. I always do when I have fever, or when I haven't slept enough, and last night counts for both." I took the malarial medication anyway but by Thursday it hadn't done anything.

I was back in classes Tuesday, mostly because of my mock accreditation Tue morning.

By Wednesday, Prince had started in with some stomach problems. WebMD said it was far more likely I and we had gastroenteritis, probably caused by a stomach bacteria. My fever wasn't returning, like it should have with malaria, but my stomach problems were still highly noticeable.

Thursday I took matters into my own hands and went to the pharmacy to ask for some antibiotics. I took them and started feeling better right away. I love being in Nigeria! I don't have to get a doctor's permission to take antibiotics!

Joy called me at work to say Prince had a fever, aches all over, and stomach cramps. When we gave him some anti-malaria medicine, he TMI'd all over the TMI and the TMI and even TMI. [Even when I doubt doctor here, I'll still listen and obey, just in case they're right.]

Prince's fever had been 103.3 Thur evening. I gave him a priesthood blessing. The next morning his fever was gone. Joy went to the pharmacy and got the same antibiotic. He's doing much better now too and is eager to be bouncing around.

My stomach's still not thoroughly happy - I've lost 6 pounds this week through lost appetite - but at least I've been able to function and got a major research paper off a few days earlier than I anticipated. I've been off Vicodin for two days.

And the Clinic is batting 1 for 5 for me.