Monday- Quiet in Soroti. Really low key day. My lower back has been hurting for a week, since the accident and everything I keep reading says rest to recover. I've been a
Late Monday night/ early Tuesday- Fever of 102.9, vomiting, diarrhea, and deliriously happy that clearly it must be infectious and couldn't be muscloskeletal so I didn't have to go to Kampala. Well, maybe just delirious. I tested my urine thinking kidney infection. Nothing so simple. Malaria came back positive but the back still hurt so bad I couldn't remain standing for more than 10 minutes at a time. I tried and tried to not go but 6 am found Beckie packing my bag for me and herding me toward the car even as I mumbled some not so veiled threats.
Tuesday- I now know what it is like to be genuinely suicidal. My back hurt so bad I couldn't even move. My eyes were burning hot and my brain was pounding out of my ears. I get car sick anyway and it was inevitable that I was going to vomit at least once in the car. My temp was still 102+ even with meds on board. I'd started anti-malarials and anti-nausea med but nothing was touching it. I couldn't sleep, couldn't sit, couldn't lay down and then we were pulled over by the police. He started a conversation with Beckie but then looked at me and told her to continue on. Beckie was a champ because I didn't want any music, we have no AC and the roads are crap. I had multiple conversations with God during this few hour stretch of the road but honestly am glad I can't remember any of them because I'm not so sure they were overly christian on my end. We were pulled over twice more and the third time the officer leaned into my window and asked if we would give a ride. You can't really say no because if you do they can continue to detain you for whatever reason. So I mumbled yes and an undercover officer (?!?) climbed in the back and we were off again. Around this part of the trip I believe I started passing in and out of consciousness. I know Beckie was talking but little of it made sense and I can picture the dash clock but everything else is blurry. That is until I looked into the back and the guy back there announced he was sick and vomited. Beckie pulled over and I got out of the car but I couldn't feel my feet on the ground and the world would not stop spinning no matter how hard I gripped the car door. I don't remember the rest of that stop. At some point (hours?) later that guy got out and we finally!! arrived in Kampala. Then those 30 minutes through the city were the worst. Finally we arrived at The Surgery. They put me in a bed and a doctor (Ugandan) came in but most of this is gray. I remember clearly the last of 5 liters of fluid. I also remember drawing blood more than once but can't remember why. Malaria. Lots of parasites. Talk of spending the night. We talked of the back pain and they assured me it was due to the fever. I was able to urinate eventually and around 6:30 we got discharged. Beckie somehow found a new guest house in the dark of Kampala and I think I was asleep again before she had her bag open.
Wednesday- the morning found me feeling more human and cognisant so after a little discussion it was decided that because we were in Kampala it would be pertinent to be more persistent about the back trouble. We packed up and headed off to International Hospital Kampala (IHK). That doctor (Asian?) was pretty thorough so because I still had a significant fever- more blood, urine, then to x-ray. I tried and tried to talk her into a CT because I have radiating pain and sciatica in both legs but no dice. She looked at the x-ray, said she didn't see a herniated disc and since we wouldn't really do anything else I didn't need anything further. Well, so much for patient driven health care. I knew I was well on my way to dehydrated again because it took almost 2 liters of water to produce a stupid little urine sample between the sweating, the diarrhea and the malaria meds. But still feeling tolerably well we went grocery shopping and then got the heck out of Kampala. I slept the entire way back to Jinja where we planned to spend the night with missionary friends before continuing on to Soroti. Well.... Our friends had a wonderful dinner for us and after a day of being up and around I ate my first meal since Monday. I don't think the food had anything at all to do with it, timing was just bad, but I spent the whole night up again. My good friend the back pain there with a vengeance, vomiting over and over again, I don't remember my temp but it was back up there in the "I can't think clearly" range.
Thursday- morning found me not getting out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time and the afternoon found us looking for a trustworthy doctor in Jinja as I couldn't keep down the malaria meds and still needed treatment. Not to mention the dehydration was rearing its ugly head again. The room was spinning and I wasn't moving. My eyes felt like they were on fire but the chills were so bad my teeth were chattering. The doctor was a nice woman (Australian?) but not super helpful. She gave me a bed and some nausea meds but those didn't help. She suggested it was possibly Typhoid, gave more meds and took more samples. She then gave me IM Reglan to stop the vomiting which only kept me until her parking lot before I threw up again. The nice thing she did do for us was a letter to an area hospital for a few liters of fluid BUT NOTHING ELSE. This is actually pretty important and helpful as it meant I didn't have to see a doctor there, hear that I should be on a quinine drip, get more blood drawn, put up with incompetent Ugandan staff..... I just got in, poked a couple of times (she muttered something about collapsing veins) and got some fluid hanging. Amazing how much better a body feels after a few liters. By then it was nine pm and we headed back to our friends house and you guessed it- back to bed.
Friday- back to feeling more human and mildly rational again. Rested all day. Head still pounding and low grade temps but feeling simply like terrible flu giving me hope I was on the road to recovery. Even managed some soup!
Saturday- Headed to Soroti! (Only not really.) I got up feeling like I could manage the couple hours in the car. So we packed up and hit the road before it got to hot. And about 30 minutes and the breaks on the car quit. We stopped safely in a small town that had a "garage" as they called it (a junk yard with a bunch of never-to-move-again cars as we would call it) and a mechanic who would look at the car for us. Yikes!!! For the sake of the fact that I cried over the day once already and I don't want to do it again I'm just going to say that the nausea, diarrhea, back pain and headache were back and now were were two single girls in a random Ugandan city sitting in a car in a 100+ degree junk yard when every cell in my body was calling for a bed. For 6 hours. No where to go sit, not even a bench in the shade (we did sit on a dirty old tire for a while). But we got back to our friends in Jinja and eventually our car made it back too.
Sunday- First thing in the morning off to a clinic again. Why am I still having fevers?! Nausea? Diarrhea? The good news- malaria smear negative. Typhoid negative. No answers to my questions, an elevated white count and a very apathetic doctor (Ugandan). But reassurance that I SHOULD be getting better. Back to our friends house and back to bed. Then a shower and a nap while they went to church. Then a small bite to eat and an afternoon nap. Up in time to get some other clothes on and go back to bed.
Monday- I'm very happy to report we are finally home. We took it slowly this morning and Beckie drove the whole way again. I'm going to talk for a few minute with my family then it is so bedtime.
Thank you all again who prayed. I was sicker than I'd like to admit and some of those days I was pretty low. But last week is just that- last week. I AM GOING TO REST THIS WEEK and give myself and this back a chance to really heal. It is hard being sick so far from home when I know I can't trust myself and with a medical system that can't be trusted but I was surrounded by friends who were trusted and more importantly I know that I was held in a world wide net of prayer by a God who is trusted above all.