Saturday, September 10, 2016

Malaria and necessary friends

Well, my last post mentioned how sick I was of traveling, turns out I meant it literally. Since Sunday I'd been feeling like I was on the verge of vomiting but as we were traveling all day through the mountains in Western Uganda I just blamed it on being tired and car sick. Well, I'm an idiot. I finally got back to Soroti late Tuesday afternoon still feeling extremely car sick, carried my bags through the door and literally collapsed into bed thinking I'd just rest a bit then feel well enough to open up the house, unpack etc... (I'd been gone 10 days). Well, sometime after dark I woke up enough to go the the bathroom and give myself a panic attack. My urine looked all wrong and suddenly it hit me. I had malaria.  I went to grab a rapid test and treatment pack and discovered I locked my med room when I packed up and I couldn't remember where the key was. I called my good friend Rachel before I realized how late it was. But she called back and happily came over with a rapids test and poked me. It took less than two minutes for it to come back positive. Oops. Started treatment and fell back into bed. I did have the presence of mind to set an alarm for the second dose. I got up and took it but sometime in the night I started vomiting and I'm pretty sure I didn't retain much of that dose.

Tuesday Rachel came back to check on me, which was a good thing as I thought it was still morning but turns out it was late afternoon. I also thought I'd been taking fluids because my mom had been bringing them to me but upon trying to explain that to Rachel I realized that it was probably pretty unrealistic and most likely I'd not been out of bed at all except to vomit in almost 24 hours. She gave me my next dose of meds which I think I waited a whole four minutes to throw back up. So, wonderful friend that she is she didn't really give me a choice, packed me some clean clothes and took me to her house. My vet (her husband) gave me a liter of fluids and but unfortunately I still couldn't stop vomiting and didn't keep down Wednesday morning's dose of Lumartem either. So (despite my protests) Rachel took me to the hospital where it took them three blasted hours to put a new line in and give me a single dose of IV malaria meds. I convinced them I could keep getting fluids at home and if they would send me with a dose of promethazine I would be able to switch back to oral meds and take care of myself. Thankfully, they know me there so they gave in.  But there was no way Rachel was actually letting me go home. So back to her house where I did nothing but sleep and get more IV fluids for another 24 hours.  Anyway, here it is Saturday and I've been discharged from Rachel's house. I still feel exhausted and have one more day of Lumartem ahead of me but I'm feeling human again.
Thank you Rachel, that even thought I'm stubborn and not easy to care for you persisted. You're a great friend and I'll happily return the favor if you need it.  Oh, appreciation also to Daniel who was willing to poke me five times to get lines in. Thanks, I think. And also mixing meds and running to the pharmacy repeatedly. Thank you.


rach said...

Jennifer, you are constantly caring for others...just glad I had the opportunity to return the favor. I know there are many people here who would have GLADLY cared for you while you were sick, I just happen to be the only one who can out stubborn you:) Much love, Rachel

Dr Purva Pius said...
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