Our base was hit hard last week. I think in total there were 6 people who got malaria all at the same time. I guess looking back, I’ve been sick for the past 3 weeks. I was getting more head aches then usual and I had a sore throat, sinuses were hurtin’ but whatever I just sucked it up and kept going… until one day it just hit me and hit me HARD. It was a wednesday, I woke up feeling groggier then normal. At work I started getting the worst head ache ive ever gotten, seriously. Then the eye pain started. I figured this must be what a migraine feels like. I thought maybe I was dehydrated so I drank a bunch of water, hoping that would help but it relieved no pressure. I was trying everything to just tough it out. I didnt wanna be a wuss and go home. By 11am though I got up from my desk and almost fainted. I felt really dizzy and the eye pain was getting worst. So by 11:30 by boss told me he was driving me back to base. ugh. It ended up being perfect timing. I had just enough time to get to the medical room, take my temperature, oh look 100.2, that would explain something.. I grabbed a small garbage can to puke in, walked to my brother’s bungalow and there I remained for the next 4 days.
My body became so weak I needed someone to hold me so I could throw up. Over the next 48 hours I was barely responsive. All I kept saying was “my eyes hurt” in a weak, faint voice. The pain in my head was the worst I’ve ever felt, but the pain in my eyes was even worse then that. Its like the entire eye muscle is being squeezed. Im pretty sure at one point I asked them to take my eyes out… They gave me morphine and that didn’t even fully take the pain away. They put in 3 different IV insertions and gave me 5 bags of solution. Once the chloroquine started taking affect my symptoms started to leave. First the fever was gone, then the head ache, and finally the eye pain.
On saturday morning I just couldn’t take being in bed anymore and my head felt good enough to stand so I unhooked my IV from the makeshift chord holding it up and walked out for the first time. I felt like I was in a scene from 28 days later or the walking dead. The sun hurt at first, then my eyes adjusted. There was no one around as I walked through the base, IV still stuck in my arm.
I kept getting better and better as each day went by. It still took about a full week to recover and get my strength back. Even now my arms still hurt from the IVs. Im so thankful for Dr Linda and nurse Kosh. It would have been hell without their help.
So now I’ve had a staph infection, Dengue fever and Malaria.., I think im good for the whole getting sick in a third world country thing.