Wednesday, July 06, 2005

3 Days in the Hospital

I landed back in the US on June 24th with a eye infection that mysteriously appeared during flight from Tokyo. The customs agent at Seattle took one look at my puss-filled eye and waved me through - "Looks like you had enough without me hassling you." That was nice.

What isn't so nice is the near 102 degree fever that came on that night. My body ached, I couldn't sleep, and I think I was hallucinating half the night. I was cold, then I was hot, then I was cold again. My sheet was soaked with sweat. I swallowed half a bottle of ibuprophen and it didn't help. I finally pass out due to a combination of shock, exhaustion, and jet-lag.

I woke with cramp in my stomache. Not the kind of cramp that you get when you drank too much or ate bad food, but the kind of pain that William Wallace (as played by Mel Gibson) must have felt when he was cut open and his guts pulled out while he was still alive. It dropped me out of bed and into the floor - I stayed down on the floor for 45 minutes before I called the hostpital.

3 days and bunch of stool, urine, and blood samples later, I was sent home. I begged them to keep me in the hostpital where I was administered morphine every hour. If they have to send me home, I argued, I should get my very own self-administerable morphine. I was given some Imodium and sent home. Bastids!!!

Bed rest and liquid diet became the norm for the next couple of days. I get a call from my doctors office saying that I should go to the pharmacy immeidately and get my anti-biotics. Now! So I drag my ass to the pharmacy, where the pharmacist is under instructions to see that I take two pill right then and there. I didn't argue. I just want to get back to bed.

Today I got a call from the Health Department, Communicable Disease group. I have Campylobacter Jejuni virus.

"Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within 2 to 5 days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting."

At least I wasn't sick overseas. Thinking back, I must have gotten this somewhere in Bangkok. I ate some crickets, a cockroach, fresh fruit, and drank some liquor with ice in it. Didn't eat anything I didn't eat when I was in Taipei, and Tokyo is as safe as the US. Yep, it must have been Thailand. Dammit - it must be Thailand.


Time to hit the can.


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