It’s full-out, or flat-out

Posted: September 7, 2007 in Blog

As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as feeling “under the weather” here. You either feel like a world-beater, invigorated by the incredible fresh fruits and vegetables and near-total lack of processed ingredients, or your body feels as though it would rather turn itself completely inside-out, thank you very much.

This week, my body was apparently fed-up with feeling invigorated. I went to bed early Wednesday night, not feeling all that great, though nothing to be concerned about. But what a difference a couple of hours can make, because I woke up a short time later with a spiking fever and a body that had just issued an “Everybody out! This is not a drill!” order.

Whatever it was that had set up camp inside me increasingly revealed its presence with each time I got up over the course of the night. Shortly after midnight I was running low on drinking water and so stumbled into the kitchen to boil some water (I have a constant rotation of my two Nalgene bottles—one being used to drink out of while the other sits in the freezer, cooling the boiled water). It wasn’t until I struggled with two hands to lift up the kettle that I realized my strength had been nearly entirely drained.

Later on in the night, feeling very feverish, I was walking back to my room when suddenly my field of vision started closing in. “What the…?” was about all my half-asleep mind could muster before I fell against the wall and hit the floor hard (like most homes here, the ceilings, walls and floors are all made of concrete, so “hard” is about the only way to fall).

It went like that through much of the night. Each time I got up I would have about five minutes before the darkness would return and my legs would begin to wobble, so getting back to bed was a race against the clock. Fortunately, the clock won only once more that night.

I had a busy day planned Thursday. Interviews Thursday morning on an analysis piece that was to be written by the end of the day (“How much have you written so far?” my editor asked Wednesday. “Nothing at all,” I told him, with a smile that probably didn’t comfort him), an interview in the afternoon with Canadian MPs visiting Uganda for an article in Friday’s paper and a follow-up on a story I’d written the day before about some football (soccer) players who had been stranded in Kenya. But there was no way I was making it into work, so I sent messages into the newsroom and stayed in bed most of the day, waiting for the fever to go down.

In the end, it left as quickly as it came. I’m still feeling a little off, but the fever broke late yesterday and today’s lunch of pineapple, banana and crackers was the first solid food I’d eaten since Wednesday. The doctor at the clinic this morning just smiled when I recounted the experience. “Sounds like you’ve had a fun go of it,” he said with a laugh. They suspect it was a bad bug, possibly food poisoning. They’re doing tests, but for now we’ll chalk this one up under the “Who really knows how, or why” category.

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