Obviously it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything. Although I have been having an amazing time in Uganda and Rwanda, my absence was not entirely due to all the fun I’ve been having… nor was it from all the homework I have piling up. It’s because I’ve been in the hospital.
First off, I’m okay now. But before I tell why I was hospitalized, let me go back a few weeks.
Beautiful place and the rural homestay was an unforgettable experience. But I never mentioned there was only one twin bed and one mosquito net for two people. So Nichole (the other student I was sharing with) and I took turns in the bed and sleeping on the floor for the 4 nights we were in Kitgum. No problem.
Over the next few days I started to notice body aches, headache and constant sweating. One day I felt horrible but the next day I would feel fine so I didn’t think anything of it. By the time we left for a 3 week excursion to Kampala and Rwanda, the headaches started to change my personality. Add to that I was tired all the time. But we were constantly on the road in a tiny van with 12 people, so why wouldn’t I be exhausted?
By the time we reached Rwanda, I was not feeling well at all. I was thinking “it’s stress and exhaustion”. I figured I needed a full day to sleep… but the schedule wouldn’t allow that because we were moving almost every day. Finally, about 3 weeks after I returned from Kitgum I had reach my limit. I needed to sleep or I was going to quit the program (very dramatic, I know).
So I skipped going to the Genocide Museum in Kigali and slept all day. Honestly, I slept about 14 hours. My restless slumber came to a screeching halt when my roommate returned and turned on the light. Immediately, I felt nauseous and started vomiting uncontrollably. All I could do was lay on the cold, tile floor cradling the trashcan.
The roommate called to Academic Director who immediately took me to the hospital. I knew I was dehydrated and sweaty but I didn’t realize how sick I was. When I got to the hospital, I had a temperature of 103.7!!
At that point I started to get really worried and I could see the concern on the faces of the hospital staff. They quickly put in a IV and administered medication to bring down my fever and head ache. And they took a LOT of blood. Tests, tests, tests!
A few hours later I started to feel better and that’s when they came to me with the diagnosis… I had malaria.
I spent the next few days at the hospital, and honestly I slept the entire time. It was nice! By the third day I was allowed to leave and continue taking oral medication for the malaria. I was pretty weak by this time but no headache or fever so I was happy.
It’s been a week now. I’m finally back 100% and also back in Gulu. I don’t really remember much about Rwanda but I do remember it was beautiful and the hospital was pretty nice!
So… don’t get malaria.