It’s March, month 8, day about 240 in the Guat and I finally had to go to the doctor. As I’ve documented my time down here I’ve noticed one fact, most of the other teachers down here weren’t able to stay away from the doctor quite as long as I did. Until last week I didn’t really know what going to the doctor in Xela meant. I walk past the small fenced in private hospital every day on my walk home from the gym, but my goal was to say fenced out. Alas, my body betrayed me and after six straight days of hell in my stomach I finally crossed the fence and found out that at the private hospital, you do private things.
Day one of being sick, before I made my trek to the hospital, I thought I had the flu. I’d come down with the chills and a temperature, which I thought I could beat. I mean I’d held out on falling into the life of the infirm for so long, why couldn’t I fight this off and get healthy without the help of a doctor? Unfortunately, my self diagnosis was so far off that I dehydrated myself and caused some serious problems for my body, but I didn’t find this out until day six. So from day one to day five I assumed I could fight it off with plenty of rest.
On day two I went to work, gave a test, and nearly passed out. Everything was rushing through my body and I barely made it home that night. I might be sounding a little over dramatic, but I felt as though all my energy had been drained out of me and flushed down the toilet. That night I made my way to Kristin’s house so I could watch her dog while she was out of town. Kristin’s dog, Calli, and I have a special connection, she’s my second favorite dog in the world, so as soon as I walked in the door she knew I was sick. All weekend as I wasted away she did her best to comfort me. During the nights when I couldn’t keep myself warm because of the chills she curled up next to me and shared her doggy warmth. It was a blessing to be able to stay at Kristin’s house all weekend. I hate being around people while I am sick, they don’t share the unconditional love dogs have. Unluckily the weekend ended and I was still sick.
On Monday, day five, I thought I could teach again, but by the end of the day my chills had returned. It was becoming clear that I needed the help of a doctor. The next day, day six, I forced myself to go to school so I could get a ride to the hospital. A couple of my co-workers demanded I have myself checked out because, as they said, “I looked like death.” So, I taught my classes and then made my way to the hospital. That night I found out that I didn’t have the flue. My next guess was the common stomach ailment of parasites or amebas, but it wasn’t those either.
On day seven I was informed that I had a major infection in my intestines, which I guess, according to some of the other teachers, isn’t that bad. But I’m not so sure where they received their medical degrees because I’d like to disagree with their statement. If what was wrong with my stomach wasn’t that bad then I never want to contract anything worse. To kill off the infection I was placed on some gross medication and told to eat bland food for a week. I lost 10 pounds to this infection and learned that I should go to the doctor at the first sign of illness. I also learned that no matter how carefully I eat down here in the Guat somethings are still going to get you.