The morning had come and our exciting lunch at Man’s was fast approaching. Only it was one thirty in the morning and the lunch was approaching just a little too fast. I laid there contemplating just exactly what was happening to me right at that moment. Did those Malibu pineapples pack more of a punch than I thought? My seventh sense (the husband sense) went off and I knew that David was awake as well even though neither of us had moved or made a noise. “I don’t feel good,” I said. “Me neither,” he replied. We both fell back asleep.
At five thirty, I woke up to a spinning room and considerable sweating. My seventh sense went off again and I knew that David was going through the same thing right next to me. (Graphic details ahead) “I don’t feel good!” he shouted while bolting to the bathroom. I laid there feeling the worst I ever felt and then the vomiting began. David didn’t get the vomiting but I was lucky enough to get both going on within five minutes of each other, twice an hour for two hours. We both headed back for some more sleep.
Waking up at nine, I felt terrible but wasn’t feeling as terrible as I expected to be. We had missed our breakfast with the Gokce’s and worried that we had missed our last chance to see them. I talked David into making an effort to see how we felt. I figured we were on the verge of an international incident if we didn’t go to Man’s for lunch. His family had put so much effort into having these foreigners come, something that they’ve never done before, and we fell ill the previous night. It would be an insult not to go. We pulled ourselves out of bed, got cleaned up, and headed down to the breakfast villa for some dry toast.
Right when we rounded the corner, we literally ran into Man. “David Copperfield!” Man yelled, using his favorite name for David. He then proceeded to tell us how they had gotten up very early to get all of the fish and that his mother-in-law had been cooking for hours. We gave each other looks that totally portrayed the necessity in our going. Then, the island started to spin. Oh, wait, that wasn’t the island…that was me right before I shouted, “I need to sit down” before bolting to the nearby restroom to begin another vomiting bout.
David managed to get me back to the room at which point I collapsed onto the lounger in misery. “You have to go,” I said. “You feel much better than I do. I can’t go anywhere.” Still sick himself, David agreed. It involved a 30 minute boat ride and a 30 minute jeep ride on winding, bumpy roads. Popping every single bit of Dramamine and Imodium in sight, David prepared like a trooper.
Meanwhile, I deteriorated quickly. The rotation of sickness that had begun at 5:30 had reared its ugly head once again, this time with frightening regularity. At some point, David left to go to lunch. I spent the next six hours between the bed, the bathroom, and the lounger. Unable to sleep from sickness, I watched BBC News all day and caught up on the rest of the world’s politics.
For three hours of those six, I was the most miserable I have ever been. My mind flashed back to a National Geographic special we had watched about a woman who was traveling alone on a Thai island, caught Dengue Fever, and spent the next two weeks with the world spinning and going through much of what I was going through right then. The story ended up with some man convincing her to smuggle heroin back to Britain and her being sent to Thai prison for the rest of her life.
As I laid there with the worst fever of my life, I realized that I was actually moaning in pain and misery. At one point, it didn’t make sense to leave the bathroom anymore and I spent a good portion of time just lying on the cold tile floor. The room gecko found himself trapped in there with me and entertained me while he tried to figure a way out of the room while avoiding me in every possible way. Maybe it was a hallucination.
Never in my life had I been so grateful to be alone when sick. David would have felt terrible, as he does when there is nothing he can do to make me feel better. I was so embarrassingly sick that I was thrilled he didn’t have to endure it with me. By one p.m., I had crawled back into bed and began to worry that maybe I did have Dengue Fever. I was in the right area and had been bitten by plenty of large jungle mosquitoes…mosquitoes so tough that bug spray just made you spicy. Was I going to be able to catch my flight Saturday morning? At this point, there was no way I could spend an hour on a boat to even get to the airport? Would I be stuck here, lose my job, and possibly end up being victimized by some random person using me as a drug mule? The hallucinations were getting out of control, the cold shower to make the fever go down didn’t work, but eventually I was able to fall asleep while wishing that this bug would just kill me already.
At two thirty, Man called. Everyone in the family was terribly worried about me and he wanted to see how I was doing. He put David on the phone. It was nice to hear from him. I barely remember our conversation and was asleep again before I knew it.
At four, David was gently shaking me awake. He had returned with a giant bag of food that Man’s family had packed up for me (enough to feed ten!) as well as two prescriptions for the fever and the nausea. Man took him to a local pharmacist and translated what was wrong with me. It was as simple as that and David scored what became my miracle pills for less than a dollar. He had also come with Man himself, who was waiting outside to see me. I couldn’t imagine myself getting out of bed but managed to do so before he left. He was so worried about me yet his wife was giving birth the following day!
Back inside, David fed me some orange powder in water that was supposed to help my stomach. He then gave me a pill that I was to take prior to eating. I couldn’t even contemplate eating what he was sent home with (blue crabs, squid, lobster, and all the other tasty stuff that I would normally fight to the last bite over). David headed off to the restaurant to procure bread for me. The Paradise makes about six different kinds of bread every day. When he told them that I was sick and needed bread, they asked him what kind of sickness I had and then brought out two appropriate bread types.
I managed to get through two pieces of bread. David had tried to eat the leftovers from lunch inside but I had to ask him to take it outside. The smell made my stomach do flips. Unable to keep the remaining leftovers inside as the smell from the fridge would kill me; he had to resort to the garbage on the beach. So sad that I couldn’t even try a bite.
After I was done eating, he fed me the “after” pill which helped me fall asleep. We did manage to discuss his day before I fell asleep, but that is an adventure for him to blog about.