This past Wednesday, I woke up feeling exhausted but otherwise fine. About an hour after eating breakfast, a dull sense of weakness and malaise began creeping over me and I had to lie back down. By the end of the next hour, I was unable to sit up, paralyzed by bodily fatigue. I had stitches of pain and muscle aches in my legs and sides and neck. I couldn’t find a comfortable position and every time I moved I moaned. I was chilly and sweaty at the same time.
I didn’t want to jump to malarial conclusions and I also didn’t want to go to the doctor without a very good reason, so I tried to wait it out, but by 7pm it was clear it was getting worse instead of better. I had gotten nauseous and head-achey, my aches had turned into pronounced pains, and I could barely crawl out of bed let alone stand up straight.
I hobbled with Mamie to the pharmacy next door where they pronounced their prognosis soon after my arrival: “un petit palu,” a mild case of malaria. I told them I take doxycycline every day as a prophylactic and they mimed the pill going in one ear and out the other. They gave me a fizzy paracetamol tablet to reduce my fever and told me to get to the doctor stat.
So we headed to the emergency room (salle d’urgence) of the hospital downtown, whereupon I began an epic journey / vocabulary lesson. Continue reading