I know some people (you know who you are) who have mastered the art of the sick person. They lie on the couch, cry out for glasses of water, and milk their pathetic infirmity for all it is worth. I myself am here to admit that I am horrible at being sick. I hate missing things, I get bored at home, I inevitably cry over something, and I don’t like to listen to myself complain.
Last weekend I was sick to my stomach. I have traced it back to the meal I ate at a comedor on Friday. Really, stomach-sickness is fairly common here. It happens to almost everyone at least once every few months. We talk to each other about things like Diarrhea in ways that I would have never even talked to my best friends about. It is a fact of Guatemalan life. Anyways, I forced myself through a birthday part on Saturday and let myself skip school on Monday to speed my recovery and by the time Tuesday rolled around I was feeling good as new.
On Tuesday, I woke up to a sore throat and a headache. I took an ibuprofen and went to school. During the day, my throat improved as my headache got progressively worse. By the time I finished lunch, I didn’t even want to move. I took the maximum amount of ibuprofen possible and tried to relax. In the evening, I scoured my room for my peace-corps issue thermometer to check for fever and it was nowhere to be found. I decided to go to my friend Gary-the-doctor’s house and borrow a thermometer (and a cup of sugar…). Temperature: negative. Ever the thorough medical professional, he looked at my throat with his doctor-light thing and kindly informed me that I had a throat infection and I should be on antibiotics. Things just kept getting better. That night, I woke up with my headache worsening and lost four hours of sleep because of it.
In the morning, I called the lovely Peace Corps medical staff who asked me to go to the city to get a throat culture. I admit I suppressed a few tired tears (I am sensitive when I am tired/sick) when I went to the health center to tell Gary-the-doctor. I hate being sick. So, with a diminished but still present headache, a took a five hour round trip bus ride to the city to spend 30 seconds at the hospital with a lady shoving a stick down my throat. The good news is, I got some migraine medication that was to make my head stop hurting.
My throat culture is still growing in the city and I am back out here. I am on antibiotics just in case it is not a virus and my head stopped hurting. I missed 75% of my school days this week due to illness, including a birthday party. I am avoiding travel this weekend just to be safe. I wish I could relish in the all-day-movies that this allows me, but I am just not a good sick person. I can say that right now I am right back at 90% and I am relieved.