Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Health Care: Part I

Ahhh, the hostel floor was as cold as the refrigerated water I was craving. Moments before, I had walked out of the bathroom on a quest to retrieve my bottle of icy cold goodness from the communal fridge just up the hall. Walking forward, my vision began to black out, longer than it had before, so I resorted to feeling my way along the wall. The thought of sitting down and letting this episode pass never occurred to me as I fully anticipated a vision restoration momentarily. I guess my belief in my body’s infallibility propelled my forward (although my friends saw me and wandered why I was so close to the wall). Suddenly, my legs lost hope in this infallibility belief and down I went, sending my head into the wall, and my body sliding down to the cool hostel floor. Mind you, only my vision blacked out and I recall hoping that someone, anyone had seen this tragic tumble so I wouldn’t have to shout for assistance in the otherwise quiet hostel.

Luckily, a university employee saw me and run up. Two of my friends also saw me and one immediately called our program director. They even bandaged up my then bleeding forehead. Before I knew it, I was in the back of my program director’s car enroute to the University hospital in the company of my roommate, hoping that I would not get sick in the back of the car which had retained its new car smell. S

Walking into the hospital, I was shown to a bed. After a wait as a doctor was found, I was plopped into a chair to explain what exactly was ailing me. The doctor who seemed to be of student age was rather terse as apparently, she was all set to leave for the day. Always nice to know exactly what a bother you are.

What happened?

That is a good question and one that I can only answer with an educated guess. On Sunday, I was feeling lazy and did not rustle up much energy to do much of anything, even getting breakfast, beyond reading Tom Clancy. I ate crackers and drank very little. Late afternoon after explaining why Burkina Faso had fallen off my radar for this trip, I hopped on my bike to double check the exam schedule (which is subject to change at all times) and then took a longer detour around the neighborhood. I have no problem exhorting the tons of energy required for this escapade on a largely empty stomach. This past summer, I had no problems hiking six miles to discover that my lunch was not in my backpack but on the counter at home. Half of ancient Nature Valley Bar ™ kept me going (Ginny got the other half). I took another detour past the Creamy Inn, a sad excuse of an ice cream shop, for an attempt at a sundae that would remotely resemble its American counterpart.

Later Sunday evening, I had dinner with my roommate at one of the night market stands. He chose sausage (read hot dog) while I chose chicken, a defining choice. After assuming both sets of grandparents that I am doing okay over the phone, I went to bed.

At around 4am Monday morning, unmentionables struck me unawares. Coming back, I wondered if I could still make it to dance. I concluded that the potential for embarrassment was too high so I reset my alarm with the goal of sleeping off whatever ailment I had. Until around 1:30p, those unmentionables would arouse me from my bedridden-ness every two hours as if on a timer.

I suppose that is the backgrounder. Inferring from that, I think I had low blood sugar and mild dehydration, all of which conspired towards the moment of collapse.

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