Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I’ve just gotten through a bout of sickness, my first real taste of it since I got here. I started off feeling unusually tired yesterday afternoon, and didn’t feel right through lunch. After eating I went to lay down and continued to feel quite weak. Then I started feeling aches throughout my body; head, back, stomach, and legs. Soon I went and vomited. This was not the first time I threw up since I’ve come to India; the first time was before I left for Bhuj when I exercised too hard in my room and lost it. This time it was real sickness.

After throwing up the first time, I felt a little relieved, and was able to sleep with less pain. But in half an hour, I woke up again with a lot of pain throughout my body. On top of that I felt very weak, like the strength had been sucked out of me. I vomited again, and again I felt relief from the pain. Also I was sweating which was good in the face of fever, which I was also starting to experience. The third time in this cycle, I was just throwing up whatever small amount of food I was taking in, and so I started to figure I had some sort of virus in me. I was calm during this time, expecting that the bug would pass through by my throwing up cycle. I was, however, in great discomfort with all the bodyaches and stomach chaos.

During the 4th time I threw up, I sat in my bed for a long time, battling the pain and the oncoming nausea. I was breathing very deeply and concentrating, and was feeling that I had a chance to control the illness and not have to throw up. It was intense pain and concentration for what seemed like several minutes. In the end my concentration broke and I threw up, and got the temporary relief. At this point Surajbhai came and said that I should go see Bharatbhai, the head doctor. I did not resist and Bharatbhai basically said that I may have a virus, and that I should just lessen my diet for a while and keep an eye on my temperature. Walking to the office, I really noticed how weak I was. It was laborious just to walk, and I noticed that my legs would fatigue from the weight of my body. I also noticed that my limbs would fall asleep if pressure was applied, indicating poor circulation.

Kapilbhai came by later on in the evening and told me that I would be fine. As soon as he came in I started to sweat for the first time, breaking my fever. He joked that he had that effect on a lot of people. It was good seeing him, Dharatiben, and Tapas, and I saw that my energy level increased with them present. After they left I went for a short walk outside before I tried to sleep for the night. I was painfully weak and went halfway around my building. When I came back I reached the rare “hole confusion” level of food/stomach virus: I went to the bathroom feeling like vomiting, but ended up squatting for some diarrhea. I’ve risen to this level only one other time… my freshman year in college when I had food poisoning and spent an entire night crawling between my dorm room and the floor bathroom because it was too painful to straighten my torso and walk normally.

During the night I had a difficult time sleeping, as I felt very hot. This was probably due to waves of high temperature, which was probably in the 101-102 range at the peaks. It was very uncomfortable laying in bed, since I felt too weak to get up and in too much pain to fall asleep. During the night I also had a really bizarre dream where I was helping Kapilbhai organize thousands of documents which we arranged and rearrange and categorized and bundled and recategorized. Really weird and vivid because I thought that the documents were sitting on the bed with me.

Today I felt my strength coming back and feel that I have definitely gotten the illness under control. I rested the whole day which made me restless at the end, so I did some exercises which made me feel a little better. I really miss my gym, and the feeling of sore muscles after a good workout. I also am glad to have gotten over the feeling of weakness, which made me understand better how my mom must have felt during her illness. It’s a really frustrating feeling not being able to move as you normally do, and it made me thankful for the good health that I’ve had in my life thus far.

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