Life is so precious. It feels good to be alive.
Because this holiday is about celebration, I try my best to share my recent experience in the lightest way possible. I had second thoughts weather I would write about it or shall I keep in my non-electronic journal. But this is something that I could not veer away from what I had to go through.
Getting sick while on the road is something that I did not expect. I was happy that when I’m on my 2nd month traveling, I am feeling perfectly well, in good shape and did not have even cough nor fever despite the cold weather, often rainy and windy.
I was still in Morocco when I started to feel ill. I was in fact, feeling ill all the time I was there. On my last day I was at the airport waiting for my boarding back to Europe. I dropped by at the Duty Free, I was in queue and during my turn I think the cashier noticed that I am not well that she had volunteered to immediately call the airport doctor to attend to me. My upper abdomen was very painful, as if pricking by an ice pick and I had difficulty breathing at that time. The flight attendant at the boarding gate approached me and asked me to take a rest in the nearby bench while waiting for the doctor. After a while the doctor came and gave me a medicine against stomach ache. After sometime, I didn’t feel any effect. I needed to board soon because the gate is about to close. The doctor assured me that they will wait for me. He then suggested and strongly recommended to inject me a syringe so that I will feel better right away. To be honest, I was really scared. The last time I was put by a long narrow needle when I was a small child, maybe I was 8 or 9 years old. But I have to be well. I thought if I’m not well, the flight attendants will not allow me to board. So I said okay. The syringe lasted like for a minute and 30 seconds and yes, I cried silently (yung pigil na iyak) like a little child because it was very painful. I perspire a lot and sweating at my back. I guess because of the tension and fears and all.
Back in Paris, I thought I will get better. But after 3 days, I keep vomiting, have diarrhea, dizziness and the rashes all over my body is just stubbornly itchy. I have no energy anymore so I ended at one of the emergency hospital in Paris, I was admitted, done all the analysis and tests and thank God, it was negative from any harmful or viral infection.
But I would never, ever forget the feeling. Hospital is a place that I liked least, because it reminds me of sad stories like when my father was admitted to the ICU, confined to the hospital for a month. It reminds me of the first Christmas, that we are not together as family, my sisters and my parents have had to visit the hospital more often because of the critical condition of my father that time. So hospital to me is a like a place of not so happy memories.
I was never admitted to the hospital for the last 5 years. I thought, what am I doing in a foreign hospital in a far away place? My worries was not only with my sickness but the money that will be spent for my hospital bill. I am traveling on a shoe string!! But good thing, I’m not sure if it’s within the entire Europe, in France I did not pay a single cent for the consultation, admittance, analysis and tests conducted, I paid only for the medicine I have to take. Thank God! Thank God! Really.
I thought I will be OK already but after a week of being sick, I noticed that the skin rashes all over my body has not subside at all and it‘s gone to my face, my face swells. And there are nights I could not sleep because it was terribly itchy and I could not control it. I went to an emergency hospital again who specializes in tropical diseases. After practically waiting and staying in the hospital for the whole day, I had another piece of prescription. And thank God, I am feeling better now. I still need to regain my energy, be fully well and get back to being healthy again. God knows I just hate to be sick because I don’t want to be dependent on anyone else. Thanks to my Paris-based friends who lend a helping hand when I needed it most.
And because of all these, I set aside about other plans like seeking the possibility of prolonging to travel. I just want to go home. I can’t wait to go back home. I must admit that I had not taken enough preparation before my travel to Africa. I did not do any research nor read what I have to be cautious of. Africa is such a beautiful continent endowed with breathtaking landscapes but because of what had happened to me, I have to prepare myself very well for any possibility of meeting you again in the future.
I can’t wait to spend the post Christmas and New Year with my family, friends and relatives! I’ll be home soon! 😀
Malade is a French term for illness, sickness or disease.
In case of emergency or occurrence of any illness when traveling, if you happen to be in France. You may contact the following: Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris,
Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris
123 Boulevard de Port-Royal
+33 1 58 41 41 41
2 Place Doct Alfred Fournier
+33 1 42 49 49 49
They have a very good medical service and friendly staff.
Have a great New Year dear friends in the blogosphere. Be safe always and take care of your health. Because as the cliche goes, health is indeed wealth :-).