February 9th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
Val in our room

The “usual fare” of the night before – or it may have been the morning: who can tell? – clearly was not quite as usual.  I awoke feeling not very well, with a good deal of wind trapped in my stomach.  My proposed remedy for this affliction was to breakfast on a Pepsi.  It  may not have been the most sensible course, but it seemed to do the trick, for I was forced to leave Val in the café + rush back to the toilet at our house.  Now, both of us were being stricken with diahorrea.

I rejoined Val after an interval, + we strolled around for a little while, but I was seized by stomach cramps, so had to hobble home, looking, I think, a  bit like Dad used to look, when walking in his latter days, bent over to one side.  When I got in, I just collapsed on the bed, + that was where I remained, bar a couple of trips to the toilet, for the rest of the day.  My worst hour came somewhere in the middle of that time, when I was wracked with the most agonising pains – I really did start to be afraid, tho’ it sounds silly now – which finally I was able to relieve by vomiting noisily over the floor.  There was last night’s vegetable stew, virtually intact.  Val was very good – fortunately she was weaving at home today, + so able to nurse me – + cleared it all up with no complaint.  That eased my situation a little, tho’ I still suffered from stomach cramps.  It was as tho’ a giant hand was taking hold of my guts + twisting, + all I could do was beg for mercy.

At about… whenever…  Val made me a couple of cups of tea – nectar! – + even fetched me some bread + butter.  My apologies for devoting the whole entry to illness  – I know how boring other people’s illnesses are – but really there was nothing else.  And I don’t mean to imply that my pains + problems were any worse than Val’s, but it is far more difficult to write about another person’s feeling + experiences.

Val seems to have caught the weaver fever.  She wove all day (when not ministering to my needs) + into the night as well.  The woman of the house had to tell her to switch the light off, at some unearthly hour!  Shortly after this, I deserted Val + the incredibly uncomfortable bed for the hammock, + slept some.

Well, yet another in the regular series of Chris being ill.  This was, however, somewhat worse than usual, not only because of the severity of the attack, but also the fact that we were pretty isolated from anything which might lay claim to medical expertise.  Which meant that it was not just me that was feeling a touch frightened, but Val as well.  Still, I survived… which was the main thing.

  1. Pamela Blair

    I know the feeling! It overtakes you, and you can think (and write) about nothing else. Just lie there and hope it passes soon, from one end or another. I once made the mistake of drinking Nile water without first putting in an iodine tablet and was sick for three days, while traveling by paddle boat and then lorry from Sudan into Ethiopia. When I reached Gondar in Northern Ethiopia, I got some pills that did the trick, but I really thought I might die. I later found out that the medicine, Entervioform, had been banned in the States because Dutch volunteers had taken it prophylactically and had gone blind. Of course, it was still sold in Africa! Thankfully.

    PS Does Val still have weaver fever?

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