Just in case you think that all K and I do is fun and exciting I’ll share with you this last week’s challenges. Monday I woke up with red blotchy spots on the right side of my chest, underarm and up my shoulder. The spots were sensitive to the touch and super scary looking. But other than the discomfort of the spots I felt fine so I did what any good Vetter does, I went to work and didn’t think about it. Finally by Tuesday afternoon I was in a lot of pain and K convinced me to go to the clinic. At the clinic I was diagnosed with a staph infection and given antibiotics. Before sending me on my way the Dr. googled staph infections and showed me pictures of staph and what I should look for if it got worse, it was horrifying.
Now I pride myself on being a clean person and was totally disgusted with myself for having contracted a staph infection. I was embarrassed to tell K what I had and did not want to tell any of my friends and colleagues. I was super diligent in the medication regiment; it was four pills a day that you take on an empty stomach. So either an hour before you eat or two hours after; it sounds simple but it becomes a bit complicated and very structured. Not only did the medication make me feel like I was coming down with the flu but it also gave me wicked heartburn like I have never experienced. But still I carried on.
By Friday there had been no change in the spots and I was still struggling with the discomfort. I decided to return to the clinic for a follow up, hoping for a change in medication. However, on this visit a different Dr. introduced me to the Nairobi Fly and told me that I must have had a run in with one. He explained that while the Nairobi Fly does not bite or sting, if you come into contact with their internal guts it would leave a burn on your skin similar to an acid burn. Its best to flick them off your person instead of slap them or squish. I must have felt something on my shoulder or chest and rubbed it instead of flicking it off, hence all the burns on my skin. I was given burn cream, told to stop the antibiotics and sent on my way. The burn cream worked like a charm and I was feeling relief within the first application. I was also feeling so much cleaner to know that I did not in fact have a staph infection. Things were looking up.
K and I went about our weekend, had dinner out with friends and attended what was called “the party of the year” (which it totally was not) but near the end of our Saturday evening K began to feel a bit sick and went to the car to lay down. By the time we reached home he was burning up with a fever and feeling nauseated. It was a long night of cold sweats, losing his dinner and high fever delusions. In the midst of a high fever delusion K made me sweat that I wouldn’t use the fire extinguisher, he was extremely adamant. By 8am the next morning I was on the phone to the clinic to see if there was someone who could see K as it was a Sunday morning and the clinic does not have office hours on Sundays. Unfortunately, the clinic staff was up all night with a patient who had to be medically evacuated to Nairobi, so they were busy until 11am, but told us we could come then. So we waited out the morning. 15 minutes before we had to leave I noticed that there was a flat tire on the only remaining vehicle at our house, so I rallied some help in changing the tire (thank you Paul and Stanley) and finally drove to the clinic with the help of a good friend (Sarah Almari you are the very best there is). K was admitted to the clinic and given a shot to reduce the headache and fever. He was tested for malaria and several other common issues seen in Juba. All the tests came back negative, but the Dr. was convinced that with his symptoms that it was malaria. Often in the beginning stages of malaria a person will test negative. Its a tricky disease that malaria. K also had a chest infection, which gives him a nasty cough and could also contribute to the headache and fever. Pretty much he was a mess. We loaded up on medication to treat the malaria and chest infection and drove home totally exhausted.
We sequestered ourselves to our room, slept/watched movies and shows all day and it was lights out before 9:45pm. Although we had a better night we are still slow going. K will stay home for a few days to make sure that he kicks the malaria and chest infection. I am trudging through, but definitely slowly. Its been a rough week.