I am laying in mi cama (my bed) with my laptop as I type this. I have been pretty much living in this bed for the past 4-5 days straight. Why? Estoy enferma. (I’m sick) Because if I move around too much, or sit up or stand/walk for too long, all that you’ll see is a quick flash of me as I run by in a mad dash for the bathroom. SIGH. Yes, I’m sick otra vez. (again) This time I thought it was just a stomach virus that had spiraled/mutated from the lung/sinus virus I had a few weeks past, but come to find I think I just got food poisoning. Lovely.
Let me go back a bit . . . about three weeks ago . . .
Many people at my school began to get sick, including myself and my good friend, Emma. Within a week it developed into what I suspect was probably bronchitis and a horrible sinus infection. Lately, everytime I get ANY kind of sickness, it always goes directly to my lungs. I think this is because about 3-4 years ago I had the same type of sickness, but REALLY horrible bronchitis, and as usual I didnt want to deal with the hassle of trying to get a doctor appointment, take time off work, and who knows what kind of money I’d end up having to pay–so the bronchitis got pretty bad. And then it turns out that this virus changed into MONO, which I had for the following 5 or so weeks. Ugh. I think I ended up scarring my lungs and ever since then, ANY TIME I have any sickness, it goes directly into my lungs and lingers for months. Hmm, you’d think I’d learn my lesson and just go to the damn Doctor when it happened again.
Then once again, I find myself hacking constantly with constant fluid in my lungs, gross. After a day or two off school, many days trying to sleep it off, I finally was going to go to a doctor, and I have “international insurance” I bought in the US and they said I can go to ANY doctor here, but I DO NOT TRUST any US insurance company, because I just have this feeling I’m going to pay the money, submit the receipts, and they are going to find a reason to not reimburse the money. Plus, I wasn’t really sure how to FIND a doctor around here. So I still didn’t go.
Meanwhile, poor Sonny comes down with “something” as well, and after spending 3 days cleaning up his vomit and diarrhea, I take him to the veterinario (veterinarian) that Friday and he gets two shots and some medication and special food and I give them a stool sample. The woman was very nice and took a lot of time to write down and explain to me what his problem could be (all in Spanish), and I was pleased to understand almost everything. I had to pass up my plans to go out of town that weekend so I could stay home and give Sonny scheduled feedings and 3x a day medicine, poor little guy. When I returned on Monday, Sonny was lively and doing well, which the Vet tells me was a good sign that he doesn’t have anything serious, and the stool sample didn’t show parasites or anything. The doctor suspected Sonny just ate something off the floor that was bad, etc, who knows. Normal for dogs I guess.
So a couple weeks ago when I was still doing pretty horrible with my sickness, Martti was leaving to go back to Finland for some college examinations and to see his family (for a week and a half), and it was just unfortunate because I was in crappy condition with my cold, had a horrible tos (cough), running nose, the whole sha-bang. He leaves for his trip, I improve and have a fun time last week with friends, and go out a few nights. Then I manage to get sick AGAIN, and when he returns I’m in horrible condition again. ugh, dammit!!
Thursday or Friday this past week I start getting somewhat “sick” — you know, the “spending more time than usual sitting on the toilet” a few times. I just figured it was the normal after-effects from after going out and drinking the night before kind of thing, and I hadn’t been eating the most healthiest either. The problems continue on Saturday. By Sunday, I’m in horrible condition, moreso near the end of the night, and I’m constantly running to the bathroom. Monday morning is worse, but I manage to make it to school… barely. Afterwards, I’m in such bad condition I finally decide to see a doctor and my good friends Robin and Emma come with me to the hospital. And thank god they did! Besides the comfort of having good friends with you when you’re feeling horrible, the clinic didn’t have any English speaking doctors and both girls can understand and speak better Spanish than I, so it was just that much nicer to have them there!
After a small exam, the doctor gives me two prescriptions and some “home remedy” to drink 3 liters of water-lemon-sugar-salt-bicarbonate mix and to NOT EAT FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. I was like “what??” For those of you who know me well know that I couldn’t possibly even go TWO HOURS without eating, much less 24!! haha! Martti returns that night from Finland all excited to see me, just to find a sick, weak girl lying in bed barely able to do anything (well… nothing but run to the bathroom, haha!) 🙁
Anyway, by Monday night and Tuesday I’m doing SO MUCH WORSE, I can barely stay in bed more than 15 minutes without running to the bathroom. If I sit or stand, that just makes it worse. I manage to make it 26 hours without eating, and my dear Emma comes over Tueday afternoon and makes me potato puree and cooks and mashes up carrots (which were the only foods the Dr. said I could have after the 24 hours of fasting) while I lie in my “death bed”, and then she lays around awhile. Robin and Martti come over later to spend time with me, which was wonderful.
Honestly . . . I am SO lucky to have them. And they all are so good to me!—My two girls and my boyfriend. When you’re in such horrible condition like this in a foreign country, it’s almost “spiritually healing” when you have good. genuinely nice people around you to help you out.
Wednesday comes and I wake up feeling the weakest I have ever felt. I think at this point I had eaten maybe 600 calories in two days and drank that stupid lemon mix–which I find out from my pharmacy friends in Los Angeles IS A LAXATIVE!! What the hell?? If I’m having those PROBLEMS, why would a stupid doctor give me something to make me crap more???? ugh!!
I manage to get back to the hospital Wednesday afternoon to see the doctor again because I have gotten worse, not improved! It was actually quite a struggle to make it there because I took the bus and had to walk… and I had like NO ENERGY after eating nothing for so many days, and it was hard to walk too long without having to find a bathroom. My dear Robin came with me to the hospital for support, and of course she’s the best help with the Spanish language! My pharmacy friends, Nahal (pharmacist) and Sharon (owner/pharm tech) from Los Angeles had emailed me and said I should ask the doctor for Cipro which is a good antibiotic for the problems I’m having.
I met with a different doctor and she does the whole checkup, etc, takes my blood, and we find out it’s not parasites, or an infection, and actually not a virus either. She thinks I must have food poisoning or something, and prescribes me some orange-electrolyte powder I am to mix with water and drink for the next day AND TO NOT EAT until I can go 6 hours without running to the bathroom. I ask her again about the antibiotic, but she says I dont need it. Ugh!! Dammit, and yet ANOTHER DAY having to drink some stupid fruit-water mix and yet ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT FOOD!!!
So now it’s Thursday and I’ve been drinking this disgusting orange water for 24 hours, I’m actually feeling somewhat better, but I still havent stopped running to the bathroom (although it’s become less frequent) so I still havent eaten food. I don’t know how many calories are in this orange drink or that stupid lemon drink from Mon-Tues, but the only calories I’ve gotten from the tiny bit of potatoes, rice, and carrot puree I’ve eaten maybe total up to 1000 calories in the last 4 days. Fun.
Today, I’m ANGRY. What the hell is wrong with these doctors? NOBODY SHOULD BE THIS SICK FOR LIKE 5-6 DAYS!!! I talked to my mom yesterday and she told me the SAME THING my pharmacy friends told me— I should be taking that antibiotic, cipro. I read online more about it, and it says when you get food poisoning or have these horrible stomach problems, Cipro basically stops it very quickly and makes the running-to-the-bathroom problems improve drastically. WHY WOULDNT THE STUPID DOCTORS HERE GET IT FOR ME?
I decide to take matters into my own hands. So I went to the farmacia (pharmacy) this morning and asked the pharmacist about it, she says I need a prescription, but then after showing her the email from my pharmacy friends and talking a little more with her, she ends up getting the prescription for me and rings it up! Haha, so I just got medication without a prescription, nice!!
I’m back in bed now and feeling a bit better, but I can’t start taking the medication until tonight. Hopefully this will be over soon, sheesh!
From this whole ordeal I have concluded (and you can learn from):
1. If you have a horrible sickness that is probably a virus, GO TO THE DOCTOR!
2. Don’t always listen to that doctor, get a second opinion if you aren’t getting better.
3. Four days without eating really makes you pretty thin. And gives you headaches. And lots of food cravings that you don’t even want because your stomach is so sick anyway that you don’t want to dare eat because then you’ll be running to the bathroom again. I wonder how much weight I have lost?
4. Spanish doctors are stupid (in my opinion). I think they are more concerned with you getting better “the natural way” and giving you stupid “home remedys” that keep you sick for days on end, not able to go to school or work,,, rather then just giving you medication. Then again, maybe that’s just an “american thing” that I’m used to—- just give you a pill for everything and it will go away.
5. The pharmacies in Spain (or at least this city) are pretty relaxed. The two prescriptions I got from my doctor before, and the two I got for Sonny were all written on some informal piece of paper with NO DATE, but it is signed… and when I brought them to the pharmacy, they simply walked to a drawer, pulled out a box, gave it to you, rang it up, and didn’t even keep the original paper from your doctor. So, technically, I could take these papers to another pharmacy and fill them again if I really wanted. In addition, as you read above, I was able to get a pretty strong antibiotic without a prescription.