I should have known it was coming, everyone I know has been falling ill around me for the past few weeks and so it was only a matter of time before I got mine (even though I had a gum infection a couple of weeks back). On Monday night I left The Language at half six to go and meet Em and co at Super English before heading to the night market for dinner i.e. business as usual. I felt fine and dandy, if a little tired, so I was a tad confused when my legs started aching and I lost every ounce of energy en route to our food stall of choice.
After forcing the food down I made my excuses and left, heading back to the flat to get changed (I feel oh-so-cool walking around the market in my Radio Shack-esque uniform) and drop off some school books. By this point my eyes were closing and my balance was slowly deserting me even though it wasn’t yet half seven. I soon got a text from Em saying she’d got home so I jumped on the bike to head over. A couple of blocks down the road I stopped for a red light but hear someone peeping their horn behind me. “What the fuck?” I thought, turning around to look at them. When I turned back to the road I realised what they were getting at – I’d pulled to a stop a full 10 metres short of the actual stoplight.
Oops. I think I may be getting ill…
By the time I’d driven the five minutes to Em’s place I was running a hellish temperature and my lower legs felt like molten lead and also liable to snap at any moment. Cue a 36-hour sojourn in bed while consuming all the water, tea and paracetamol my body could handle and perfecting the art of rapidly melting frozen bottles of water on my forehead. I’d spent some time looking after Em for various reasons during the past month or so and she was only too ready to repay the favour – I was given strict orders not to leave the safety of the bedroom despite my natural inclination to man up, get out and get things done. She can be pretty damn persuasive, especially when I have the energy of a starved kitten.
Thankfully I also managed to find cover for my classes, it’s a good bunch I work with 🙂 I’m back at work today (Wednesday), still feeling pretty exhausted from two night’s sleep brought to me only by Em’s heavy duty painkillers but no longer quite as toasty.
I often forget just how vulnerable we can be over here, even after nine months in the country. The mixture of the extreme climate (see previous posts), different germs, constant proximity to the disease-factories that are young children and a close-knit teacher community which spreads any bugs like wildfire – all of these things conspire to form a target-rich environment for any opportunistic bacteria which happen to be floating around. All it takes is one wee chink in your immune system’s armour and you’re out of the game for anything from a day to a fortnight.
Not that it’s going to put me off – as you may have noticed the pro’s of being in Thailand far outweigh any illness mother nature can throw at me. I just hope I get a little more warning next time 🙂