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My Ramadhan so far…

I wanted to post about Ramadhan – it’s been a year since I had my camera, I thought this time I would get even better pictures of Iftar meals. And just as a way of feeling connected to what I am doing. My Ramadhan didn’t get off to the best start, however, with a 13 hour trip to Montego Bay (didn’t fast, travelers are allowed not to fast) that culminated in a 24 hour migraine episode. So I didn’t fast for those 4 days as I was not physically up to it. Lived off Ritz-Carlton Room service.

Then the day before I was due to travel back to Guyana this happened – family. Not immediate or blood, but family nonetheless,particularly since I don’t have many near and dear here. Arriving the night before the funeral, I was exhausted, but it was hectic travel, especially when you’re in shock and still recovering from the migraine. That night I had violent nausea, chills and fever. Figured – the flu. Was so bad, I missed the funeral, and couldn’t make many trips to even see much of the visiting bereaved, or go to the masjid for Tarawih prayers. My family went back to Trinidad, and still I was sick. Not much of a Ramadhan…

So 10 days since I was first ill (not counting the migraine) and I was still racked by fevers every day and night. And they weren’t getting better. I was consistently getting temps of 39° C…which for me is astronomically high since even normal fevers barely reach 38°. I was dragging myself into work for 3 half days this week and wondering whether I was turning into a hypochondriac or letting the stress of work make me physically ill as some sort of procrastination-avoidance technique. I’d only managed to fast 3 days so far, even though I wasn’t actually eating any way. This line of thinking didn’t really make me feel any better about myself either.

Friday, I decided to not take any ibuprofen which was the only thing that had been breaking the fever. I hadn’t been eating since Wednesday, so didn’t want to ruin my stomach. And so, Friday, I could not get out of bed, because the fever never went. At this point I guessed malaria (I do tend to be a tad dramatic sometimes). Big sister, as concerned as she was, laughed at me since I had no body pains and I hadn’t actually been to the interior. Plus I don’t even get mosquitoes in my flat, far less malaria-carrying ones from the Amazonian rain forest.

Today I went to the doctor, who also ruled out malaria, but had blood drawn to test for 2 other diseases.

I have typhoid fever.

Low-grade, but I have typhoid.

The most ridiculous part – Did I contract the Fever in the fancy Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay. Because I have been sick ever since the night of my return. How’s that for 5-star service? (Note – I have since checked the incubation period and it’s 10-20 days, so I probably picked this up right here in Guyana, which is less surprising somehow, or on my last trip to Barbados.)

I have a 5-day treatment, 7 days sick leave and am going to book a flight home. At least now I understand what’s been going on and I am going to take a much needed guilt-free break from thinking about work.

Sigh. Typhoid fever. Risks of travel I guess.

I am officially febrile, with cause. No hypochondriac-ness. Yay. Now to recover and remove the Salmonella Typhii from my system.

Symptoms
Courtesy Wikipedia

After infection, symptoms include:

* incubation period is 10 to 20 days
* a high fever from 39 °C to 40 °C (103 °F to 104 °F) that rises slowly – CHECK
* chills – CHECK
* bouts of sweating- CHECK
* bradycardia (slow heart rate)
* coughing- CHECK
* skin symptoms- CHECK
* Children often vomit and have diarrhoea.
* pulse becomes weak and rapid
* In 2nd phase constipation is replaced by severe pea-soup-like diarrhoea faeces may also contain blood.[2]
* weakness- CHECK
* diarrhea
* headaches- CHECK
* myalgia (muscle pain), not to be confused with the more severe muscle pain in Dengue fever, known as “Breakbone fever.”
* lack of appetite- CHECK
* constipation
* stomach pains
* in some cases, a rash of flat, rose-colored spots called “rose spots”- CHECK
* in some cases, loss of hair resulting from the prolonged high fever
* extreme symptoms such as intestinal perforation or hemorrhage, delusions and confusion are also possible.- Was this what caused me to lock myself out of my flat sans handbag etc?

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14 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. That link thing doesn’t work.

    Yikes. I knew it was bad but…
    Oh well, you’re just going to come home and sleep and let us feed you like usual.

    1. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 8th, 2006 at 2:57 am
  2. what link thing?

    3. chennette on October 8th, 2006 at 3:31 am
  3. where you write “Then the day before I was due to travel back to Guyana this happened – family.”

    the “this” is a link!

    4. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 8th, 2006 at 1:10 pm
  4. fixed it – I know I did it right the first time, and even though they fancied up the HTML editor this has happened before.

    5. chennette on October 8th, 2006 at 10:17 pm
  5. I don’t use the html editor.

    :-)

    Too much stress.

    6. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 9th, 2006 at 12:12 am
  6. Do you know how long it takes me to get a link right in a post? I have to carefully copy and paste everything. Twice. Truly pathetic.

    I looked up your tropical disease on Wikipedia when you told me, BTW. Got to learn all about typhoic mary, the chef that liked to add a little something extra to the meals she cooked. Sigh.

    7. ewe_are_here on October 9th, 2006 at 8:58 am
  7. Yeah, these templates live to torture – I know it would be easier just to do the html myself…
    Typhoid Mary – yes, that was a great time!
    I haven’t really heard much about an epidemic of typhoid in Guyana, so wondering if I picked it up elsewhere, or if it’s just always present here. I should have gotten vaccinated but it never occurred to me.

    8. chennette on October 9th, 2006 at 12:31 pm
  8. Wow. Typhoid fever.. That is a pretty scary risk of travelling. My condolences for your loss. How was the food at the Ritz Carlton? or were you too ill?

    9. Island Spice on October 9th, 2006 at 1:33 pm
  9. The food was good though, and the service excellent. They cater fairly well to their sick guests. I have pictures on my Flickr

    10. chennette on October 9th, 2006 at 1:46 pm
  10. You are a real foodie. Sick and yet taking pix of your room service special requests!! I am glad to hear that the Ritz did well in taking care of you. Hope that icky typhoid fever leaves you soon so I can follow you on more gastronomic jaunts..

    11. Island Spice on October 9th, 2006 at 1:59 pm
  11. Gosh, Chennette, like I real fall behind. Typhoid and all? Well I hope you are better by now.

    Spice, Chennette is ah real foodie. Imagine she have thyfoid and she still snapping the food, lol.

    12. The Manicou on October 23rd, 2006 at 8:24 pm
  12. and spreading typhoid to us all!!!!

    13. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 23rd, 2006 at 9:47 pm
  13. ey – we have documented proof that I didn’t infect allyuh 😛

    14. chennette on October 23rd, 2006 at 11:02 pm
  14. *yet*

    15. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 24th, 2006 at 1:30 am

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Ramadhan Mubarak! » Typhoid Fever!!! on October 8, 2006 at 2:59 am

    […] See her post on the subject. […]

  2. […] at anyone who is thinking “FIVE WEEKS??!!?” I haven’t had a break since last May. Typhoid Fever does not […]

  3. […] would be like. So I utilised my exemption gratfeully. Of course, that was the trip where I began my typhoid symptoms, so maybe it wasn’t just the […]

  4. […] 5 month posting in Barbados. And the 6 week trip for Hajj. And the 7 week absence during my bout of typhoid fever. And the traveling…You get the […]

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