Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Catching Up

There was a pretty long gap between my last post in July and the latest ones in December. I have a pretty good reason for that. F. and I stayed in Brazil until August, but I became so ill I really feel blessed that I made it through okay. In the beginning of August I had another stomach episode (even before that I got seasick on the way to an island resort area, but I can't even speak on that cause I get flashbacks...ugh). So I was sick at the start of August, and then I got a little better. Then right before my son's birthday on the 7th, I started to feel very ill, feverish and achy. It got progressively worse, until I found a place for him to be and took a taxi to the hospital. I could barely walk and had started coughing and having problems breathing.

In Brazil you have to put down a 2500 reis deposit (about 1400 USD) when you go to the emergency (at least at the hospital I went to). So after I paid the money and filled out the paperwork, I got to sit for hours while I waited and then had chest xrays, blood tests, and an oxygen treatment. They thought I had denge fever, then pneumonia, but I was eventually diagnosed as having a "lung infection". I am still not convinced that it was not the flu or H1N1. I got antibiotics and was sent home.

Unfortunately, the antibiotics did little. I kept a 103 degree temperature for about a week and really was not 100% I was gonna make it (I am dramatic but it was really bad, man). I emailed my mentor back in the States and gave him instructions to facilitate things for me and my family in the event that I were to become incapacitated. I didn't tell my parents cause I did not want them to worry.

Finally, it was time to go. I really only made it through cause of the kindness of my house guest and some local friends who took care of me and my son. I never felt so helpless before....damn, just thinking about it makes me want to cry. I made it through though, praise God! So, anyway, F. and I arrive home and my parents could see how sick I was ( I had lost my voice for a few days while in Brazil and was still very hoarse plus I coughed so hard it sounded like I was hacking up a lung). Shortly after arriving in the states I went to the MSU clinic (free for students, so I drove the 1.5 hours to go to the doctor...well, my mom drove, but still). The funny thing is, the night before we went to MSU, my throat starting hurting really bad and I had white spots on my tonsils. I thought strep throat (whose horror I had experienced before). My cousin insisted that I gargle with peroxide and the next day the pain was gone but the spots were still there. The doctor diagnosed me with having bronchitis and tonsillitis and gave me another, different course of antibiotics. I was better within a week or so.

So that was the end of my summer in Brazil (Brazilian winter). I will share later some of the really cool things that I experienced during my fall in Detroit. Now I am enjoying winter back in Brazil (Brazilian summer). Reflecting on this post, I think I better be about the business of making sure my contingency plans are in place in case I take ill again (or God forbid, my son does)...

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