Kissing Mary Mallon

Somewhere under the cover of darkness, Mary reached her shadowy hands around me for an embrace. I was blissfully unaware of her silent gestures when, without a moments notice, she stole a kiss. Mary had claimed another victim with her caress.

There are so many tropical diseases that float around this place, it is often hard to fathom. There is Malaria, Chagas, Helminths, and Tuberculosis just to name a few of them. Personally, I entertained the occasional thought of Dengue from all of the mosquitoes so I was a bit taken by surprise when I acquired Typhoid. Alas, Jon has his tropical disease – that almost ranks up there with the time I ate dog.

Typhoid Mary

As I recall from my youth, being sick was often fun. After all, you got to stay home from school and avoid all those homework responsibilities. Now, even though I can still avoid such responsibilities, it seems less fun. In fact, fun isn’t a word I would use to describe it. Pain, death, misery, endless torment and wretched quivering seem like better adjectives. Typhoid fever is anything but fun.

The first four days I was blissfully unaware of my status. The constant fever I had was annoying but it was low grade. I wrote it off as a flu bug and kept on trucking. By day five my head was throbbing and by day six I was developing an upper respiratory infection. It was at this point I recalled that one of our parishoners was hospitalized with typhoid. I more than likely acquired it from her in passing.

Without hesitation I turned to the best hosptial in all of Sara: I went to Google. If anybody remembers my last writeup on the hospital here you’ll understand why I chose not to go. I’d rather die blissfully in the comfort of my nipa than spend one iota of time in that mosquito-infested, dust covered building. I hate to sound overly condemning but it’s no exaggeration. So off to Google I went. [I’m a professional patient. You should never self-diagnose.]

Fortunately I can acquire pretty much any needed medication here, over the counter or under it. All I needed was antibiotics and high doses. The local pharmacy here doesn’t have a huge selection of medications so I went with the simple: 500 mg doses of Amoxicillin. Had my stage of fever been any worse I would have had to double the dose. After four days on meds I am now improving and suffice it to say I’ve done little for these past four days but sleep. The jaundice in my eyes is now clearing up and the throbbing headaches have subsided. I hate taking pills but I’ll finish my 10-day pack of amoxicillin like a kid looking for his next candy fix. I do not want a relapse of this.

Jennifer has been a wonderful nurse over the course of all this. She’s patiently sat by my side the whole time, answering the feeble gestures of my pointing to the Gatorade bottle and wiping my forehead with a damp cloth. Hopefully in the next day or two everything will return to normal for the both of us. I’m sure she needs the rest!

Oh, for those who don’t know the history, you can read the story of Typhoid Mary here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_Mary

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