My adventures serving in the Peace Corps

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amoebas... gross.

So, I am in Cotonou for that conference. During the first day of the conference, I grew colder and colder throughout the day and eventually had to step out of the conference because my body physically could not stop shaking nor my teeth stop chattering. By late afternoon, I had a high fever and headache and my body ached so much I could not get out of my bed. Even in a room that was 85 degrees with three wool blankets on, I was a block of ice!
My sleep was interrupted all night long because I kept having to go to the bathroom. Between 3am and 7am, I had gone to the bathroom seven times- I knew I needed to see the doctor.
I saw the doctor at 8am, and he examined me, drew blood, and have me give some stool samples (hey folks, this is Peace Corps). The good news is, the blood test showed I didn't have malaria. The bad news is, I have amoebas living in my intestines.
There are two types of amoebas you can get here: the more mild (and more common) form, called Giardia, often comes without symptoms. I got lucky and got the more aggressive and rare form, called (I think) Entomoeba histolytica, which often comes with terrible diarrhea (and consequently dehydration), fevers, and complete loss of appetite.
So, the doctor gave me 54 pills (these amoebas are fighters, man) that I have to take over the course of a week and a half, and I have to come back in about a month to give more stool samples to ensure they are gone.
Well, there is my fun story. I now have to stay in the medical unit until at least Monday- I am going to die of boredom. My neighbors are watching my cats and I told them that I would be back by Saturday at the latest, so I'm bummed I have to put that on them. I am also not able to enjoy Cotonou fully (restaurants, museums, shopping) because I don't feel well enough to leave the medical unit! I was also unable to participate in most of the conference I had been selected for. Oh well, such is life as a Peace Coprs volunteer. At least I was down here for easy treatment.

1 comment:

Bill Frysinger said...

Great blog, Angelina. This is Bill Frysinger.

I enjoyed your pix, and your last two posts. Very sorry to hear you are rounding out your Afria experience with amoebic dysentery.

We also greatly enjoyed election night & inauguration. The pix from around the world of people dancing in the streets are impressive. Many shots from Nairobi. I'm into Obama's 2nd book, having finished Dreams From My Father. I recommend them both. Great philosophy, superb writing.

It appears you have acclimated well, and are enjoying your experience. Apparently you are also well received and appreciated. I trust you are learning much about the local cultures, and some language.

Beth graduates May 2, German & English majors & teaching (HS). She's also considered ESL, and may enjoy hearing your thoughts on it. Dan is doing well in B school, and enjoying it. He hopes to intern in DC this summer. Next year he houses with euphs David & Aimee, + 2 others in a house. He's looking fwd to living with sociable people interesting to him.

Enjoy your summer. We are currently enjoying our 12"+ snow on the ground, and cold. I think I would enjoy watching Benin transition from dry to wet season, brown to green.

Bill Frysinger