Saturday, October 13, 2007


When the flight attendant asked if a doctor or nurse was on board (privately, I'd always thought they only did that in films) because a man had fainted on his way to the toilets, my first thought was "Gee, that could have been you."

A mere 48 hours before, I had been horribly sick myself. I don't know WHAT kind of killer bug, virus or bacteria had got me, but it certainly cought me unawares and was quite a humbling experience for someone like me who had arrogantly assumed she'd have a lifelong guarantee for health, minor colds aside. After all, I survived a trip to India withouth the slightest gastric or other problems (mind you, I AM super careful when on vacation and obviously avoid all the potential health hazards like drinks on ice, lettuce, fruit-you-can't-peel, etc.), the strongest potions my medicine cabinet contains are LemSip and throat lozenges and I don't even have a GP in Vienna where I've lived for 17 years.
It all began on Monday night in Amman when I decided I'd rather skip dinner as I felt oddly cold and queasy when we returned from a day of sight-seeing. I put it down to the merciless air-conditioning on the bus, sent my Mum to dinner with the rest of the group, asking her to put the spare blanket on top of mine. A good night's sleep will do the trick, I thought. Little did I know that a night of shivering like mad (the borrowed thermometer revealed a temperature of 39.9°), blood-streaked diarrhea (yum!), vomiting and finally waking up my Mum by fainting in the bathroom with a loud thud was to follow.
The following day I stayed on the bus which thankfully had a toilet, vegetating with closed eyes while the group tool pictures of all the sights on the way from Amman to Petra. I felt incredibly miserable, but well enough to snap at Mum to stop feeling my forehead every 10 minutes...I did not want to attract more attention and compassion of fellow travellers than I already had. What better occasion to swap stories of travel sickness in graphic details ("Honey, do you remember Thailand where you were up all night puking your heart out? I'm sure it was that soup!") and offer theories on what might have caused my condition. I pretended to be asleep, randomly popping in the drugs I was offered.
The next moring, I decided stomach cramps had lower priority than what Petra had to offer. It was, after all, the highlight of this trip to Jordan. What can I say - I'm glad willpower won over killer bug and even if I felt somewhat light-headed and zombified from having eaten very little on two days running (no pun intended...) I'd not have missed the 5 hours' walk for anything.
the Nabatheans had good taste (onemorehandbag) Peta was breathtakingly beautiful and gastric nightmare aside, I really liked Jordan. More pics to follow.
Until last week, I had never been able to swallow pills, regardless of their size. The only way to get them down was with a little manual help which had me retch. When I was sick as a kid, my parents tried to trick me by stuffing them into bread rolls, plunging them in yoghurt, you name it. In the end, they always had to ask the doctor whether the medicine came as fizzy tablet or suppository as well. My father used to get quite angry at my hystherics, telling me that "you'll see, one day you'll have no choice, then you'll just have to learn to swallow them". He was right and it was surprisingly easy.
So. Here I am again. Alive and kicking and ready to bore you with photos for the posts coming. Hah!


Blogger ka-ma said...

Wow, that must have been bad! But I am glad you survived and came back to tell the story. We had similar experience with our two boys last time we were in Egypt. Those bugs are nasty!

On the other hand, I am a quite envious about the trip! Petra has always been on the top of my travel wish list.

10/13/2007 03:06:00 PM  

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