I wish we’d never have to write about being sick. But, with our commitment to always “tell it like it is,” we feel compelled to share every aspect of our lives of world travels with our readers. Even if we didn’t travel, we’d be sick from time to time. Would it be so unusual for a senior citizen to get sick once or twice a year with a cold, flu, or a virus? Certainly not.
Of course, some people never become ill, and we surely envy their sturdiness. But, we aren’t quite so fortunate. Why? We don’t know. We certainly strive to live a healthy lifestyle. Tom is considerably less likely to become ill than I am. He takes no medication and has no known conditions in his almost 70 years.
But, I don’t see him doing anything more diligently than I do, yet I fall prey to various illnesses throughout the year. This frustrates me, the person who has strived for good health all of my life through a healthy diet, exercise, and positive attitude. I guess I am missing something, or perhaps, genetics plays a more significant role than I’d thought.
Our recent bad bout of Omicron left us both reeling with exhaustion and lingering effects, most of which continue to subside day by day. Tom had fully recovered from Covid pneumonia. We both only have a tickle of cough on occasion.
When we arrived in Marloth Park on Tuesday, although exhausted from the long journey but we both knew a few good night’s sleep, we’d recover from the two-day trip from Las Vegas, Nevada, back to South Africa, the last leg of which was a 15-hour red-eye in the coach. We each only slept an hour or two, sitting straight up in our seats. The remainder of the time was spent watching movies on the entertainment screens at our seats.
Once in Marloth Park, we were excited to complete the recovery of Covid while resting from the long journey and being fit and chipper to cherish our time back in the bush. But that was not the case.
On Wednesday, we both started experiencing severe diarrhea and stomach pain. I was feeling nauseous and very ill, Tom less so. By Wednesday evening, I had a fever and lay under four blankets on the bed, shivering all night. I took two Paracetamol (Tylenol) every six hours to keep the temperature down but never slept a wink due to the constant need to run to the bathroom and the awful feeling of having a fever.
Thursday, I never left the bed other than to shower and run to the bathroom. Tom was struggling as well, but not quite as bad. I couldn’t eat, knowing the result would be more trips to the bathroom, but I didn’t have an appetite. By Thursday night, we acknowledged that we needed to see Doc Theo as soon as we could get an appointment, hopefully on Friday with the weekend coming.
Our appointment was scheduled for 2:30 pm, 1430 hrs, but we arrived 30 minutes earlier, and he could see us. At that point, I could barely keep my head up. We told Theo about our awful bouts of Covid and Tom’s pneumonia. He explained that Covid weakens the immune system, which is most likely why we’d both become sick at this time.
He diligently examined each of us. He ordered blood tests just for me since, most likely, we had the same affliction. He noted my case was much worse than Tom’s since he’d been on antibiotics for pneumonia only a week or two earlier, which provided him some lingering protection.
The testing lab is across the street from the doctor’s office. There was no way I could have walked, so we drove. We went back to Theo’s office to await the results. In no time at all, he called us back into his office and said I had a severe gastrointestinal infection, either e-coli or salmonella. Tom has a lighter version. How did he know Tom’s was less? From palpating our stomachs. Mine was tender to the touch where Tom’s was not. Plus, Tom’s symptoms were less severe.
He prescribed a litany of medications for each of us. Tom didn’t need antibiotics which was good since he’d recently been on two. But, he prescribed Cipro and other meds for me. Cipro is commonly used in Africa to treat bacterial infections which is what I have.
When we arrived at the pharmacy i brought the prescriptions inside and handed them to the pharmacist. But moments later I could no longer stand and went back to the car, asking Tom to go inside and collect them when they were ready. By 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., we were back at the house, began taking our meds while I headed back to bed. We had scrambled eggs for dinner, the first food we had eaten all day. But, within minutes of eating, the rushing to the bathroom began again.
This morning I am a little better, and so is Tom. We are hopeful we are on the mend. How we got this dreadful infection is unknown to us. We went over everything we ate and drank, and there is nothing we ate the same except for the dinner we made at the house, salad (unbagged), rice (for Tom), and meat, nothing that should have caused an issue. But one never knows. It could have been either the salad or the beef, which was fresh when we cooked them.
So, that, dear readers, is why we didn’t do a post yesterday, nor did we take any new photos. I’m still not up to sitting outdoors and watching our animal friends visit. But that will come in time, and for that, we can hardly wait.
Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2021: