Saturday, October 8, 2011

The reason why...

...I've not visited many blogs and commented recently, is that I've been ill.

When I arrived in South Africa early in September, I felt ill with flu-like symptons. Having just returned from three months in East Africa in rainy season, my doctor treated me for malaria. The medication worked while we were on our bike trip to the Cape but a week later back in Kenya, I started to feel ill again. I went to the clinic and was tested positive with malaria. *Sigh* A four-day course of meds and still no improvement. I returned to the clinic last Tuesday where Jo-Anne, the sister-in-charge, said she'd like to send me to Eldoret Hospital for  further tests.

Eldoret hospital is very modern and totally efficient

On Wednesday morning Grant drove me up the mountain to Eldoret Hospital.  Once I'd seen the doctor in his rooms, he sent me across the hospital courtyard to the laboratory. Here a blood sample was taken and I was asked to return in an hour-and-a-half.  Grant needed to do business in town but we were back within time for me to collect my results. I took them back to the doctor. He looked at the sheet and anounced that I had Salmonella: enteric fever (typhoid). As I wash all my vegetables with water to which I add disinfectant and only drink purified water, all I can think of is that I ingested the germ while brushing my teeth with raw tapwater.  Ewgh! The doctor wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic which I took across the courtyard, to the pharmacy this time. We drove back down the mountain to the valley and the camp. I started on my medication and took it easy for the rest of the week.  

By Monday morning I felt 100% better and as you can see by my recent posts, I had a rather busy week. All good and well. Except that I woke up on Thursday morning with rather sever pains in my joints. I also felt dizzy and wobbly on my pins. I asked Grant to please send a driver to take me to the clinic, which he did.

At the clinic, Jo-Anne checked my bloodpressure, took my temperature, listened to my heart and peered down my throat with a light. (For the latter, she didn't have a torch so she borrowed a collegue's cell phone!) She did a blood test which showed postive malaria strains again. Exhausting all her options, she suggested I go to Eldoret Hospital and see the doctor again.

Grant, who was in the middle of a huge project, arranged for Zephania, a company driver to take me to Eldoret. Of course, the road up the mountain was as bad as ever;  I felt battered and bent by the time we reached the tarred section leading to Eldoret.

Once again, the hospital was the epitome of efficiency and within minutes I was sitting opposite the doctor in his surgery. He said he was surprised to see me walk in; he expected me to be carried in on a stretcher as the managing director of the mine had phoned ahead and said I was very ill, and could he please do extensive tests to see what was wrong.

Once again, I walked across to the laboratory, had blood drawn and told to return in an hour-and-a-half for the results. I returned in time and took the results back to the doctor. He went through the sheet of strange facts with me explaining everything in detail, sweet man. He said I was recovering from the typhoid and my bloodsugar was a bit low. Other than that, he said I obviously did too much too soon and needed to go home and REST until I felt better. He prescribed painkillers for the pain and a course of vitamins.

I woke up yesterday morning feeling a little better, but not all that energetic. So I did what the doctor prescribed: I stayed in bed for most of the day.

Thanks to everyone with whom I have e-mail contact and knew I was ill, for your concern, prayers and encouragement. I believe that I'll feel better in time.

Jesus healing the lame, deaf and blind

On another note: Just before we went out on leave in September, the dean of the writer's college through whom I did a journalism course last year, wrote and asked if she could interview me. Today I opened their website and found this link on their blog. Reading the post has motivated me to get well and get going!  (The Lord in all His wisdom knows that I want to get well again so that I can continue with my many writing projects!)

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.


  1. Hi my dear, it sounds like you have what I had last time I was in Kenya. Can you believe I refused to see the doctor. Instead going to the pharmacist for drugs. I was quite sick for about one and a half weeks. I rather scared my hosts but thank God I recovered with good rest, medicine and only increasing my food intake very slowly. I'll say some more prayers for you my friend. I know you'll be feeling well soon. Big hugs. xx

  2. Time for a little rest and you'll be back to your old self soon. However, writing once in a while doesn't take that much energy. Does it?

  3. Dear, dear Jo, I'm pleased about your interview, but I'm staggered by your illnesses! Please please please take care of yourself. Please don't overdo things and make yourself ill again. This is all very, very scary.
    I'm glad you told us about it, but if the doctor says you need time, please take the time. It might be boring, but boring is better than sick. Besides, you have cats to cuddle, and one is just a kitten, who will probably be quite happy to dance on your bed to entertain you.
    Luv, K

  4. Jo dear, you have been having a torrid time of it. Lovely to hear of your writing successes though.
    Hope that whatever they are giving you now fixes the problem speedily.

    I don't know what the verification word 'Kisme' is trying to tell me, is it Kismet?

  5. Hello, Jo! I hope you are following the doctors orders and getting lots of rest. I hope you feel better soon, take care!

  6. Good grief Jo! You have been put through the wringer. So sorry that you have not felt well and hope you are now on the road to recovery. Rest, rest rest!

  7. Hi Jo,I hope you continue to improve. Malaria and typhoid are very scary illnesses to catch!We would not be familiar with them at all and they are the stuff of fiction but I am sure they will be brought under control very quickly in your hospital which seems to be state of the art.
    Staying in bed won't do you any harm at all,taking it easy when you are recovered would also be recommended!
    I have been very lax on the blog for the past few months so pop in when you can,you are always a very welcome contributor.

  8. Wondered what was wrong, looked for your post every day!

    Word gou beter!


  9. Hello Jo,
    I am very sorry to see that you have been taken ill, I wish you a very speedy recovery and I look forward to reading many more of your posts into the future.
    Look after yourself.


  10. Being sick at home is already terrible but then in Africa and each time on this hell road ! I think I would have fallen into pieces !

  11. Hello again, Jo! I just read this blog after responding to a later one a few minutes ago. Ow! Ow! Ow! Malaria - then typhoid on top of that. Much prayer going up for you now - altho it looks like you are very near 100% already. Be made completely well and whole in Jesus' name!

  12. Hi Jo! I am back to post a comment since the day I attempted to, we lost our Internet connection and were then banished to the dark ages for a few days! Telkom had changed our line identity unbeknown to us and they were equally clueless at resolving the problem. Thankfully our son discovered what they had done and was able to remedy the situation. You certainly gave us all a scare, Jo, but we are so thankful to know you are now on the mend. Please do continue to take things quietly, until you are fully recovered. Hugs xoxo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo