Friday, January 27th, 6:00am: I head to Lomé with my good friend Austin for a meeting!
8:00am: Our journey is successful. Austin says, “My trips are never usually this easy.” We both agree that something is about to go horribly wrong.
6:00pm: Following the meeting, Austin and I join our friends for a fancy dinner by the beach
Saturday, 7:00am: I wake up. My stomach does not feel good.
7:30: I violently throw up.
7:34: I leave the bathroom. Austin asks, “Are you okay?”
7:35: I reply, “Yeah, of course. I was just on the phone with a client.”
7:36: Austin points out that my phone was on the bed the entire time and that I do not currently have any clients.
7:45: I try to go back to bed. My temperature rises and my stomach pain increases significantly.
8:15: I call the Peace Corps Medical Officer (PCMO) and tell him about my symptoms. He says he will meet me in his office later in the morning. (You may remember previously reading about my amazing PCMO. If not, enjoy the time I got stung by a scorpion)
8:17: PCMO asks if I have a temperature.
8:18: I realize I don’t have a thermometer.
8:19: Austin takes my temperature. (Warning: the following picture is not suitable for all ages. Viewer discretion advised)
8:45: Austin and I walk from our hotel to the Peace Corps office.
8:50: I sweat through my shirt. I pause to catch my breath.
8:51: Austin tells me to hurry up.
9:00: We reach the office.
9:15: I lose feelings in my arms and legs.
9:20: With all my remaining strength, I call one of my best friends, Kyree. I thank him for being a great friend and forgive him for the time in Philadelphia that he thought I stole $800 from him.
9:30: I throw up again. My mouth goes numb.
9:40: I try to go for a walk. I make it about twenty steps before I have to turn around.
10:00 PCMO arrives and gives me a glucose IV
10:10: I have my first Peace Corps cry that wasn’t while watching The West Wing
10:20: Slowly, I begin to feel a little better.
10:30: PCMO gives me medicine to stop the vomiting.
10:35: I throw up said medicine.
10:40: Recognizing the potential this disaster has to be a widely-read blog post, I ask Austin to take a picture of me looking heroic.
10:50: I ask the PCMO if I’m going to make it back to my village before tomorrow
10:51: PCMO says, “That should be the least of your worries right now.”
10:51: Austin and I both yell, “WHAT SHOULD BE?!”
10:52: PCMO laughs and says that isn’t what he meant. The three of us share this fun moment together.
11:30: The IV drip finishes. I head to the hospital.
12:15pm: I meet the x-ray technician. She tells me to take off all of my clothes except for my underwear.
12:17: Technician sees the button on my underwear, hands me a pair of scissors, and tells me to cut off the button.
12:18: I explain that this is the only underwear I have.
12:19: Technician points to the scissors.
12:19: I cut the button.
12:20: Technician says, “Oh wait! You can just put on this gown. You don’t have to cut anything.”
12:21: I put on the hospital gown and take x-rays.
12:25: Nurse walks by me in my gown and says, “Bonjour, madame.” Nurse continues walking.
12:26: Nurse turns around.
12:26: Nurse says, “Monsieur?”
12:27: Nurse walks away.
12:35: I enter my hospital room. It is luxurious.
1:30: Nurse adds pain medicine to my IV drip.
6:35: A visit from the other PCMO. Peace Corps makes me feel so loved and valued ❤
7:00: I ask nurse to bring me a towel for my shower.
7:01: Nurse informs me that towel service is not available.
7:15: After my shower, I dry off with my hospital gown.
Sunday, 4:30am: Nurse comes into my room to take vitals and give me more IV fluids. As she leaves, she turns on the lights.
7:00: Chef comes into my room and asks what I would like to eat for lunch and dinner.
7:01. I ask for plain rice and soup. I reiterate that plain is good.
7:02: Chef says he understands.
7:30: Chef returns, asking if I would like sardines on my rice.
10:30: I eat for the first time in 36 hours.
10:55: My body responds rationally to the intake of food.
10:58: DO NOT READ THIS ONE IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 OR MY MOM. I wash my underwear in the sink and hang them on the balcony to dry. NOBODY SAID IT WAS EASY 🎶
3:00pm: Nurse puts new needle in my arm.
3:01: I wince.
3:02: Nurse instructs me to be more careful. I tell her I will be more careful next time.
4:00pm: Two of my closest friends, Kyree and my big Katie, surprise my at the hospital!
4:15: We laugh about how much has gone wrong in our lives and how grateful we are to still be alive and mostly well.
4:16: I nervously bite my nails thinking of what else could go wrong.
4:17: The front half of my tooth chips off.
4:18: The three of us laugh. Of course my tooth chipped off!
4:23: Selfie with tooth
6:00: Nurse takes me to an ultrasound.
6:05: Doctor rubs gel on my stomach.
6:06: I say, “Ooh! That’s cold!” My ascent into stock sitcom character is complete.
6:20: Everything looks good!
Monday, 11am: I leave the hospital.
Monday-the next Monday: I stay in the Peace Corps medical unit bedroom, running tests and using all the AC in the world.
Monday: I find out that I will be going to the Regional Medical Office in Morocco to run more tests.
Tuesday: I return to village and spend three days with my good friends and family.
Sunday: I say hello to my awesome Peace Corps friends, who are currently at a conference.
Right now, Tuesday, 6:36: I am sitting on the plane, waiting for my flight to take off to Morocco 🇹🇬🇲🇦❤