Improbable Phrases

Who says that?

Imaginary French People, and Other Issues

Last week, I was washing my hair and accidentally sprayed water into my mouth and nose. I coughed, spluttered, and ultimately caught paratyphoid fever.

I’m generally very careful of my use of the water here because I cannot handle having it against my skin for very long. Having it inside my body? Disaster.

Monday night: Right at bedtime I spike a sudden fever so high that I could not stop shaking. I eventually settled down enough to sleep, but it took a while. During the night, the vomiting started.

Tuesday: Haze of fever, vomiting, diarrhea. I made the mistake of thinking that juice (which I had in the house) would be an acceptable substitute for a local version of Gatorade (which I did not). This choice of convenience was incredibly inconvenient for most of the day.

Wednesday: Watched TV between incidents. Discovered that Seth Green is (was? Stuff on the StarWorld channel might be very old) in a very sexist sitcom. At this point I’m psyching myself up to go to work on Thursday. At my job you aren’t permitted to miss more than two days in a row. If you do, they dock your pay.

Thursday: Drag out of bed. It takes 15 minutes to walk down to the place where I wait for the bus because I stop a couple of times. I have two classes on Thursday and I throw up in the break between them. My vice principal sends me home after I finish the second class. I try to see the doctor in the complex when I get back, but he’s out for the day.

Thursday night: Having watched a very dark French movie (subtitled) about the First World War, I wake up in the middle of the night with the very compelling idea that I have to find a French person. Because I do! But how will I find them? I need to get up and find them. Because I have to find a French person! I run this particularly nonsensical script for several minutes before a more rational piece of my brain catches up and reminds me that I know no French people. Exceedingly creeped out, I sit and watch some StarWorld (no French!) until I calm down.

Friday: To the doctor. He almost immediately diagnoses me with paratyphoid fever. Symptoms: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, erratic pulse and pressure, and occasional short bouts of psychosis. Nice to have those French people explained. He also tells me that my pulse is the lowest he’s taken all day. Bottom of the class pride! I take my bag of antibiotics back to my apartment and settle in to get better.

Saturday: Discover that the local version of Gatorade comes in a two liter bottle. Buy one, but quickly discover it’s cumbersome and requires both hands to tip it back to drink from.

Sunday to now: Feel essentially back to normal.

Paratyphoid fever? I don’t recommend it at all. But it responds to antibiotics pretty quickly.


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