Lesson #3: Being sick sucks even in paradise

Remember how I mentioned falling off of a motorbike and tearing up my ankle? Well on Friday I felt so sick that I had to run out of class, plop into bed, and sleep for eight hours, which was a pretty good indicator that I had an infection. The signs of a skin infection are fever, dizziness, a red swollen wound, foul odor, and a fast heart rate. Minus the foul odor I could easily check off every box on the list. The treatment is antibiotics so I tried not to panic and instead worked on getting myself to the hospital to get the right medicine. I was met however with resistance. I was told I was overreacting, that I just needed a bandaid, that if I just went to bed I would feel better in the morning, that it wasn’t infected I had probably just eaten something funny. So quickly I was doubting myself, and decided that really all I needed was a good nights sleep.

Wrong. The next morning I felt far worse. At this point I didn’t just have a fever I was on fire, my stomach was in all sorts of knots, and I was so dizzy that walking in a straight line was next to impossible. So, once again I picked up the phone, called the coordinator and told her that I was still thinking that a hospital trip was a good idea. Her response? “You just need a bandaid, maybe I can meet you in two hours and walk with you to get one.” I laid in bed for those two hours fuming, feeling slightly better, but only because I was running on adrenaline. Why wouldn’t anyone listen to me? Once again I started to question if I was overreacting. Two hours later I was ready to be firm, because the thought of feeling any worse wasn’t an option. So instead of simply mentioning a doctor’s visit I said, “I am going to the hospital, and it is going to be much more difficult if you don’t come with me.” She finally listened. Turns out I have been really sick, and being in a place where no one will listen to me meant that I got a lot more sick than I should have. My temperature was 104 and I left the doctors with 7 different medications to take.

Luckily, because I spoke up for myself, today I feel like a new person, and I hope to stay this way for the rest of my time here!

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