Over the past three weeks, I had a lot of cool things planned that I wanted to tell you all about.
I wanted to tell you all about going to the Werribee Open Range Zoo on my birthday and whether or not the expensive French restaurant, Chez Olivier’s, is any good.
I wanted to tell you about celebrating Christmas with some other expats in 100 degree heat.
I wanted to tell you about the musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, that was playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre and to which I had tickets.
I wanted to tell you about the cool fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
But I’m actually not going to tell you about any of that because I didn’t get to do any of it.
You wanna know what I’ve been doing for the past three weeks? I’ve been lying in bed, moaning and groaning in agony, because I picked up salmonella from a Turkish restaurant.
Yep, you heard me right. I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s sicker than I’ve ever been in my life. I even got to spend my birthday in the hospital, which made me even more miserable, both because my birthday was ruined and because I was a lot less comfortable at the hospital than I had been in my own bed.
The only upside to the whole sorry episode was that I lost 16 pounds and well exceeded any weight loss goals I might have set as a New Year’s Resolution, so I guess I’m off the hook this year. But even that isn’t a 100% positive thing because I actually lost almost all of my muscle mass and now I look like a sack of skin and bones and really just not even remotely attractive at all and none of my clothes fit. I kind of feel like I wasted a lot of time doing my workout DVDs every day and building up all that muscle only to have it be converted into diarrhea and end up in the toilet. It doesn’t exactly motivate me to exercise again.
If you’ve never had salmonella- and I really hope it never, ever happens to you, unless you’re someone I hate- it will, as Australians like to say, “knock you for a six”. There are different strains of it and some are worse than others. You could conceivably get better in under a week and have no need for a hospital stay. But I guess I got one of the bad varieties. The doctor says it could be another month before I feel back to normal. And while I’m now able to be up and about (thank god because my bed was getting really boring!), I still suffer from regular abdominal cramps and a “wonky bowel”, as my doctor eloquently put it, and so I’m pretty limited in what activities I can do.
I did attempt to go see that musical, though. It was part of my birthday present and G had spent so much time and effort planning my birthday that I felt really awful about ruining it by being sick. (I also ruined his last birthday, too- we spent it in the hospital while I was being treated for flesh eating bacteria.) So I decided that, even though I had been in bed all day and had only just been released from hospital and was so light headed that I could not sit up without help, that I would make an effort to go to the show. How hard could it be? All I would have to do is sit there for two hours.
So I said I was suddenly feeling better and that we should go and G’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. After that, I couldn’t really tell him that I actually suddenly felt very ill, worse than before, and maybe he should leave me at home.
I made it through the show, almost to the intermission. But 20 minutes before intermission, I suddenly felt like it would be safer if I sat in the bathroom because if my stomach suddenly felt angry, I wouldn’t have time to get there before making a huge mess all over someone. I guess I must have been in there a long time or maybe it was my ghost white face or unsteady gait, but as soon as I left the bathroom to go wait for G to emerge for intermission, the first aid people intercepted me and made me sit with them until G came to find me.
It was really embarrassing because everyone who passed by was staring at me, wondering what was wrong with me and why the first aid people were fawning all over me. G did find me and carried me to the car and we went home. I cried the whole way home because I felt so bad about ruining the evening and also because I was mad that I’d already been sick for over a week and wasn’t getting any better.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe I’ll get a make-up birthday and will still get to go to Werribee Open Range Zoo, but in the meantime, all I have to tell you about is my experience with a public hospital. It’s long and it’s bad, so I’ll save that for another post.