Day 22 – June 4th

I woke up with a high fever, but went to work anyway. Jenny stayed home since she wasn’t feeling well, but it’s just due to her time of the month. She made me promise that I would tell my boss today about how sick I’ve been and for how long. Once Phanuel was in, I explained that I hadn’t been feeling well and had been running a fever off and on for about 2-2.5 weeks. He asked me a couple more questions, which I answered and I told him that I figured I was just acclimating and probably needed to give myself more time. (The last thing I wanted was to be viewed as this poor little white girl who can’t handle life here in the Congo and I’m not going to lie, I was worried that maybe that was why I was sick.) Well, moving on, he disagreed and said he’d like to see if the doctor was in and if so, would like to take me. He took me to the doctor and I explained my symptoms. He thought three things – malaria, strep throat, and pneumonia. 

I was a bit disappointed; all he did was use a tongue depressor to look at my throat. He said it was very inflamed and red. I was surprised he didn’t look at anything else, but figured I was in another country and needed to adjust. He wrote me three prescriptions for antibiotics, as he started to write the first one, I stopped him. He hadn’t asked anything about my health history or allergies and I knew he was most likely prescribing something with penicillin. I am allergic to penicillin and explained that to him. He was surprised and realized that he should have asked. After writing the prescriptions, he asked me to see the nurse.

I eventually saw the nurse and she took my blood pressure, which was 130/80 and my pulse was 81. She said good and I tried to explain that no it was not. I am normally in the 80s over upper 50s-low 60s. The highest I’ve seen before was 112/82. My pulse was also very high, it’s normally no higher than about 58. She did not seem to understand though. The nurse also took some blood from my finger for a rapid malaria test and told me to come back at 11:30am for the results.

I called mom and gave her the scoop on what was going on since she had texted me and I knew she was awake. We talked for a bit and then I went back to the nurse for my results – negative. She had me take the paper into the doctor and he said he’ll treat me with the antibiotics for a few days, then for malaria if that doesn’t work since the medicine I am taking to prevent malaria can cause a false negative reading.

Charlie, our cook, made us beautiful salads tonight. They were so big and so good that we just put the rest of the dinner away. Through talking with Jenny and my mom, I’ve decided to stay home tomorrow and see if rest combined with the meds can get rid of this bug. Plus, the meds are pretty strong and make me feel pretty sick when I take them. I text messaged my boss and he is very pleased that I will be resting.

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