Stuck by the dreaded lurgy

18 October: Struck by the dreaded lurgy…

On my last day in Siem Reap I woke up feeling like a tuk-tuk had run backwards and forwards over me during the night and I immediately scanned back through recent nights for when I might have been bitten by the dreaded anopheles mosquito!  Unfortunately I am never careful in this regard (taking confidence from the fact that I never seem to get bitten and that I have so far escaped malaria despite plenty of exposure.)  However I still doubted that Malaria would come upon me so soon (had only been in Cambodia 7 days) and thought perhaps I might have dengue.  By the time I packed and headed to the airport I was shivering with a temperature and had severe body aches, so decided I would try to find a clinic in the short time I had in PP when I go there.  Bangkok Air were very kind and wrapped me up in half a dozen blankets and gave me lots of water.  In PP I took the first tuk-tuk to town but being sunday could not find a clinic – found a pharmacy instead and he verified my thought that it was dengue.  He sold me paracetamol and a thermometer which I used to find my temperature was a shocking 38 degrees and climbing 0.1 degree every half hour or so.  By the time I got back to PP airport I was really sick and very worried that the temperature police at singapore would not let me in the country or worse still not let me fly to Hong Kong to meet Grace!  I rugged up on the plane and drank heaps of water but by the end of the flight I could hardly speak and everything i had eaten in the last couple of days was departing my body via all possible exits, so the Singapore staff hustled me off to the airport clinic – thank goodness I was in Singapore!  The on-duty doc was very professional and after a lengthy examination, bundled me in a taxi to Changi General Hospital.  At the hospital, the triage nurse sussed the temperature from thirty paces and immediately slapped a “fever” sticker on my shirt and removed me from contact with the human race – in this swine flu pandemic a temperature is apparently just cause for segregation, isolation and ostricisation!  Anyway, by this time it was after midnight – more blood tests, more waiting.  I asked for somewhere to lie down while I waited and they sent me to a backroom full of medical supplies.  I didnt care – i slept soundly in a chair all wrapped up in my Silk Air blankets!  Somewhere in the early hours i awoke – luckily as it turned out, because everyone including the doctor was packing up to go home!  I stumbled out of the storeroom to look for the doc and asked him if he had my results – I am sure he had forgotten me as he said yes straight away and just went back into his office to get them off his desk.  I was lucky not to have spent the night in the medical store!  Outcome was not dengue (thank goodness) but “infective diarrhoea” which I think means a severe case of food poisoning.  (I recalled my last meal of fresh spring rolls in Siem Reap and mulled over the fact that one “never can tell” when it comes to food.)  He threw away the antibiotics given to me at the airport and gave me some superdrugs and sent me home (again in a taxi!)  More sleep on the way to the hotel then dropped off unceremoniously outside the hotel sick as a dog with very heavy suitcases.  Looking around I noticed the hotel did not have a ground floor entrance and had to climb a huge set of entrance stairs to get in.  I dragged my cases up and found my way through narrow, dark hallways to the lobby.  This is when I twigged that the driver had dropped me at the back of the hotel instead of the grand front entrace typical of most hotels.  Was shaking my head but too tired to think about it – checked in, took off my terrible smelling “sick clothes” and jumped in the shower.  As luck would have it, the shower didn’t work so I washed with a flannel and hit the sack – I would have a beautiful long sleep before my flight tomorrow.  Once again, my plan was not to be – Grace, worried that our plans for hong kong were at risk, rang me at 6am to confirm that I was able to fly.  So… no sleep, no shower, bodily functions out of control – I checked out and made my way to the airport.  I begged the lady at the check-in for an aisle seat and explained that i would need to be getting up and down but she was adament there were none.  I just dosed up on immodium and hoped for the best.  I managed to bypass the temperature control in a crowd and by the time I got to the gate I was called aside and advised that an aisle seat had become available.  By the time I got to Hong Kong, Grace had already checked in (and upgraded us to the executive floor!) and I was a very relieved traveller!  Getting sick while travelling alone is definitely no fun and I was very glad to find my friend!!  And so began our Hong Kong adventure…. (No pictures this post!!)