Colombia, you give me fever

I’m not a very good sick person. You see I’m not really used to being sick. I usually get a cold each year, but it’s never anything too serious, and in my working life I have rarely taken more than a day or two of sick leave per year.

I’ve been in Colombia for six and a half months now and I’m sick for the third time. And not just with a runny nose or a headache. I’m talking fever, nausea, sweats, body aches, incredible weakness and a hacking cough like I might just be about to spit up a lung or a windpipe. I’ve been told that it’s a virus going around, but I’m not sure why it needs to pick on me for the third time since arriving here.

I have spent the last two days in bed in our sauna of a room being a demanding patient. I whimper at night because I’m over-tired but can’t sleep and feel distressed. I send mi novio out to buy me sueros, which are electrolyte drinks to combat dehydration, lemonade and make endless trips to the fridge at all hours of the day and night to bring me water which I gulp down greedily. I look and feel miserable and demand massages for my aching body and hugs for comfort. As a normal person looking at my behaviour I’m horrified, but I wonder if my amazing novio was less attentive and patient, would I still be acting like a big baby?

Thinking back to my childhood experiences of being sick, mostly with asthma that kept me on the couch instead of at school, and at one time had me in hospital at age seven, I was probably the same. Whenever I was sick and had difficulty breathing I would start to get distressed and sooky and cry to Mum to give me hugs. She would tell me not to get so worked up and would rub my back soothingly. In short, she would give me attention.

Now I’m here on the other side of the world, I can’t get one of Mum’s all-curing hugs and back rubs, but I have a doting novio who is prepared to do whatever he can to help me feel better. He even tells me that I look beautiful while feverish and sweaty with hair sticking to my face. Is that what they call pure love?

I’m on the mend now, thank goodness, which is why I can sit up to type this instead of slumping in the bed like an invertebrate with my eyes closing from weariness every five minutes. I just want to know why Colombia is making me so sick, and if I’ll always be an attention seeking sook when I get sick.

What’s the most demanding thing you’ve asked for when you’ve been sick?


9 thoughts on “Colombia, you give me fever

  1. Ok so I didn’t ask for this but i didn’t say no. When I was at uni I got the chicken pox and my Mum offered to drive and pick me up (that’s a 12 hour round trip). What a good mum.

    1. Mum´s are the greatest! They always know how to solve a problem. Something to remember for when we´re mum´s ourselves one day (although I guess as a step-mum I already am???) How unlucky you were to have the pox as an adult rather than a child. I bet your mum got you calamine lotion and admonished you when you started scratching. That´s true motherly love!

  2. Oh – I hope you get better soon and that you have at least 6 months reprieve! Good to hear you are being looked after well x
    Can’t believe I just found your blog –
    take care x Tam

    1. Thanks Tam, me too. I hope that now you´ve stumbled across my blog you´ll keep following, and that maybe you´ll find some topics to laugh about with your Colombian friends! Sending a (non-contagious) hug to you and those two little munchkins of yours.

  3. Uush – I had something similar last week with the fever and debilitating weakness. I don’t wish it on anyone, with or without mums or novios! I did learn the phrase “dar pechiches” meaning to spoil or dote on 🙂

    1. It must be making its way along the coast then. Maybe it´s gotten to La Guajira by now, or maybe Venezuela…..

      What a great phrase, dar pechiches! Thanks for sharing that Brighid. I´m going to try it out with mi novio today.

  4. HI Camille! I hope you are feeling a lot better now, that does not sound like fun….. I don’t know what it is, but somehow we can change from one moment being a “strong, resilient, hear me roar, woman” to a “whimpering, needy, I’m in pain, woman” (or what my fiance calls “having a sooky la la”.
    When I returned home from travel to Europe in 2010 I came down with a horrible gastro/fever type bug that I am certain I picked up on the flight from Singapore to Melbourne, which hit me like a truck for 4 days and left me bedridden. Whilst my partner did everything he could to support me through, luckily my mum was a 2 minute drive away and brought me ginger to drink with warm water to settle my stomach, magazines and lots of hugs and sympathy texts.
    The scary thing was though that during the 4 days of hell in a state of misery I often found myself thinking “far out – how am I ever going to give birth?!”. It’s a scary thought, but like my friends and family tell me “you will one day find the strength”. And here is hoping that I will have my darling man (but also my absolute strength – my mama bear by my side!).

    1. Hi Amy, there certainly is some magic formula that tips us over the line to sooky la la ness. Coming home sick is the ugliest of all souvenirs. I bet your mum was so pleased to see you that on top of her everyday awesome mum-ness she would have gone the extra mile to comfort you in your sickness.

      It’s funny you had that thought while feeling at your absolute worst. La suegra (my mother-in-law) often says to her pregnant daughter, “pregnancy is not a sickness”. So one can only hope that during delivery there are no vestiges of flu symptoms to make the experience doubly difficult.

      By the way, congratulations on your new job!

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