All I wanted was to be home in my own bed with my mom giving me her asian remedies, porridge, and tylenol. I layed in bed alone with my head on fire but my body shivering. I tried to think back to the time I had the stomach flu but that was over 10 years ago. I faintly remember my mom putting a cold towel on my head and I something along forcing me to take a cold shower and me crying (hey I was 8 years old). I remember orange colorful drinks for when you couldn’t eat but mostly I remembered love and the feeling of not having to take care of myself. I’m writing this Tuesday morning when only a few hours ago I was suffering and at times felt like I was hallucinating. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how I got to this point, let me walk you through it.
Sunday night, me and Phoebe were on the search for some Korean food and she knew a great place according to some church members at her Korean church here in Quito. Sunday in Quito, is almost strictly for family and almost looks like a smaller holiday in America; most shops are closed early and some restaurants aren’t open at all. Once we found out the Korean restaurant was closed, it was already 5:00pm and I was extremely hungry since I haven’t had a meal since breakfast. We ended up going to what looked like a fast food chain from Ecuador, and ordered hot dogs which were only $1 each. WHAT A DEAL! *present me cries DO NOT EAT IT*
Monday morning I woke up and my stomach was not having it. I went straight to the restroom and you can imagine… diarrhea. My head felt a little warm and my stomach was uneasy but I knew I could still handle going to Spanish class. I walked out the house around 9:00am and Spanish classes started at 8:30am. Lucky for me, the walk is about ten minutes from my house which wasn’t too bad. During Spanish class I felt a little uneasy with my head hurting and my stomach as well. By lunchtime I was feeling better and I had my appetite back. I ate the rice and steak my host mom packed for lunch and some Tango’s. I was sure that from then on I would be fine.
After school around 1:00pm I went with Amma and Helene to buy some fruit and juice. I thought it would make sense to help my stomach out by drinking something healthy. Only about 15 minutes after consuming the juice, my stomach did a little rubble, not like the rubbles you get with you’re hungry, and I felt it in my body that I needed to go find a toilet. I told my friend’s I had to go home to do my business. The walk from the fruit and juice location was only a few minutes away from my house.
After going to the restroom the second time that day, it was about 1:30pm and I decided I needed a nap because my head was burning up again. I woke up at 1:50pm and called my team leader Melissa and told her that I may be late to the Global Citizen Year session that’s usually from 2:00-5:30pm every weekday because I wasn’t feeling well. She told me it’s okay to stay home and rest up but at that point I thought I was going to be able to come back. I was very wrong because the following hours are undoubtedly some of the most painful moments my body and mind has gone through in a long time.
In the afternoon, my host sister Alegria (her name means happiness in Spanish) used a strange strip of paper to measure my temperature, it was only 38 C or 100 F which wasn’t too bad but it definitely felt horrible already. My other host sister Paola checked up on me and gave me water. There was a period of time around 5:00-8:00pm that no one was home well actually I have no idea what the time frame was because now that I think back I was somewhat delusional. I remember feeling extremely lonely, miserable and for the first time since being here, I wanted to be home. I remember trying to watch The Voice, Jimmy Fallon, and even Bachelor In Paradise to keep my mind distracted but my body and head wasn’t cooperating. I remember feeling extremely weak and even though my water bottle was only a hand reach away, I had to pep talk myself every time to keep taking small sips in-between my naps and distractions. When I think back now, I actually laugh at myself because I was pretty creative in my distractions. There was a point where I youtubed “meditation music” and tried deep breathing for a few minutes. This was the time frame when I was alone.
Algeria was the first person to be home and she gave me the medicine my host mom, Melie went to get me from the doctor. After taking the pills I knocked out right away and in hour I woke up to my host mom, other host sister and her kid’s all home. Immediately I felt that my head felt better and I was no longer cold. I went up to go to the restroom and when I went out one of my host siblings kid who is only 4 years old, presented me a vitamin C candy. It was the cutest thing and Melie told me he was worried about me so he wanted to give me one. Although there was a time frame where I felt alone, I had a whole team with me. Eugenia, the program manager called me in the afternoon and was the one who told the doctor my situation which led to me getting my medication. Phoebe was also with me this entire journey. She suffered with me but we checked up on each other and said we would pray for each other. My host sisters checked up on me, giving me water and asked if I was feeling okay.
At the end of the night, something ironic happened. My host mom made me porridge which reminded me of the porridge my mom makes me back at home but with a little Ecuadorian twist. I went to sleep feeling a new comfort and with the feeling that everything was going to be okay. What an insane 24 hours. Life Lesson: don’t eat hotdogs in Ecuador
Photo: Phoebe ft. the little demon themselves