Friday, July 17, 2009

a week

In the last week, it seems like we've lived about a year.

On Saturday we spent a roller coaster ride of a day on a trip to Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea. We came home sunburnt and probably a little sunstroked. I was frustrated with the world in general and complainers in particular. I went upstairs to borrow a book and found Greg sitting in his apartment alone in the dark. It was that kind of a day.

On Sunday we nearly all fell asleep in school.

On Monday, things started to get interesting.

When Amber and I got home from class around noon, Greg called her and said that he had been feeling sick, couldn't think, had come home from school early, had a horrible headache, had collapsed on the stairs, had been carried inside by Huda (our tutor, about a foot shorter than Greg), and was feeling sick to his stomach. Amber made him some chicken soup and we went up to see him at Huda's. He assured us he was doing better (even though he had a high fever) and was hoping to make it back for his 3 o'clock class.

I tried to convince him he was really sick by searching for his symptoms online and showing him that the options ranged from bacterial meningitis to a brain tumor. He didn't appreciate this for some reason. So I left to take a nap and Amber left to go to school for tutoring.

A few hours later I was in my living room doing homework when Chris (one of Greg's suitemates) came to the door saying that Greg was on the landing outside Huda's, asking to be taken to the hospital and on the verge of death.

He looked it.

Chris and I took him inside and covered him with a blanket, and I put cold rags on his head (like they do in the movies) and patted his hand and in between singing and saying gentle things, did allow to slip out at least one "I told you so."

(I should probably mention that at this point I wasn't sure whether I shared in the blame for Greg's illness, since I did splash him in the face at the Dead Sea. My aim was exceptionally good, since I was temporarily blinded by Dead Sea water myself [that stuff STINGS!!!]. So good that I caught him at a moment where he had both his eyes AND mouth open. This is probably one of the most evil things one friend can do to another.)

Eventually we got him to the Islamic hospital (with help from Samiir, a hero from our school's administrative staff), and from there to a hospital that actually took his insurance.

They said he had amoeba.

After about five hours at the hospital(s), I was feeling really stiff and sore and gross, but I didn't know whether to ascribe this to actual sickness or to the active imagination of a hypochondriac who'd been sitting in a hospital waiting room for a few hours.

The next few hours laid all doubts to rest. I don't remember having been that sick in a long long time.

On Tuesday, all I wanted to do was sleep. But Huda called my insurance and came and talked me into going to the hospital to get hydrated and diagnosed and medicated.

While they had me on the IV on the first floor, they let Greg off his IV (his companion for over 24 hours) for ten minutes to come down from the second floor and visit. It was really pathetic, but mostly funny.

They said I had amoeba.

The next day they let Greg out of the hospital. So now Amber and Greg and I are all on antibiotics. On antibiotics and water and yogurt. (The grocery stores here have a wide wide selection of yogurt. All kinds of yogurt. Now I know why.)

The antibiotics are good because they kill the amoeba, but now every time we eat we've got half-hour before pills, after meal pills, pills, pills . . .

Sadly, a couple of other students have been sick since Monday or Tuesday and are only today going to the hospital.

Nice to meet you, amoeba. Ahlan wa sahlan.

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