Everything comes down to poo!

‘Well, let me tell you’, I reply

So, after a bit of a blogging dry spell and minor writers block the dam has been busted and I have been flooded. Wednesday I felt a whole lot better after being rather ill and then in the evening I took a turn for the worse and finally decided to go see the doctor. Thursday morning I had my first (slightly scary) ride on the back of a motorcycle. However, I must say that Wilkie did an excellent job of looking after me by driving ultra-slowly!

On safely arriving at the 24 hour medical clinic at 1030 we were told the doctor was currently in clinic in Sabang and that I should come back at 4pm! I was a little relieved as although my stomach pains were present they had not been the worst I had felt. We came home, did some work, ate some watermelon, pineapple and some crackers and then I started to feel bad again. Sweating, cramps, anger and restlessness returned. My bed was calling for a nap! On waking at 430 I returned to the clinic, saw the doctor and was prescribed some lower GI tract anti-spasmodic pills to help with the cramps. Simple really! But if only that was true!

While being examined and talking openly about my illness in front of the rest of the people waiting (think ‘hand by bum and then rapidly moving hand away from bum in an explosive motion but never actually using the word diarrhoea) and told that I was very dehydrated, I offered a urine sample as I needed the toilet anyway. To give the sample, I was handed two small paper cups. I peed into one, and then confused, handed the second one back empty! The nurse was even more confused than I was as I handed back an empty pot. She simply asked ‘you don’t make stool?’ to which I chuckled and replied ‘Sorry but I haven’t eaten in 4 days, I have nothing to make!’ She laughed too and agreed it probably wouldn’t be possible for me to ‘make stool’, in a paper cup, on cue, under the circumstances. In, I would like to add, a toilet that was an enclosed room with no light or window! Now I don’t know about you, but catching my poo in a small cup in a room that was so dark I couldn’t see my hands is not something I practice on the odd occasion I need that skill!

The famous paper cup!

But my urine sample was fine (I wasn’t pregnant), I got the tablets and was told to return tomorrow with a ‘fresh’ stool sample that, and I quote, ‘hadn’t been just lying around overnight’. BRILLIANT! During this instruction, to make sure I knew what was expected of me, the nurse made repeated gestures of making stool into her hand, and then giving it to me. It took every ounce of strength not to laugh and expose my 14 year olds sense of humour as I do now. 1010PHP lighter I went home.

Friday begins and I eventually manage to summon up the courage to make stool and I transfer it into said paper cup and wrap the cup in a rubber glove. I then disguise it in an empty ice cream tub (I thought Rocky Road was most appropriate) and I get on a tricycle to the clinic; poop, quite literally, in hand. Oh, how I laughed at the tricycle drivers who offered me lifts as I walk to clinic because they didn’t want my ice cream to melt! ‘If only they knew’, I thought! So a poo, and a lab fee of 600PHP lighter, I return home to await the results. Upon my return to the clinic a boy had just been hit by a tricycle and so the doctor was busy performing surgery. I waited two hours and found that the female doctor who wanted my poo, was also the surgeon! What a hero that woman is to me. Best of all I paid her another 300PHP to tell me I was fine and that I didn’t have gastroenteritis, just an excess of bacteria in my stomach!

Armed with the good news, we went to the View Point restaurant near Sabang. Here I celebrated not having stomach cramps by eating Fried Chicken, Rice and Salad followed by homemade Apple pie, and finishing Abi’s Banana Split! It felt so damn good to eat properly again! Even now as I write this, I am getting excited about the food I can eat again.

I have learnt a couple of things these last few days:

Despite being busy and working in a room in their house, the people at the medical clinic in White Beach are the best! SHE PERFORMED SURGERY! I still can’t quite believe it. What they did for me may have cost just shy of 2000PHP (£30) but they achieved more in the 24 hours I have known them than a GP at home would achieve in 8 weeks. I don’t know the last time a GP performed surgery! I cannot speak highly enough of them.

Painful stomach cramps can actually be mildly humerous.

Friends are amazing when you are sick and you realise they are actually your family.

Motorcycles are fricking scary! But also very cool, I don’t think I’ll upgrade my cycle helmet just yet.

And most of all

Everything comes down to poo, and I have a certificate to prove it!

This entry was posted in Alan, The Zoox Experience Programme, Volunteer Coordinator and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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