Or, How to Lose Five Pounds in Two Days
It's actually quite easy, and takes very little self-control; rather, a good deal of the opposite is the issue. (Ha, ha.) All that's required is picking up a very nasty case of something, Allah only knows what, that necessitates frequent trips to the bathroom for diarrhea and/or vomiting.
I'm four days into my vacation, and two days into being incredibly sick. I'm quite impressed with myself, actually, as I'd say this is about the sickest I've ever been. It's getting a little better now, but Saturday night was one of the low points of my existence, and I include the time I threw up on the ground of a train platform in Cairo with 300 Egyptians looking on. After coming home from the day's activities around 4.30 PM, I climbed straight into bed, and spend the next 16 hours throwing up--loudly, to what I'm sure was the regret of my neighbors in a hotel with paper thin walls--shaking with fever, and sleeping only intermittently due to frequent trips to the toilet to "buang air besar," or "throw out big water," if you catch my drift.
It's been a little over 48 hours now, and, surprisingly, I'm not better. With food poisoning, these things usually come and go, and one night of expelling everything I've ever put into my body is usually enough to solve the problem. Not so this time. Sunday morning I felt just as awful, and it took all I had to drag myself out of bed and into a taxi to try to get to district conference; I ended up missing it entirely, which is a pity, since that's the main reason I went to Solo. I arrived at the church just in time to ride the bus to Salatiga, my next destination; I had originally planned to stay with a friend in Salatiga, but as I was too sick to be fit for human company, I found a hotel and collapsed upon my bed there. I essentially spent all Sunday alternating between my bed and the bathroom, hoping that, with enough rest, I could defeat this thing.
And yet. I had to cancel my plans for today, going out to my friend's village to celebrate the holiday with her and her parents and her grandparents and whatever other random people might come along, in favor of lying in bed and moaning, with occasional sprints to the toilet. I also mustered up the energy to let my friend drive me to the hospital--okay, so it didn't require that much energy--where, for a mere 75 cents, a doctor listened to my stomach with a stethoscope, asked me if I had thrown up, and prescribed some medication. I'm taking the meds, but I'm not sure if I trust them--with all the numerous things that can cause diarrhea, how on earth can he know what I've got with only a 2 minute consultation? At least I didn't pay much.
In any case, I'm miserable and I want sympathy. I haven't even anything in more than 48 hours (57, to be precise), because I know I won't keep it down. (Also, I'm not hungry.) I have to be near a bathroom, because I have to, as they say, "paraphrase Bloom" roughly every half hour. I'm exhausted, despite all the rest I'm getting. My head hurts. I'm vaguely nauseated. Oh, and, worst of all, I can barely walk because my calf muscles are so cramped from dehydration. I'm valiantly trying to replace my fluid loss by drinking water, soda, Pocari Sweat, and oral rehydration salts, but since I can't keep anything down, it's not doing me much good.
What a way to spend a vacation. At least this illness has managed to undo some of the maids's efforts to fatten me up. Only two days, and my hipbones are more obvious than ever before. If this continues for much longer, I could start acting as a spokesperson for some grand new diet: totally easy! totally effective! totally free! All it takes is a small sacrifice of time, energy, and any shred of dignity you still possess.