2 sundays ago, i played ultimate frisbee for the first time in years. i heard about the game on a facebook group for expats living in Mumbai, people from the US, UK, australia, new zealand, and europe, mostly people in their 20’s, a good balance of men and women. they were a really nice group of people, some working at non-profits like i am, some working in the private sector as consultants or computer professionals or whatever. we met at the american school of bombay which has a great field. i taught everybody how to play ultimate, it went over really well, and we also played touch rugby, which was also really fun.
i hadn’t played any competitive sports in a long time, but i hung in there and did fine. panted a lot, but that’s to be expected. drank plenty of water, took lots of breaks, and had a great time. and after we were able to use their swimming pool which was fantastic.
the next day, monday, i was very sore all over, but i expected that. but as monday night came along, i started realizing that something was going on, something more than being sore from the game. i guess pushing myself like that was just enough to lower my defenses, because by tuesday morning, i knew i had the flu.
i hadn’t had the flu in years. my school gave us flu shots every year, and i had managed to avoid it. but this time it really hit me hard. headaches, body aches, fever, chills, sweats, the whole thing. sometimes when i’m sick here i tough it out, especially stomach stuff, but i knew i needed help.
i called my boss at the non-profit for advice, and she gave me the name and number of a local doctor she has used and trusted. Dr Hemang B Nanavati (love that name). I went to his office on tuesday around noon, waited a painful hour, and then got in. it’s a small office, with a waiting area that’s open to the outside (with a ceiling fan). you notice the order that you arrive and go in when it’s your turn; there’s no receptionist or anything.
i went in, told him my symptoms, told him i might have a fever. he felt my head and told me oh yes, you have a fever. he gave me medicine for 2 days (tylenol, antihistamines, and b-vitamins) and told me to come back thursday if i didn’t feel better.
i stayed in bed for those 2 days and didn’t eat much at all. wasn’t hungry in the slightest. tried to drink water and gatorade. the medicine helped; helped the aching and helped me sleep, and when thursday came along i almost panicked when i ran out of medicine. i went back to the good Dr Nanavati and he gave me medicine for one more day (he listened to my breathing and said you’ve got a cough now and he was right, so he gave me antibiotics too) and sent me to a local clinic for blood tests. it wasn't h1n1 (it's less common here than in the US, it was just a regular flu. ha, just. it really knocked me out).
they took my blood and tested it overnight for malaria, dengue fever, other infections, and they did a full panel of other blood and liver work.
on friday morning, it felt like i had turned a corner. i was still miserable, but i wasn’t getting any worse. i picked up the results, everything normal, and went back to see Dr Hemang B Nanavati. he gave me more medicine for the weekend and said i’d be fine by monday.
by monday, most of the flu symptoms were gone, but i was incredibly weak. i was sleeping most of the day and night, and when i did go out, i lasted an hour or so before having to come back and crash hard. i did that for the rest of the week, just sleeping, trying to eat a little, with some success, and sleeping.
yesterday was 2 weeks, and i finally went back to work. work was great about it, by the way, checking in with me every day but giving me the space i needed too. by yesterday, i was quite ready to go back, tired of being at home, even though i watched a lot of poker on youtube (caught up on the whole season of WSOP episodes) and otherwise kept myself busy.
and now, 2 weeks later, i feel my strength coming back, i can leave the house without falling apart, and i’m ready to go back to work. yesterday we actually designed an organizational chart for the non-profit, so i’m going to build it on my computer and we can include it in our business plan and other literature about the place. i’m looking forward to playing ultimate again and swimming again this weekend. and i think i actually found a band to play in, it looks like i’ll be playing drums and singing classic rock tunes. could be really fun.
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be back soon, loyal readers.