While on vacation to the GORGEOUS (and alarmingly remote) island of Boracay over the Christmas break, I caught the crud.
Actually, the crud isn't accurate. I've seen two doctors now, and the consensus is that I (and my ten year old) caught a food/water born illness that (as yet) remains unidentified.
Yeah. Super gross. And painful. And crappy. (literally)
We don't know where we caught the illness, and as much as friends have tried to sympathize with me, saying "Oh, I caught food poisoning over my break, too, and I was off my feet for a full day!" I have to just shake nod my head and bite my tongue.
We've been sick for a solid week. And by sick I mean body aches, fevers, stomach cramps, vomiting, and torrential diarrhea....most of which is occurring at the same time. It was so bad that my son, Charlie, and I missed most of the week's worth of activities. My husband dutifully took our teenagers to do their awesome activities, and provided our eight year old with just enough sand castle and french fry time to keep him happy. He was a champ! (It couldn't have been fun for him to care for Charlie and me, on top of managing the other children on a busy island so far from home.)
At one point, Charlie passed out after throwing up and couldn't be woken up. I was so feverish that I was seeing geckos on the walls (think: hundreds of them) and my father...who died last month. At one point, I was so sick, and keeled over with stomach cramps, that I told my husband I was going to die in the Philippines, and I meant it. I legitimately thought I would. When we went to the hospital, I was told I needed to be admitted for IV rehydration, but we didn't have time for me to stay (8 to 10 hrs) before we needed to leave to make the arduous trip back to our home. We had to refuse treatment in order to get back to South Korea, where one of my good friends is a doctor.
It is a miracle we made it onto the flight(s) home. The trip to and from Boracay is done through two plane rides, a taxi ride, a two hour bus ride, and a ferry ride. The process takes no less than 12 to 18 hours. Going home so sick was awful. I cried and cried because my body ached so bad, and because Charlie was so hot with fever, and he kept vomiting. How we managed to get home without having an accident in our pants is inexplicable. We (still) have literally no time between the urge and the action, and how we managed to sit in plane seats is beyond me.....the grace of God, I imagine.
Just as we got onto our last flight, as we stood in line on the tarmac to board, our youngest child started vomiting (not illness related...he is on the Autism spectrum and has sensory issues, and we'd fed him orange just with high pulp. Let's just say, he didn't like it, and it all came back up at the feet of about a hundred other fliers.) By some miracle, the airline clerks didn't notice, and we were miraculously allowed onto the flight. We flew home, and within 12 hours of landing, I was in the office with my friend the doctor, and we are (finally) on the road to recovery.
The body aches are gone, as are the fevers and the vomiting. Though the #2 issues still linger.....isn't that just the way? We still don't know what it is that Charlie and I caught. All we know is, it seems to be getting better, and we're not going to die. I no longer ache everywhere. He no longer vomits until he passes out. Thank God.
I am grateful that my husband worked so hard to afford and provide us with such an incredible trip to a new country. I am grateful that the other kids were given so many opportunities that I never had as a child, or even as an adult. I am grateful that we saw such an awesome place--please, if you ever get the chance, visit the Philippines. The people there are some of the warmest, most loving, most helpful, most joyful humans I've ever met. And while our situation was unfortunate, and well, downright ugly, if I'm being honest, I'm not sure it's exclusive to Boracay or the Philippines. It seems as though it was just an awful, nasty case of bad, bad luck.
I'm mostly grateful to be alive. I legitimately didn't think I would be.
I woke up this morning without any aches in my arms and legs. That counts for something.
I will post pictures of my Boracay adventures as soon as I can.
Happy New Year, reader and writer friends. You are all loved and appreciated.