...it's very boring. I would avoid it at all costs.
And if you happen to have dengue fever, you may leave said clinic with terribly ugly, bright red, spotted, itchy feet and legs...yet another reason to stay away.
If you have been wondering about my lack of blog posts and have not heard rumors from an alternate source..., last Thursday I developed a mystery fever that turned out to be Dengue Fever and culminated in a two-day, two-night stay in the clinic with an IV stuck in my arm. Not my favorite part of my Vietnamese experience as of yet, but an experience worth telling about nonetheless.
While the clinic could hardly be commended for its stellar selection of TV channels (STAR Movies played Shallow Hal not once, but twice! but nothing else particularly desireable) or for the small child screaming in the next room, it did have a few saving graces, namely:
-the fact that I was able to choose whatever I wanted to eat, something I am rapidly growing to appreciate. However, even this was less than pleasant considering that I had absolutely no appetite.
-the gracious visits of my friends, who bore me many gifts (including more oranges than I could ever hope to eat and beautiful lilies in an aluminum keg from Bia Hoi 38!)...I even had the priviledge of entertaining my MCC Country Rep, something I have heard is a great privilege not to be taken lightly.
-the medical care. It was quite good, I think, this being the first time I remember ever staying in the hospital overnight.
-also, the attractive French nurse was an added bonus. Unfortunately, I wasn't looking my best, so he didn't even ask for my phone number. I guess he doesn't go for the red, spotted type, with strangely sticking-up hair. That's what I'll tell myself, anyways, in order to keep my spirits up...
I was discharged on Thursday and have not had a fever since. However, I am not supposed to work for a week and am thus in the process of going slowly--no, I shouldn't even lie--rapidly crazy from boredom. When I went to the clinic for my check-up yesterday, I told the doctor that I could not take a whole week off because I am very bored. His response? "Good! You should be bored! That is your job--to be as bored as possible. It will help you get better faster!" I replied, "At the end of the week I will have to come back to the clinic for a new problem--I will no longer have a fever; instead, you will have to treat me for psychosis."
No pity. Just laughter.
The biggest lesson I have learned through this experience is that, in Vietnam, sickness--nay! feelings of bloating, nasea, and temperatures of 39+C--none of these symptoms constitude a valid excuse to skip a meal. Actually, I have yet to find any valid excuse to skip any meal. Moreover, the idea that eating (or the smells associated with the act) might make one feel EVEN MORE SICK appears to be a foriegn concept....
Thanks so very much to all of you who have written me emails during this time!! It has actually been quite a trying time for me (being locked up and unable to sleep in a clinic room in a foriegn country may lead to silly tears, not that I would know), and I have really, really, really appreciated everyone's notes of encouragement, and have, I am sure, felt all your thoughts and prayers!!
My own personal prayer for you all in return--avoid mosquitoes (especially the daytime variety) at all costs!!!