Ubud, Bali, Tuesday 5 June 2012
By Day Four, I realised that I needed a doctor. I couldn’t be sick any longer. I asked for one at hotel reception. I couldn’t tolerate the pain, the fever was ridiculous, and I was shockingly dehydrated.
The hotel sent me a doctor and a Hindu healer. Seriously. You can imagine the look of scepticism that overwhelmed me when a middle-aged gentleman with flowers in his hair stepped in my room and asked if he could rebalance my energies. I was past caring by that point, so I let him do whatever it was that he needed to so that the energy in my body could be realigned. He never laid a finger on me and kept asking me if I felt hot. I had a fever, of course I felt hot. But my tummy did go all squiggly and weird.
Then the real doctor came. Four types of medication and £75 later, I was dosed up to the eyeballs and diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis. Delightful.
How did I contract it? Anyone’s guess. It’s bacterial, so anything from swallowing a mouthful of pool water to badly washed vegetables could be responsible.
All I know is that I spent four days in bed watching the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations on Al Jazeera. I also saw Nigerian plane crashes, genocide in Syria, and watched Greece pendulum towards financial ruin.
I never, ever wish to be that sick again and I don’t wish being sick when you’re alone and in a foreign country on anyone. It’s a desperate situation topped only by being alone in a hotel room with a broken heart.