"Cert 18 - The following Blog contains scenes that some readers may find offensive and could be upsetting for small children".
Ok where to start? I guess as the talented Maria Von Trapp would say, "Let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start". Hmmm, so I will pick up where I last left off; the internet cafe in lovely peaceful Pushka ...
Claude and I had finished our blogging and were trying to find somewhere 'safe' to have lunch. We popped into one place, but it looked awful, so we mozzied on out and bumped into a group of Israeli tourists who recommended another place further up the road, they were deep into explaining how nice it was there but they had already lost me at the words 'falafel pitta'.
The restaurant was a flea pit, but by this point I had to have falafel so we found another cute looking cafe round the corner with a lovely garden. We took out seats and looked through the menu. Claude decided to stick with veggies whilst I went for my hearts desire! It had been so long since I had eaten something fresh like salad and all I could think about was the crispy lettuce, the succulent tomatoes and the mouth watering cucumber that would be served with it. Which is very unusual for me as I generally tend to go for things that are either deep fried, or covered in sugar - or chocolate - and generally pumped full of E numbers!
The service took ages and while we waited I found myself overcome with tiredness. I could just about stay awake for the food by trying to concentrate on Claudine giving me the well deserved lecture on how dangerous it was to eat salad out in India, but my stomach was already starting to gurgle a bit.
Now many of you fellow IBS sufferers will know that this can be common place and 'just' a bit of discomfort for a while, so I chose to ignore it.
The food finally arrived; my fallafel was as hard as rock but the salad was so fresh and delicious as was the humous. Unfortunately Claudine's meal as she herself put it "tasted like vomit". So we left soon after and walked straight back to the hotel.
Suddenly, whilst standing outside our hotel room as Claudine fumbled around with lock I felt a rather distressing sensation in my stomach and it was then I knew that I was in trouble!!!
We managed to get in, just in time as sprinted (world speed) to the loo and slammed the door behind me. I screamed out to Claudine to "turn the TV up loudly" as I felt as if the world had just exploded out of me.
That was it ... from then on my temperature flew up, I lay on the bed as I went from sweating buckets, to shivering so much even my goose bumps had goose bumps. Poor Claude was suffering from heat exhaustion as I demanded the fans be turned off and I climbed under blankets and clothes ... then a few minutes later I would throw all the bed clothes off me and demand the fans be put on full blast!!!
Claudine was a true 'Florence Nightingale' (though also a bit 'Nurse Ratchetty' at times too) as she fed my Immodium, Dehydrating salts and Cyprofloxin. But I was beside myself and to make things worse ... there was nothing decent to watch on TV!!!! (anyone who knows us Epstein's knows we are TV addicts and therefore how devastating that situation would be!).
Claude went off for dinner downstairs with an American girl we had met earlier in the day, whilst I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself. I couldn't stop drinking, nothing seemed to be able to quench my thirst, I could have drunk the River Ganges dry - but then that would probably have left me in a worse situation than I already was!?
Finally I fell asleep, dreaming about my mum's chicken soup and a large glass of hot ribena!! When suddenly I awoke with a huge cramp in my stomach, I ran as quietly as I could to the bathroom, trying not to wake Claude up in the other bed, I skidded across the tiles on the bathroom floor and landed on the loo, again just in time. But all of a sudden I realised I needed to be sick!!! What was I to do? There was no way I was gonna stick my head down that toilet after knowing what had just been flushed down it. I spied the bucket for washing clothes not too far away and managed to stay on the loo whilst reaching out for the bucket and grabbing it. (my physio always said I was quite flexible considering how unfit I am!). The next ten minutes were quite pathetic really. But suffice it to say I went back to bed a whole stone lighter!!!
As I climbed into bed, I heard Claudine mutter, "Are you alright". I told her I was surpised she hadn't heard the commotion going on in the bathroom to which she pointed out that she sleeps with ear plugs in, then she told me she would try to sleep without them for fear I may stop breathing during the night and she needed to hear me exhaling!!
The following day we were meant to go to Jodhpur, but when I woke, I knew there was no way I would last even an hour in the car let alone 4!! And so it was decided, or rather I reluctantly agreed to let Claude call for a doctor.
The Doctor arrived with Suresh (our driver) and both the manager and one of the waiters from the hotel?!? The doctor felt my arm then my forehead and asked me details about my vomit and pooh!! Before answering I looked up to see Suresh, the manager and the waiter all standing at the end of my bed, just staring at me!! I was so embarassed and hoped their English wasn't that good!
Then the Doctor started to reach for his stethoscope around his neck and my immediate thought was that there was no way I was lifting my top in front of everyone! Luckily, his hand by passed the stethoscope and reached into his shirt pocket where he pulled out a pen and started writing out a prescription.
He looked at me very seriously and explained that it is probably just a bacteria in my gut that I have, however, it isn't generally accompanied with a temperature, so taking that in mind, if the temperature hadn't gone within 24 hours I was to go to hospital and get checked for malaria!! (at this point the blood drained from my very flushed face). He then lay out an assortment of pills and explained how and when to use them, luckily Claudine was taking note because all I could hear was Malaria, Malaria, Malaria ...
Once my audience had finally left I looked at my friend and panicked, we started looking through our guide books for descriptions of the various kinds of malaria readily available in India and then we looked at the stack of pills on the bed. I begged Claudine to phone my Uncle Geoff in the UK (remember he's the doctor in the family) and double check with him. He sounded half asleep when he answered the phone - of course he was I mean it was 5 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!!! (oops). Anyways, he reassured us all would be ok and just to take what ever had been given to me.
One thing you should know is that the pills out here are not coated!!! So as soon as they go on the tongue they start dissolving - it was disgusting. And no sooner had I taken all of them that I rushed to the bathroom and puked them all up in the sink, I was sick so many times at that point that I could practically hear my stomach screaming"get it out, get it out!!!!". We spoke to the doctor who suggested leaving a specific pill out as that was a side effect?!?!?!?!
The rest of the day was pretty boring really, I went to sleep, got up went to the loo, started to walk out, turned back and threw up then went to bed, went to sleep and so it continued - bit like Ground Hog day.
The following morning I felt so much better!! And I got out of bed with a huge smile on my face. But as soon as my feet hit the floor my stomach churned and I rushed to the loo. Whilst sitting there I could hear my friend calling out to me from her bed. 'I may have a slight emergency'! And that was it, that morning both Claude and I were alternatively running to the loo. It was a bit like a relay race; I would run out and smile at her, then she would go in, then she would run out and smile at me etc ... etc ... In fact it even became quite competitive as we started on descriptions of what was going on, (don't worry I will spare you those details), I mean what where we turning into?!?! Men!
Finally after a few rounds of Immodium we were both sufficiently bunged up enough to get in the car and drive to Jodhpur.
The hotel was amazing, the best so far. A huge room with cement arches inside. The restaurant was stunning and we had a full 360 degree view of the city, lit up at night. Though I don't think the waiter was very impressed with us when all we ordered for dinner was a pot of tea and scrambled eggs on toast!! (bloody Britishes).
Our one day in Jodhpur was ok, it could have or in fact should have been better if it wasn't for the fact that I still felt really ropey. We saw a palace, we saw a museum and a fort ... got photos to put up at a later date. And in between I just slept in the car!
Then yesterday we drove to Udaipur. We arrived about 7 and just crawled into bed. I was going to order Chicken noodle soup for comfort, but Claudine threw me such a look and said 'Chicken' (which meant food poisoning) so I settled for mushroom soup then settled down to sleep.
Today we went around Udaipur, the two of us still feeling constantly sick and still with not very well in our stomachs generally. But we managed to take in the sights of the floating palace, the huge Jian Mosque, The City Palace and of course Mac Donalds!! Which we both felt was safer than going to a curry restaurant!!!
Tomorrow we are off to Kerala (down south), where we hope to recuperate!!! So until then ... oops gotta go ....