Happy New Year? Mine wasn’t. For the first time in my life, much to the surprise of my Ugandan family, I came down with Malaria. The surprise look on their faces due to the fact that it was my first time made me feel like I had indeed delayed this rite of passage, a late bloomer!! What surprised them more is that I was treated with IVs and had to be on drip at some point and the fact that I was sick for almost 21 days. Apparently Malaria in Uganda is more like how in Kenya we frequently suffer from the common cold/ flu and how casually we treat it. Most ‘feel it coming’, go straight to a Medical Lab and request to confirm whether they have malaria and then recommend drugs…… no need to see a doc. In other cases, once you suspect you have the symptoms, you go straight to the Pharmacy for drugs. However that wasn’t me, coz I had it bad!
I thank God now am all good, better than before actually……. several Kilos lighter and didn’t have to do a *slimpossible after all. Mmmhh…. now how to maintain the current weight is the challenge seeing I am now back to loving my food, anyway I digress.
Being unwell was an extremely humbling experience in a good way and sometimes not so good. As I have said in a previous blog, I love Ugandans and all Ugandanized Kenyans. The love they showed me and by extension us as a family was overwhelming. I think staying in Uganda has forever changed me. We got very many visitors. Everyone who heard I was unwell wanted to visit: Church leadership, fellow congregants, many friends, Hun’s colleagues etc, oh and word did spread quickly. And they were practical too! Some brought cooked spinach for my iron replenishment, others made me vegetable soup in my kitchen, others came and made me litres of fresh juice, to name but a few. There were many more that checked up on me daily through calls, texts, emails etc. Oh and the prayers. This is not to mean my Kenyan peeps abandoned me, however it was comforting for them to know that I had people around me. As usual, I had my mum ‘threatening’ to come over and be with me and my siblings giving me daily menus….. some of which we all agreed were quite questionable.
Then there was the main man. If I was ever so grateful to have married Hun, it was during this time. Remember when I said sickness can be humbling in a bad way. Sometimes it frustrated me that I couldn’t do simple tasks for myself and so it made me snappy, plus I think the pain didn’t help. He had to take it all in. He would cook for me and most of the time I would not take more than 2 spoonfuls before I hurl it all out. Please note my husband would rather watch paint dry than cook (It’s a family thing). Sometimes I would request him to go out and get me a certain craving and by the time he’d get back, my cravings have changed. He also had to be the ‘host’ of all our visitors. Let us just say there was a lot of re-orienting himself with the kitchen. Perhaps this would have been easier if he didn’t have to be working, considering it is January and having been away from office during the Holidays meant a backlog. Yet he never complained. It made me feel abit guilty since there was a time he had hurt his hand, and even though I was there for him I would not shut up of how ‘tiring’ it was. I guess we learn every day.
Moral of the story:Never under estimate the power of a mosquito net and repellant jelly – not that am using either as we speak but planning on it…. ohhh how I do not like sleeping under a net. Secondly, if you can please visit people when they are sick – it really lightens up the spirit. Finally, I know our case is relatively minor but it made me think of other major sicknesses that some couples have had to get through or even worse, live with. All in all, I realized that the promise ‘in sickness and in health’ takes a lot more selflessness than we ever think about as we recite our vows on the wedding day…. a lot of grace under fire!
*Slimpossible is a Kenyan weight loss program that airs in East Africa.