When Typhoid Comes to Call

Recently, after two weeks of feeling unwell, I paid a visit to a rumah sakit (hospital)[1] with one of my co-teachers.  After a round of conversations with both doktor and perawat (nurse), as well as few tests, it seemed I had a visitor.  Typhoid[2].

Typhoid is a rather unpleasant sort of fellow, who takes great pleasure in vexing his hosts.  He takes a considerable amount of energy to entertain, and he often left me lying, listless, barely able to re-read my favourite novels, for hours after catering to his various ill-tempered moods.  He also forces a drastic change in his host’s diet. He refuses to dine on any food which is cooked in grease, or is spicy or sour. If you know anything about the fare in Indonesia, you know this is an exceedingly difficult demand to meet. And he has the terrible habit of failing to see when he has outstayed his welcome.  Even after I began to play host to various antibiotics and other gastric obat (medicine), and was entirely overwhelmed by guests, he insisted on lingering.

The worst part of Typhoid’s stay was that, so long as I was playing host to him, I could not enter the classroom.  The doktor recommended we take our repose together for a fortnight, and I was not permitted to teach while we were doing so.  But though I was all politeness at the first, I am, at heart, a stubborn farm girl in no way averse to rudely giving someone the boot if need be.  I bitterly followed every one of the doctor’s orders—resting with the same dedication and stubbornness with which I had initially refused a doctor’s assistance—and I had a clean bill of health after a little over a week, considerably sooner than anyone anticipated.

Still, though Typhoid has officially vacated my residence, the damage he did while he was here remains. After teaching a mere three classes—and three of my easiest classes, at that—I stumbled back into my bed for an afternoon nap that was far longer than it had any right to be.  It will be some time before I am myself again, but am certain that I will be the same Miss Grace I was before he so rudely entered my life.

[1] Which, due to its being a private hospital, resembled a hotel more than a hospital.  (At least in my eyes it did—I’ve, thankfully, had very little experience with hospitals to date.)  If you are looking for the true Indonesian hospital visit, you shall not find it here. I have yet to learn what a more ordinary hospital is like here, and I’ll be quite satisfied if I never do.

[2] I know what you’re thinking: why did it take me two weeks to go to the hospital?  In my defense, while I did have all the symptoms of Typhoid, I never had any of them at the same time.  So I thought I was playing host to various illness, one after the other, when in fact it turns out it was all one monster the entire time.  I won’t pretend the fact that I am more than a little keras kepala (stubborn, or quite literally hard- headed) didn’t play a role in my trying to fight the illness myself for so long, but had my Typhoid actually acted like Typhoid, I promise I would have gone to the doctor much sooner.