As mentioned in the previous post, I came down with a nasty bug the morning after going on as Christine. As of this writing, well over half our cast and crew has suffered through some kind of intestinal complaint. Not even the producer escaped. The water here is contaminated, and you can pick up the bug anywhere at any time. Once it’s in, the body reacts violently until the infection is killed off with antibiotics. The situation can get pretty ugly. Upon my request, our tour manager scheduled a doctor’s visit for me and another colleague who had just come down with the same malady.
Off we went – on our first day off! – chauffeured by the promoter’s driver to an unknown region of this never-ending metropolis. In the States, we’re used to obsessively clean and organized medical clinics, thanks to OSHA and other regulations. Developing nations don’t have particularly high standards of hygiene, as I’m discovering first hand. The examination room was clean enough, but compared to what I’m used to, it didn’t seem especially sanitary, and the entire office emitted a rather peculiar smell. And then there was the very interesting bathroom . . .
But I digress.
The doctor patiently listened to our list of symptoms and proceeded to give us a lecture about acid production in the stomach and the necessity of chewing food properly for digestion. I tried to make the point that this particular bodily reaction certainly had more to do with an invasion of foreign bacteria than indigestion, given the symptoms and the fact that I normally wolf down food without any adverse effects. He wasn’t having it. I had to shut up.Finally, he examined me; he took my blood pressure – but not my temperature – poked around a little, and listened to my intestines, which he pronounced "very noisy." That was it.
He diagnosed a case of indigestion and bacterial infection. He gave me and my colleague each a shot in the backside and a little goody bag of pills to take home with us. The pills were all sealed, and the needles were clean. And the doctor was very nice. It could have been much worse.
A couple more pictures:
Strange Potpourri Basin & More Meds
I started to feel better within a day, and I’m now back to normal. I’m even chewing my food more conscientiously.