I’m mortal after all.


Being sick is like winning a lottery where the prize is a week-long vacation with breakfast in bed, assisted baths, all the food that you like, pain and humiliation. If you can manage to disregard the last two razors in the swag bag, life is pretty good when you’re sick. It’s like your birthday, only you’re in pain.

I didn’t even cry.

My nice editor rung me up and said, “You know, Mildred, you don’t have to send a Stiletto this week. We’ll understand” and I said, “Star taffa.”What will the experience of going through food poisoning, an infection and malaria at the same time be worth if I can’t share my new wisdom and make a little something in the process?

I don’t fall sick often and bed rest is never an option when I do. I’ve always boasted that my body achieved the immunity you can only get from eating kalo at least once a week from the day you were born.  This time, the one minute walk from the hospital’s reception to its lab tired me out so much that I fainted against the door of a toilet, startling a man who had neglected to lock it as he was harvesting a urine sample.

Malaria gives you hallucinations. Either that or a poltergeist is happening at my house. Also, too many drugs taken at the same time will give you superhuman powers. People have been simultaneously frightened and impressed at my ability to foretell events or sense their discomfort and call them up. Now I’m sure that I’ve only foretold things by chance and I’m not at all clairvoyant, but that’s not going to stop me from acting mysterious around my visitors.

I shall dispense my wisdom now.

Humility: You lose control of your body when you’re sick. You have to resign yourself to spoiling your pants or spilling offensive body fluids onto somebody; somebody with his or her own problems in life. Sickness and smartass are two words that do not rhyme so when they say roll over, you must short circuit your pride and roll over quickly. Thank you goes a long way.

Vigilance: If after receiving a cow-sized injection you feel like buying something pretty to make yourself feel better, do it but be careful. Double check every purchase that you make.

I didn’t do this. My usually dewy lips were cracked and painful and the cheap lip balm I’d applied was making them burn. When I spotted a Himalayas Cold Balm behind the glass of Capital Supermarket’s cosmetics section, I felt like I’d found the messiah of lips. The words cold and balm checked into my mind separately. I asked the kind attendant to give it to me, poked through the aluminum on the top and smeared my lips with a combination of eucalyptus and spearmint oil. My lips still burn when I think about it. This is when I realized that I had bought a balm that’s supposed to be applied around your nose when you have a cold and not some awesome variety of extra cool lip balm.

I proceeded to buy an expired box of juice and only realized that it was iffy after I’d downed half of it. Just double-check everything when you’re sick.

Love: it is how you love in the famine that counts. If your special person is professing love and still going back to bed and leaving you alone in hospital, consider binning them.

Stay away from babies and small animals. Seriously. I gave Daniella kamulali by mistake.

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2 thoughts on “I’m mortal after all.

  1. Okay after making a fool of myself by laughing out loud (lingol?) in office, le me say pole and I hope the hallucinations have stopped

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