So apparently one more souvenir that I brought back with me from my trip to Chefchaouen, as confirmed by Dr. Mohammed Tazi, is amoebic dysentery. Yeehaw.
Since Caitlyn and I returned, I had been feeling not quite right. Now, having Celiac Disease, I already have a complicated relationship with my bowels, so it’s hard to tell whether I’ve caught something, or if they’re just being ornery. However, last Thursday on my morning run, I got the most massive side cramp that has lasted until now. It was more than just a side stitch though, and seemed to be located exactly where my liver is. This pain etc., accompanied with fatigue, led me to believe that something was up inside.
I consulted my handy-dandy “Where There is No Doctor” book…which, by the way, is a book that everyone should own. I visited the pharmacy and was given a strong anti-worm medicine by an apathetic pharmacist. Here in Morocco, as in most of the developing world, Pharmacists are able to dispense almost any kind of medicine, without any “legit” prescription. This is good and bad, and some pharmacists are even more well-trained than doctors. Some, of course, are not. In any case, the meds she gave me didn’t do anything, and I found it painful to breathe and move around and sleep.
Back to the book. My symptoms were looking more like amoebic dysentery, which attacks the liver and can do long-term damage. I finally contacted a doctor, whom I found through a posting on my school’s Info board. One consultation, one ultrasound, a lot of poking and prodding, questions in 3 different languages, and 200 dirham later, amoebic dysentery it is! And not a moment too soon: dysentery can get pretty ugly, I found out, when it starts attacking the lining of your intestine. Yikes.
So I’m staring down 4 different types of meds right now, which I hope will flush me clean. He promised I’ll be good as new within the week, as long as I stick to a vegetarian diet that should include 4 cartons of yogurt per day. We’ve named my amoebas Tim and Cathy (like the middle-aged Midwestern safari travelers in Senegal…anybody?), who are just on vacation in my gut…but will be leaving soon.
Thanks for sharing in this adventure with me, folks. I’m still in love with Morocco, the good, the bad, and the ugly.