I awoke feeling sluggish, but not anything out of the ordinary. Fat Cat Cafe had great reviews and we attempted to drop in for breakfast, but it was closed until 10:30 am. Thankfully, Earth Tone was just up the road, so we returned there for yet another Açai Bowl. Right before our food arrived, I started to feel very, very ill. I managed a few bites of the purple-hued fruit medley before deciding that I didn’t want to eat ever again. My stomach was twisting in an unnatural direction and my head felt hot.
We returned to the hostel and, after attempting to lay down for ten minutes, I decided that I was seriously, seriously sick. Travelers, I have one recommendation for you when you get sick: don’t look up your symptoms on Google. It will only lead you to contemplate your imminent demise. In this case, I had symptoms for multiple serious diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Typhoid and something transmitted by livestock that starts with a B.
After a back-and-forth argument that I only vaguely recall, Tiffanie took me to the local hospital. Compared the state-of-the-art building in Chiangmai, this was more of a backwoods clinic. Several men sat smoking cigarettes in the open air waiting room while nurses chit-chatted with the regulars. Most of the visible injuries were likely related to motorbike crashes. We were the only white people there.
As I contemplated death, writhing in various positions on hard wooden benches and awkward plastic chairs, the staff patiently shuffled me from station to station, presumably narrowing down the possible reasons for my agonizing symptoms. Finally, I was seated in front of a doctor who told me in broken English that my urine looked fine, too soon to tell if I’m going to die and here’s three different medications to help with the pain.
While waiting for the meds, natured called from the opposite direction. I sprinted to the bathroom around the corner and vomited a brilliant shade of reddish purple for a few minutes. When Tiffanie found me, she thought was blood but then realized it was just the berries from breakfast. She scootered me back to the stifling hot, air-conditioning free hostel and coaxed me into drinking copious amounts of liquid over the next eight hours.
Somewhere around 2 am, my fever broke.