Saturday, April 2, 2011

Malaria!!! And new volunteers

Now that I have surely scared my entire family and friends with my malaria experience, I figured I would tell everyone how it went!
On the last day that I was in Solwezi for a RAP (Rural Aquaculture Promotion) workshop I started to get a headache. I didn't think much of it and took some headache meds to get rid of it. I went back to my village the next day (11th) and my headache was still there. I made it to my hut on the 12th and then a fever kicked in. My temp continually went up and down from 103 and 99. There was no way I could bike back to the boma to get to Solwezi with the fever so I had to wait until Tuesday (15th) for the Department of Fisheries to stop by and take me in to town. Once I got to Solwezi the worst part of the malaria kicked in (Google for symptoms). I took our blood test and found that I had mixed malaria (Falciparum and Vivax). After taking Coartem I felt better and waited a couple extra days in Solwezi to make sure. I got to ride up with the new RED (education) volunteers to drop them off at their sites for second site visit and was then dropped off at my site.
Then, I went to Siobhan's site on the 25th because she was hosting the second site visit after the volunteers spent a few days alone at their sites. On Sunday the 27th at around 5pm, I got super cold (on a warm day) and thought "here it goes again". It is wierd how once you get malaria you are able to see it coming right away next time. I didn't realize I had malaria the first time for 7 days. After about 30 minutes of freezing I got a headache. I took our blood test and failed with Falciparum malaria. Once again, I had to wait for transport but after taking my coartem I felt much better. I called the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Office) and they wanted me to come down to Lusaka to do some blood work. So, off I went!
New RED volunteers. I got to take the PC truck back to Lusaka with the four RED volunteers and learned quite a bit during the 12 hour ride. They are a great group and I really hope they make it through swear-in. Their names are April, Dianna, Andrea and Brien. Brien is the closest of the four at 47KM South of me.
New LIFE (agriculture) volunteers. I have not hung out with the new LIFE volunteers but I will be going to Solwezi with them in the PC truck tomorrow morning. I am sure I will learn a lot about them then! Their names are Larry, John and Kelly. John and Kelly are married and Larry is my closest volunteer at 17KM North of me. The RED volunteers will swear-in in 2 weeks and the LIFE volunteers will swear-in one week later.
I got my preliminary results from my blood test and they said I was clear of malaria now. So I will continue taking my prophylaxis and hope that i don't get it again.
I hope everyone back home is staying safe and not getting sick like me ;)
Love and miss you all

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