I have always been pretty proud of myself for staying so healthy here in the Philippines. So many of the other volunteers have been sick repeatedly and until recently I didn’t really have any more problems than I would at home with minor colds, flu, etc. Note that I said until recently.
Around Halloween time I was in Manila and woke up sick in the middle of the night with an intense burning feeling in my stomach, like it was trying to eat a hole in itself. In the early morning I made my way into the office to see our doctor and ended up sleeping in the medical observation room all day. They took some blood, didn’t seem to find anything wrong and put me on Nexium to stop the burning stomach pain.
Things were going alright until a few weeks ago when I was back in Manila on vacation during Holy Week. I had made a trip to Corregidor Island and ended up getting sick while I was there, same symptoms as before. Once again I ended up in the office, doubling my dose of Nexium just to be able to function like a normal human being.
A few days ago, I went in to see a gastroenterologist to try and figure out what’s been making me sick. At first he thought it might be h-pylori, the bacteria which causes ulcers but the blood test was negative. So then I had to go in for an endoscopy (they snake a camera down your throat, into the stomach, take a look around and do a biopsy) and my first real hospital visit. The endoscopy wasn’t too bad, but I was a bit nervous going in Luckily, the sedative that they gave had me unconscious during the procedure and only feeling a little groggy afterwards.
After all of that, I talked to my doctor yesterday and he said that he didn’t see any ulcers and that the biopsy was negative. Back to square one again. Right now he thinks I might have a wily parasite that’s causing all this trouble so I’m on Flagyl and hoping that it will kick the butt of whatever has been bothering me for the last few months. Given that I have little more than a month before I go home, I really hope that this solves the problem. We shall see…