Thursday, 1 July 2010

Lip-spots and Malaria. Another day in the UK.

I've had a strange tiny spot on my upper lip for several weeks now. It hasn't been very noticeable... Until yesterday when it decided to really blossom up into what now looks like a fully grown zit. Maybe it was the deadly combination of fajitas, vodka and Trials HD on the Xbox with Tom and his cousin? Maybe it was born out of my end-degree stress? A lovechild of me and my coursework?

I may never know. But it looks fricken AWFUL.

It feels a bit silly to complain though, considering my friend Nadia has caught malaria. I'm not even kidding. She spent a while in a slum in Nairobi, volunteering at an orphanage. Saw her yesterday after she had come back to the UK the day before (what was she doing even walking around!?), and she looked rough to say the least.

Basically, she had gone to Kenya with the usual malarone pills that everyone gets when they travel to a malaria-zone (Tom got them when he went to Nigeria for example). Eat pills. Stay healthy. Simples? Not really. There is a small risk of infection, even if you take malarone during your visit. It's just not very common. Nadia got eaten by mosquitoes in the slum and soon began showing signs of malaria. Cramp in her calves. Shivering and sweating at night. Peeing blood (apparently a sign that it's spread to your kidneys). Finally giving up and deciding to get on a plane back to the UK, her symptoms got even worse. An onboard doctor had to sit with her and at one point wanted the pilot to do an emergency landing in Egypt when her heart was racing, but she said that she wanted to get to Europe at least. So unless it was very very bad, she didn't want to land anywhere else. I also think she took an overdose of malarone at this point to be able to do the last push to European airspace.

She's crazy! But anyway. Managed to land in the UK, now going to a tropical-disease hospital, and recovering. We met yesterday in the local coffee shop where she told us what had happened.

It's a bit scary. You don't think that things like malaria will affect anyone close to you, but there you go.


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