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Hit Me With a Your Best Shot

 

Sick as a dog

Sick as a dog

Humbling Experience

June 29, 2014

Sick…just awful sick. I have had horrible stomach, lower right back pain for 4 hours. I have been throwing up for 3 hours. What I haven’t been able to purge from my one end, it is going out the other end.

It is early Sunday morning. I am two days away from Santiago. Right now, my eye is focused on the destination at hand. And here I sit, at 2 am in the toilet stall, on the floor, with my face pressed against the cold tile on the wall. The restroom smells of mold due to lack of ventilation. I am listening to the snoring coming from the sleeping room and faint Spanish music wafting up through the walls. Weird. Bizarre.

This does suck. No way to put it in nice friendly humorous terms. It is all part of the adventure/journey. I don’t like this part. This is the way we started our Camino. Abby was sick. And here we are, just shy from completing it, and I am sick.

I’m sure people in the dorm are just thrilled to hear the echoes of my sickness, just as much as me. I am embarrassed by the sounds coming from my body. I would apologize to the other pilgrims as they get up in 3 hours, but I do not speak French. Yes, all the beds on this level are filled with French people. I spent 10€ for a bed on the bathroom floor. That should be a headline for a commercial.

I am hoping to walk…oh…who am I kidding? I can’t walk today. Let me rephrase that statement. I am hoping that this Albergue will allow me to stay another night in order to regain my physical strength to be able to move on.

Abby will have to play nurse and negotiate for our extra day. All I can muster up is a Linda Blair look, complete with spewing from the pie hole. Ah…my humor is returning. Perhaps the worse has passed?

2:30 pm. I am beginning to feel semi-normal. Not 100% there yet, but getting things together. The thought of eating doesn’t send me running to the bathroom to heave.

Abby was able to convey to the owner that I was sick and made arrangements for us to stay another night. The owner (?) came to clean the room and look in on me. She told me to sleep and stay in bed and not to come out of the room. And they kept checking in on me throughout the day to make sure I was sleeping and not dead or dancing.

This morning, a Polish man staying here heard me in the bathroom (who didn’t?) and said that he was a doctor. He went through his medicine bag and loaded me up with drugs ( anti diarrhea- which I threw up) and electrolyte drink mixes. He also checked my stomach out to see if I had appendicitis or any problems with my kidney. He sat on my bed to examine me. I told him that he had good bedside manners.

Then this afternoon, an Irish family checked in. They could hear the sounds coming from the bathroom and expressed sympathy and set about right then and there to fix me up. Phillip- the dad- poured me a shot of Spanish alcohol ( really…he has a shot glass) and in spite of my saying no to it, insisted that this would cure me. “Kills all the bugs inside your tummy.” He said. I drank it. Whew! It was strong for me as I don’t drink alcohol, but it was sweet too. “It is made with herbs,” he informed me. When he comes to Spain, he buys a case of it before leaving back to Ireland as it cures all that ails you.
And then he too went through his med bag to find me some Alka- Seltzer. Afterwards, he read me a poem he wrote about the 9-11 First Responders. He is a very talented writer.

The Camino does provide. Even on a Sunday with all the markets shut down. Abby walked all over town looking for an opened one to buy herself food and me some mineral water. I’m making do with cans of Aquarius ( a type of sparkle water/soda) that she obtained from a vending machine.

And that is that. Sleep. Rest. Let others help take care of me. I can’t do any more than just turn myself over to others.

6 pm. I took a walk up to the end of the street. I look like a zombie. But I am going to walk a few miles tomorrow and rest. Just keep plodding along.