In mid-December, I fell sick. On an ever so enjoyable taxi ride into Mbale Town, I began to feel incredibly cold and weak. This was unusual considering it was at least 80 degrees outside and we had at least 20 people crammed into this taxi that is designed to carry 14. Luckily I was with my friend John who provided his sweater and some friction to try to warm me up. It wasn't very successful.
Upon reaching Mbale, I proceeded to jump out of the taxi, fully don the sweater, and topped it off with my jacket. Sitting in the scorching Ugandan sun. I was still freezing. The problem was I had a fever of 104 F at the same time. We decided to go to the hospital.
After running a urinalysis and blood work. I tested positive for malaria. And I was actually happy that they had figured out what it was. Based on what they had told us about malaria in training, I knew I had an unpleasant 24 hours ahead of me.
The first line treatment they recommend to us for malaria here in Uganda is Coartem. I started my first dose immediately. The next 24 hours consisted of me laying in bed at a cheap hotel alternating between periods of extreme cold and extreme heat. Sweating in bed. Freezing in bed. Taking ice cold showers to reduce my fever and sitting in front the fan almost completely naked, and then bundling up completely with full clothing and two comforters. Shivering uncontrollably. Feeling extremely weak with headache. And then feeling better again.
I guess that's how malaria goes. It gets good then it gets bad again. I started coming out of it during the second night only to come down with stomach problems and more fever. By the third day I was pretty much rid of symptoms, but still weak. One more token Peace Corps experience to check off the list!