08.06.2009 - 10.06.2009
What a difference a week makes. A week ago I had no expectation of ever leaving Nairobi, let alone being able to go to the Masai Mara, having the anticipation, experience and ultimately disappointing end to the trip.
Heck, a week ago, I was still essentially undiagnosed, though feeling not too bad compared to previous weeks, excepting for areas around the TV violation. Then they found the parasite and removed it. That was both a very good and very bad thing. Very good, because I finally knew exactly what was wrong with me and it seemed like the problem was almost over. Very bad because, well, how would you like it if somebody pulled a 5cm long centipede out of you by using what is essentially a piece of wire with a hook on the end shoved up your arse?
As a few people have been asking for details, i figure I may as well put a condensed version here. Very roughly, a parasite got into my system. Exactly how, where and when it got in will forever remain a mystery. My personal suspicion is that it got into me in Zambia, during Kuomboka, and probably when wading through the Zambezi flood plain chasing the king. It is a very rare parasite (because I could never get a normal damned parasite, could I?! Oh no. I just had to go and get a frickin special one) and also quite a clever and evil one. Like bilharzia, it can get into your system directly through the skin: it doesn't even need a small cut to infiltrate.
Anyhow, it probably got in when quite small and then slowly grew and moved around my inards (which would explain why I was on-and-off iffy for 2 or 3 weeks after Kuomboka until we got to Kenya). Then at some point it finally found a place it liked and made a home in my bowel and intestines, which is why i got rapidly worse in Mombasa. It stayed there for a couple of weeks, and decided it liked it so much it would like it spawn to experience it, and then laid its eggs and kind of went to sleep. Thats when i slowly started feeling better.
That is pretty much all conjecture by the doctors and myself, but it all fits reasonably well.
Basically, as it stands now, it is believed that I only had one parasite in me and that has been removed. However, it has laid an unspecified number of eggs in my bowels and intestines. Exactly when they were laid is obviously unknown, as is the number and exact locations of all of them, and this is where the fun starts. Essentially, if all of the eggs hatch, i'm pretty much doomed: One of these parasites was enough to make my life a misery and confine me to a toilet for a month, so I don't want to imagine what a dozen or a hundred would be like. The eggs are too small and well hidden to be removed (and it would be impossible to guarantee that all of them would be found) so have to be dealt with in-situ.
I am now actually feeling pretty good by all accounts, but am in the most dangerous phase. So, very roughly, I am currently undergoing treatment to try and kill the eggs and prevent them hatching. It is not a fun set of treatments, and it is impossible to know if they are working just yet. The total incubation time is guesstimated at 10weeks, give or take, so i expect to still be around here until mid July or August. But what it does mean is that i currently only need to be seen once a week for a day or two and thus assuming I don't get any side affects/reactions, it gives me some leeway and possibility to go away for periods of 4 or 5 days between treatments. Which is how I ended up in the Mara and Nakuru and is what I intend to keep doing if at all possible.
Note: this post is put up for information only, so people don't keep nagging me about what is going on, and I figured this was easier than emailing people individually. I have also very deliberately omitted the parasites name – although i have started to call him Hamish – and intend on keeping it that way. I won't tell you what it is, so please don't ask. It's not important. I am fine. I will be fine. And I will finally be away from s0dding Nairobbery and off traveling – and thus boring - you all again very soon. I have confidence in the specialists and procedures, and i don't need anything or sympathies or any help, thank you