I’ve been awake for approximately 8 out of the last 24 hours.

I don’t like to interrupt my recaps of trips I’ve taken, but I’m making an exception this time. I’m also going to write this post as quickly as I can, slap some pictures in it, and hope I don’t make too many errors. Normally my posts are written a day or two in advance so I can edit them multiple times, but it’s likely I only have about 45 more minutes of being alert and awake since I just took my medicine.


Thursday I felt okay, just exhausted. My joints were sore, and I had extreme temperature sensitivity. I was convinced I was getting or had the flu, and my coworkers even brought over a thermometer. No fever; I just looked rough. I told my bosses at both jobs that I’d be taking Friday off.

After tutoring Thursday, I made my way to RT Mart, which is like your worst Super Wal-Mart experience ever, every time. I selected a wool comforter and a heater and a loaf of French bread. That was the only thing I could imagine eating, and since I had no appetite, French bread it was.

The boxes are attached to each other with my handy dandy carabiner. Right turns were fairly impossible, but I made it back to the house without any incidents.

I went to bed around 8pm, I think. My throat felt raw and swollen and moving took every effort. I tossed and turned like crazy until 1am or so, woke up to go to the bathroom (scaring Boabi in the process), then fell asleep – this time, I slept like the dead.

Friday, Chocolate opened my door to wake me up to go to the doctor. “Wow, you’re up early!” I croaked.

“Mandy, it’s nearly 1pm.”

Within the hour we were in her Rav 4 making our way through the rain and cold to the doctor. We signed in, paid 200nt ($6.62) each after giving our national insurance cards, then waited. First in line was great, as many people came in after us and it was first come, first served, but the doctor was half an hour late. I was willing to wait, though, when I saw a plaque on the wall from the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates.

Every time I look at this picture, I get Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You" stuck in my head. The reason the picture quality is so bad is because I had to sneak it when the receptionist went to the back.

We were called back, and he had me sit in front of him. He spoke to me in fluent English: asking my symptoms, checking my throat and ears, checking my lungs with a stethoscope. He took my temperature and mentioned that I had a low-grade fever.

He handed me a tiny cup with two white pills at the bottom. “Take this right away.” Then, I was instructed to sit in front of a machine that blew some kind of medicine down my throat. After 30 seconds or so of drooling on myself, with a numb tongue and throat, Chocolate and I went back to the front desk, where I was handed a bag with 9 sets of pills, along with two extra pills.

This is Chocolate, and this isn't the first time she's taken care of me. New Year's Day, when I was "under the weather", she let me sleep with her in her room so I could be closer to the bathroom.

The two extra pills were for my fever, and one set of the nine was to be taken after each meal. Over the intercom, the doctor, who was still in the back, told Chocolate to tell me to take one pack immediately.

Each set has four pills: Amoxicillin, Aspirin, half of a small hexagonal yellow pill, and a half pink/half yellow pill. One of those is Panadol, the other Decardron, according to the paper inserted in the bag. I googled them all, and I think the diagnosis is strep throat, though it might also be rheumatoid arthritis.

After taking the pack, I turned to Chocolate and asked sarcastically, “Do I look beautiful?” She grinned widely and said, “You look fan-[freaking]-tastic.”

I'm smiling.

I don’t feel that bad, just tired. The soreness and movement issues are, for the most part, gone, though I hold on to the wall and the railing every time I take the stairs. My throat feels immensely better, especially right now, since I just took more medicine. I have a little cough now, which feels a little rough on my throat, but I avoid coughing by sleeping.

Everyone’s taking excellent care of me. Chocolate made me a delicious ginger-based Taiwanese meal for lunch/dinner to help me feel better, and other friends have offered soup, company and love while I recover. I’ve quarantined myself, though, especially because a girl who sleeps 16 hours out of the day is painfully boring.

-Boring only to others, though. I woke up from a 7-hour sleep to eat, take my medicine, and write this post. That sleep was full of dreams, including one where I was torturing Jessica Lange’s character in American Horror Story while dressed as a male sadist. I was dancing à la Carlton from the Fresh Prince when I woke up.