Monday, December 19, 2005

The 24-hour flu

I usually try anything served to me, at least once. In Iraq, I’ve tasted a serving of rice and sheep testicles and enjoyed the traditional Baghdadi dish masgouf, fried carp caught from the pristine Tigris. On occasion, I had indigestion, but was never ill.

Until yesterday. I began to feel nauseous in the late afternoon and told a co-worker that I probably would not be eating dinner with her. My first visit to the bathroom followed soon after our conversation, and I spent the rest of the evening and most of the night expelling whatever it was through every available orifice.

The rest of the team was supportive. The grants manager took my temperature with the palm of her hand. The DCOP insisted that a doctor be called. I knew that the training specialist had a doctorate, but it was only when she offered to diagnose me that I learned it was in medical science. Even the house guard asked if there was anything he could do. I thought it was a 24 hour flu and that there was no need for most of their precautions. As my fever dies and my appetite is restored, it appears I was right.

I’m at a loss for what could have caused this, because I didn’t eat anything unusual. I didn’t eat breakfast and for lunch went for a buffet at one of the compound’s restaurants. For dessert, I ate some ice cream I purchased from the corner store. Often my Iraqi co-workers will bring food they have prepared, and offer it around. Its always tasty, though I think I will decline for the rest of the week. Now, I’m sticking with canned soup purchased from Camp Victory.


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