There are quite a few issues that come up as a side effect of constant travel through remote locations. Probably one of the most important is poor health. Evacuating anybody really sick is extremely difficult way out there and so we tend to be maybe a little too cautious at times as regards medical problems.
We have to think of the needs of the group, above those of the individual and this sometimes means immediately shunting ailing passengers off to the doctor, even if they don’t think it necessary. If there is an illness that might spread amongst the group, we need to make sure it isnt contagious.
Howevet, I really don’t tend to look at my own health as a priority and it takes a lot of urging to make me seek medical help. Ive damaged myself so many times, in so many ways, whilst working for this company but I will only visit the doctor if thete is a possibility of something infectious.
Or if I feel really bad. My husband says that he knows when I’m really sick because I agree to medical stuff straight away.
This last Sunday, here in Cairns, I woke up very early because I was so cold. A temperature of 40.5C and it wouldn’t come down much, even with medication and tepid showers. It was a bit reminiscent of my salmonella hospitalization last year.
When my partner forcibly marched me down to the medical centre, I didnt argue. A 17 day across the desert camping trip coming up no one needs somebody possibly ill and passing on viruses. And, besides, I felt too out of it to object much.
The thing was, though, I had no other symptoms apart from the fever. The doctor listened to my chest, checked my urine, physically examined me and…nothing.
We’d just come back from a trip up to Cape York. The doctor’s eye lit when he heard that. He immediately wrote a letter to the infectious diseases specialist at the hospital and told me to go straight thete.
To be cleared of (or quarantined as a result of) typhoid.
You’re telling me that I might have fucking typhoid?!!!
I didnt even know that was still a disease here!
Oh, and/dengue fever, although that seemed extremely secondary when compared to typhoid. I do believe it is one of the original plagues.
There were a few nasty hours when I sat and thought about how to tell my boss that I’d inadvertently exposed the entire group, and possibly infected some, with typhoid. I don’t think there would be any coming back from that one and I wouldn’t blame him.
Oh my God, it was bad enough telling him that I had animal contracted salmonella last year – I dodged his calls and tried to act like I was at home, rather than the hospital, when he did manage to contact me.
God, I come up with some interesting medical possibilities, don’t I?
Anyway, a barrage of very expensive tests later (thank you, socialised medicine), and I was deemed to be not Typhoid Kitty. Or Dengue Fever Kitty.
The chest xray showed a big lung infection that none of the doctors could pick up just by listening. Although, one said afterwards he could hear my lack of breath when I was talking. He asked me if I hadn’t noticed being really short of breath upon exertion and if there was any pain arou d my chest area.
Well, actually yes, now he came to mention it. I’d walked paxs a very steep hill the day before and I really couldnt talk and walk at the same time. But the thing, those symptoms aren’t out of the ordinary for me. Half my ribcage is fused as a result of my anky spond (arthritis type) and my lung capacity is severely limited as a result. I do struggle to breathe whe I am climbing hills.
As for the pain, well, the bones and joints fusing together make pain an inevitable part of my life on occasion and I mostly put up with it if it isnt too acute.
Nope. No symptoms out of the ordinary.
Im on antibiotics now and the fever has gone. Cleared to leave town, although doc would prefer me to rest.
But really? These unicorns of way out, rare, medical possibilities only seem to gallop around me.