It started one evening after dinner. I felt my stomach churning. I suspected that I might have eaten too much and was having indigestion. Later on, in the evening I began to have a stomachache and had to go to the toilet twice before I finally went to bed. My mother made me take some medicine before retiring.
All that night I could not sleep as my stomach was aching spasmodically. Also, I had to get up two or three times to relieve myself. The pain abated a bit after each visit to the toilet but returned increased in intensity after a while. I did not know how I got through the night but by dawn, I was weak and tired owing to the repeated purging. Once I nearly blacked out while in the toilet.
When it was time to go to school, I realized that I could not make it. I had to see a doctor. So, I told my parents to take me to our family clinic after sending my brothers and sisters to school.
At the clinic, the doctor said that I had eaten something wrong and he gave me an injection and some medicine. When I reached home, I had to go to the toilet once again. By this time, I was passing virtually all liquid, but l did not seem to care anymore. All I wanted to do was to lie down on the bed. I felt so, so tired. The bed was so, so comfortable.
After that, I did not remember very much about my condition. All I remembered was hearing my mother calling me now and then and feeding me some liquid. Bless her, my strength was almost gone and she kept me going with regular drinks of glucose solution. Later on, when I was better learned that I was half conscious for a couple of days. I did not even have the strength left to control my bowels, so I messed up my bed without even knowing it. My poor mother had to clean me up, as well as clean the bed every day. All I was that I was in a deep sweet sleep where dreams fitted my senses. I felt as though I was floating- on a warm white cloud and blissfully drifting here and there, with no particular destination in mind. I felt no pain, just the lovely half-awareness of being in a kind of limbo where life and death did not seem to make any difference. Only the peacefulness mattered.
After three or four days, I became more conscious of my surroundings. I began to realize that I must have been very ill. My mother must have had a hard time looking after me. Her face was gaunt and filled with apprehension though she smiled every time she came to feed me. Gradually I could take some solid food and regained the strength to stand up. When I could walk a bit, I looked at my image in the mirror.
What a shock I got! I looked more like a skeleton than a human being. When weighed myself I found that I had lost nearly fifteen pounds-! Oh wow, I must have been very close to death, without even knowing about it, my mother told me that the doctor came to visit me in the house twice to check on my condition. I was not conscious of his presence. Anyway, he told my mother that I had dysentery, a dangerous disease it no cares is taken. But I won through and was glad to be alive.
Some of my classmates came to visit me and brought the usual fruits and get-well cards. My brothers and sisters were all happy to see me improve. What I did not and still do not understand is how I contracted the disease while my classmates and family were ‘not touched at all. Dysentery is passed on by unclean food, so I must be really unfortunate to be the only one to get it. Either this or my doctor was wrong. Whatever it was, I recovered. That was the most important thing.
After a week of loitering around the house and listening to my favorite songs. I regained enough strength to walk around and do some light exercises. My head still felt a bit woozy sometimes but I knew I was getting better.
Ten days after first being struck down, I could cycle to school much to the relief of my classmates and teachers. It was good to be back among the people I knew well. I had a lot of catching up to do in my schoolwork. I also had to bring myself back to peak fitness for the inter-school badminton tournament was due to begin soon and I was one of the school players. I got cracking right away.