No, no, it’s not getting all cranky when you realize that all movies open 3 months later here. It’s the germs, the evil, creeping, Middle Eastern germs that prey on a new, vulnerable, innocent little organic system called, variously, “fresh meat” or “your body.”
I got sick for a couple of days in my first few weeks here. I then wrote it off to sleep deprivation caused, in part, by Boogie-ing ’till the wee hours and then running around making Shabbos dinner then next day. But the exhaustion I’ve been feeling morphed into ohhh, not feeling sooooo good on Thurz (I made it to ulpan, realized that actually attending the day’s classes would require someone wheeling a bed in for me so I could be prone while I listened, and wound up taking a cab home after about 1/2 an hour or actual school.) Friday the Death Spiral had me in its full grip. Part of the problem is that I’m a lousy sleeper on the best of days, and even being as sick as I was, Mr. Sandman only did a so-so job of bringing me a dream. (The dreams I have been having have been WEIRD tho, whoo). Anywyay, Friday and yesterday stunk–yesterday was particularly hard, as it was Shabbos, so I was reluctant to use technology, and most of my friends weren’t going to answer their phones anyway. (Yes, there’s plenty of leniancy re: halakha and being sick, and I made use of some of it.) People did bring me soup, OJ, food, bread, hummus, etc. before Shabbos started, though, and one friend checked in on me during the day, and everybody called after Shabbos.
But man, it is kind of scary having a 102.2 F. temperature in a new country that happens to completely shut down on the day in which you’re feeling lousiest. If I had thought I was ER worthy, I would have gone, but I just. felt. sick.
Today, thankfully, the fever has broken. I’m still not in much shape to do much of anything besides sit around and watch more Simpsons episodes that have been lent to me by a classmate, and I have scheduled an appt with an ENT person for 4pm today because a) my throat still hurts just as much as before, and I NEVER get sore throats and b) I have this silky health insurance, so why not actually, you know, consult with experts if I have a body part that’s concerning me? Radical concept, you know, not having to tough it out just because. I’m sure s/he’ll tell me that it’ll go down in a few days, which is great, and will at the very least stave off my paranoid fantasies of needing a tonsillectamy however many gazillions of miles away from home. But if it’s, say, strep, that would be good to know, no?
Anyway, local legend has it that you’re sick a lot for your first six months here and then the bugs have had their way with you and leave you in peace. I really, really hope this doesn’t keep happening ’till mid-January. I’m only slated to be here ’till June! And the video store isn’t far, but it’s too far to walk if you’re hosting a house party for vile bacteria. Unnngh.
[EDIT later in the day: Yep, it’s strep. I haven’t had strep throat since I was about 10. I got the kind of twisted pride one gets when the doctor says, “Oh, wow, that throat is really red! That must hurt!” Evidently one of the major places one picks up such bugs is the swimming pool. Which is too bad, ’cause I’d been enjoying that. The part with the getting the culture done and results and antibiotic perscription filled was once again so easy and so, well, no-money-out-of-my-wallet that my long-held suspicions about the American healthcare system are only redoubled.
But now I’m home, with antibiotics, sugary, unnaturally-colored edible treats to soothe my wretched throat, and permission to attend the 7pm class at the Conservative Yeshiva if I have the energy. But for now: energy conservation.
*an Oleh is a person who makes Aliyah, who moves (permanently) to Israel from somewhere else