the journey back

words patricia lidis  |  images cebe loomis

My friend just got back from a one week trip to Cuba where he was vacationing and contracting salmonella. Drinking one too many from the menu at the poolside bar will most likely lead to you suckling water on tap and eating semi-cooked chicken.

He was texting me despite the charges, saying he was wandering between salsa lessons on rum punch. That night he complained of a fever in 30 degree Celsius weather but blamed it on the intense burn he had from head to toe. The partying in his resort was limited to water volleyball underneath a clear sky. So a burning fever must have been the culprit.

I saw him about a week after he arrived home with severe diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and night chills. He didn’t go to the doctor even though his fever came and went sporadically, thinking that he had some sort of food poisoning that would naturally subside. We went to see a movie since his symptoms were getting better, but by the end of the night, I had to tuck him in as he was shivering and choking down nighttime cold medicine. He was diagnosed with salmonella poising and was recommended a diet of probiotics, bread and water. He lost 25 pounds in a few weeks.

When I first saw him again during his recovery, I said, “Hey! How’s it going?”

He responded, “Oh I’m okay, a little gassy.”

Sometimes the journey back isn’t so pretty.

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