Locals contract malaria often. Their immune systems have adapted to it. I was told by one person they get malaria once a month. I’m unsure how true this actually is, but I found it interesting. As soon as a local gets a fever they get tested right away and given medication if confirmed. It’s gone within 3 days. For visitors, our immune systems haven’t had the chance to adapt, the experience is quite different. I felt as if people were treating me as a local. Things were getting progressively worse during my stay. I started getting a nasty headache on day two. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Sleep was very important for me. At this point my symptoms included a high fever, severe fatigue, anemia, headache, vomiting, very fast and shallow breathing and chills. Sleeping helped me recover from exhausting my energy during the day. I asked whether there was any headache medicine in the house. There was, but I wanted to contact a doctor first to make sure it was compatible with the malaria medication, it wasn’t; so one of the children got the correct type from the drug store. I had the pill around 8pm. Within minutes of taking it I knew I was in trouble. My eyes became wide and I had this unusual amount of energy. I hoped it would wear off as the night went on but it didn’t.
I lay in my bed all night. No headache though so that was a relief. I experienced crazy thoughts, as vivid as dreams. They came rushing through my head, completely unrelated thoughts every few seconds. They were however all dark, sad and unwelcome. This lasted throughout the night. The medication never wore off.
Around 8 am I started feeling the effects of being awake all night. My body was tired, my mind was tired; I had never been this sick in my life. I had to vomit again so off I went to the bathroom. It was relentless; I puked 10-15 times. Nothing was really coming out except water. With what energy I had left I slowly made it back to my bed and collapsed. My breathing became very fast, I couldn’t talk anymore. Speaking a word was too much effort.