April 5, 2008
I could barely walk the half block to the pharmacy this morning. I told the pharmacist about my symptoms and she gave me some sort of fever medication. It somewhat helped but made me extremely drowsy. Somehow I managed to carry my backpack to the bus, but I felt like the walking dead along the way.
I got a bus to Coban, but there were many delays due to road construction. The Guatemalans' brilliant plan when repaving a road is to shut the entire thing down for three hours in the middle of the day and make any unlucky traffic that may try to cross that stretch of road wait. The concept of shutting down only one lane at a time has not yet made it as far as Guatemala.
When I finally got to Coban, I finally jumped on one more bus, my eighth bus in two days, to Lanquin. I was sleeping most of the way, but the fever came back strong in the afternoon and I began shaking and having severe aches again. I felt myself sinking, like my head was spinning and filling with clouds. Death would have been a welcome invitation at that point.
In Lanquin, I stayed at a beautiful compound of cabins on a river. There were no rooms available, so somehow I dragged out my tent and camped under a thatched roof. It was actually way better than being in a room because of the gentle breeze and extra space that doesn't exist in a dorm. I figured I was finally in a good place to ride out the fever.
When I was shaking and moaning in a chair later, I saw a German girl named Tina who I had originally met in Managua a few weeks ago. She didn't even recognize me I looked so bad. For the first time, I thought that maybe I had either malaria or dengue fever. I was on Utila ten days ago, which is known to have malaria, but I was taking my malaria medication at the time. Still, taking the medication in no way guarantees that you won't get the disease if you get a persistent strain. Some people told me there was a hospital I could go to tomorrow and get tested to find out for sure what it was.