Day 23 [NYC] From Doctor To Patient

FELL SICK TODAY. Nothing serious, just a bad case of viral enterocolitis I guess (and for those who does not understand medical jargon, it is an virus infection of the intestines, which causes diarrhea).

I remember watching ‘The Doctor’ played by William Hurt, about a doctor who became a patient and how he went through the process of struggling to live and finally accepting death. I always remind myself that the world is impermanent, and we should not be too attached to material stuff. I for once, realized that it is good that some worldly materials are created. For example, when you have to spend one tenth of your day ‘doing business’, it is great to have a toilet seat that you can sit on instead of squatting onto a hole. Mankind developed gatorate and other electrolyte drinks so that you’ll get to replenish your lost electrolytes when you have diarrhea (and you can choose from a variety of flavors).

There is an issue that I am concerned of. I am so worried that my homestays will feel guilty because they may think that I got a bad stomach from eating something at their house. This is probably not true because although literally everything I consume is from their home, I have a higher chance of catching the virus from the sick kids I see everyday. I remember holding one particular sick baby almost for an hour while her mum, who is also sick, got her medicine and shots. This baby was salivating all over me and I have no doubts that I could get whatever she had easily.

OTHER THAN LOTS OF WATER AND REST, there is no other good way of treating my condition. I am glad that this is temporary and I can go back to being normal tomorrow (or at least the day after tomorrow). Being a medical student lets you see for yourself the tragedy of having an incurable or chronic disease. It can affect you as much as it affects your family. While I sit on the toilet waiting for my elimination to pass, I felt a moment of blissfulness, because I know, all I will get from diarrhea is a sore butt.

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