As soon as I returned from Bodrum, I got into bed and slept for the rest of the day. When I woke up, however, I had excruciating pain in the left side of my stomach. I could not move, I felt paralyzed. I pushed myself to get up and go to the bathroom, but it was very difficult to stand up. My skin color changed to yellow and I began vomiting nonstop. At first I thought it was food poisoning, but the piercing back pain reminded me it was not. I felt as if someone opened my stomach and put bricks inside of it. I crawled to Alex’s room and woke her up.
She quickly called all our contacts for help while I cried on the couch. One of our graduate students, Camerun, and her brother drove to our house and helped me get in the car. They drove me to the emergency room at Akdeniz Hospital, where I was quickly drugged with anesthesia that eased my extreme pain. I felt cold and miserable, dehydrated and hungry. I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt drowsy, nauseous, and lethargic all at the same time. Qasid Bhai rushed to the hospital and came to see me, which I really appreciated. “If not your close ones, then who else will come visit?” he said. I smiled.
Later, the doctors conducted an ultrasound on me and concluded that I had kidney stones. I don’t know what caused them, but perhaps my long bus rides, overdose on Vitamin D, and imbalanced diet could be contributors. I was advised to drink copious amounts of water and liquids to help flush out the kidney stones. I also took some painkillers and antibiotics for a week.
I was grateful to Alex, my students, and Pakistani family who took care of me during this time of need. As I mentioned before, medical emergencies are the less glamorized aspects of living abroad. These experiences teach you about perseverance and endurance, friendship and personal strength. I skipped Turkish lessons for the rest of the week, and focused on getting better through rest and proper nutrition.