I try to keep focused on the fact that I’m pretty much living an amazing life out here in Phong Nha, Vietnam, but every now and then there are things that crop up to make me a bit sad that I can’t visit England or Turkey. Tuesday 6th April was one of those days where I had a little wobble because, written in my diary on today’s page were my flight details. At 7am I should have been on a flight from Manchester to Dalaman in Turkey for a few weeks holiday in between the two weddings of friends, both of which had obviously been postponed due to the Corona situation. Of course my EasyJet flight had been cancelled and I still needed to choose another date to move it to, so I randomly picked 29th September. There was hope that, because of the vaccines in the UK, the flight could go ahead but, if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure that Vietnam would have vaccinated the 96.5 million people here by then, but we could hope that maybe I would get back to the UK before then!
I had leftover pizza for breakfast (with no ill effects) early when the tannoy went off, did some writing, watched more of The Serpent then went back to sleep. For lunch I just had bread and butter and my stomach was fine still and as it was Tuesday it would normally be Shepherd’s Pie night at the Farmstay but I decided to get some chicken out of the freezer and cook something for dinner instead of going out. I had chicken with steamed rice and sweet corn and with the left over cooked chicken I made masaman curry to eat, refrigerate and freeze, using the paste Quyen had brought us from Saigon. It was a quiet, easy going day which ended with me finishing The Serpent on Netflix which, if you like serial killer documentaries, is pretty good.

On Wednesday 7th April I did not expect to spend my day as I did; at 4.30am I woke up feeling as sick as a dog, was in the bathroom for a whole hour and felt terrible. My previous gluten intolerance reactions usually happened within 10 minutes of consumption but could it have changed to me reacting more than a day later? I doubted it and was convinced I had food poisoning. By 5.30am the tannoy was going and I felt hungry so I decided to have a small amount of the chicken masaman for breakfast. That was a big mistake as it made me worse and I spent the rest of the day mainly in the bathroom, sweating in bed or sleeping. I managed to drink water, sometimes with rehydration tablets, jasmine tea and I forced some gluten free pasta with the tiniest bit of tomato sauce down in small portions for lunch and dinner.
I’d not felt this bad since I had gastroenteritis in Goa years ago – oh no, I had caught the stomach flu which some others in the area had suffered with!

Thursday 8th April wasn’t a good day for me, having hardly had any sleep and being quite ill. The loudness of the tannoy woke me up at 5.30am but I was determined not to get up as I needed some more rest. My temperature was high but I could now keep fluids in a bit better than yesterday. The thought of eating anything, especially meat, made me feel nauseous and I was very weak and exhausted. I thought that having some peanut butter would be good for energy but when I opened it and saw how much peanut oil had settled, that also made me feel sick. I went back to bed with the Aircon and the fan on, checked Facebook, watched some Big Bang Theory and then fell asleep. Captain Caveman was half way through his 8 days in the Big Cave but called with some good news, he would do his briefing tonight then come home to see me, spend the night at home then go back in tomorrow. I really wanted him to come home, of course, but I was sensible and told him he’d be better to stay at the Glass House tonight because if I was contagious and he, or any of his customers, got what I’d had it would ruin the trip for everyone! Despite me having zero appetite I decided to force myself to eat a small portion of masaman curry with steamed rice and sweetcorn for my dinner. It felt fine eating it, the food was tasty and all was good until about 1 hour after I’d eaten it – I was back to feeling horrendous again!

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