Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gratitude Journal - Health and Support

Not that long ago, I was on my way out of Uganda. I had a plane ticket to South Korea to take up a teaching contract, maxed out credit cards, and maybe $100 in cash available.

I visited a friend in Jinja to say goodbye, and promptly collapsed in her living room as malaria racked my body once again.  This led to an eventful flight to South Korea: Some nice Uganda lads helped me onto the plane, some nice Chinese people put me in wheelchair to get me off the plane in Shanghai, and a not so nice Chinese guy dumped in transit and refused to take me to a hospital.

I finally made to to South Korea by propping myself up on airport trolleys and asked for help wherever I could.  I was rushed to a hospital and pumped full of drugs.

At one stage, I thought I was going to die.  The sobbing-into-the-pillow version of imminent death.

I remember feeling pissed off.  I was 37 years old.  Far too young to die.  I also felt lonely.  There I was, on my death bed, and there was no one there to hold my hand.  I get teary eyed thinking about it now.

Needless to say, but I did survive.  A kind person (who also gave me the idea for this gratitude journal) organized a fundraiser and paid off my medical bills.

Now here I am, fit and healthy again in beautiful British Columbia.

Well. not quite healthy.  I've been laid low for three days which some weird virus that sucked the life outta me.  I've done nothing but sleep for three days.

This was an especially bad time to fall down.  The three-and-a-half year old in our care has whooping cough and is in quarantine until Christmas.  No day care.  No family visits.  And no contact with the nine-month old in our care.  It's a rough time for him.

But he was taken care of.  Shit got done that I usually do.  And orange juice and meals magically appeared at my side.

Being sick and alone is a terrible place to be.

Being sick and have support and love around you is a great place to be and something to be grateful for


  1. ... and the world is a better place, and you also, for you getting through your near death experience. Long live Malcolm hip rah, hip ...

  2. That was such a scary time, Malc. I am so glad that you made it through, and incredibly grateful that you and the lady found one another. Grateful for your presence on Earth and all that you do to make this a better place.