I had a rubbish start to 2016.
I was made redundant and I slipped into a mild depression. I had gone from being an in-demand media professional to sleeping past 10am and wearing pants every other day (true story).
I saw cheap tickets to Bali and I thought, ‘What the heck’. I deserved this trip. I’d worked my ass off in television for years. Plus, it would give me time to figure out my next move.
I invited my ex along, who lives in Singapore. I figured if anything could get me out of this funk it would be Bintang, beach, and my very own Mr Big (the similarities really are remarkable).
Listen: Meet the couple who retired in their 30s and moved to Bali. Post continues…
Bali lived up to its expectations. I drank, I swam and I tanned – I was back, baby! My only gripe was the mild case of Bali Belly I had on the plane ride home (awkward).
Little did I know my nightmare had only just begun.
I arrived back on a Tuesday morning and felt off. I know my body and I knew something wasn’t right, but I put it down to the bad piece of fish I ate on the way to the airport.
Then, I woke up on Sunday morning with the most intense joint pain. I couldn’t touch my skin without wincing. I thought it was the flu and continued about my business with the help of paracetamol and water.
By Thursday I could barely walk. My brother took one look at me and drove me to the hospital. I dropped to my knees in the waiting room and began to cry. I didn’t have the energy to move.
The moment I told the nurse I had been in Asia and had flu like symptoms, her face dropped. I knew she was thinking Zika virus — hell, I was thinking Zika. I was quickly shuffled into isolation and anyone who came in contact with me wore one of those terrifying space suits. But this definitely wasn’t the flu.
A series of painful tests ensued. One test I remember vividly was the “Blood Gas Test”, where they put a needle in my wrist and began to move it around. The pain was enough to make me pass out. The doctors were stumped and I was scared. Then I got a text from the ex and my heart sunk.