(As written in my journal that day; grammar and minor edits only. Italicized portions are additions written after the trip.)
I think of John forcing me to drink water the last time I had food poisoning - so I try hard to be my own pusher, and keep hydrated. I spent the day at that clinic. I'm not putting myself in a position to have to go there!
Hour on the hour, I'm up - and it is worse each time, more violent. I may never eat peanut butter again after the taste of those noodles and weird sauce coming back up. Everyone is so thoughtful but I besieged by anxiety. How long will this last?
I don't want to be alone, and Meggie is the best nurse - we move rooms to be in one vacated by Peg and Nancy. Their room has a bathroom! Meggie puts on some music for me (precious battery life on the iPhone), gets me an extra blanket - I'm freezing - and half a case of water bottles. I want music with no words, and she makes me chuckle - the piano music she has is from an album called Dark Night of the Soul.
At one point I say, "Meggie, some day this is going to be a funny story."
The generator lights go out - must be around 10 PM - and thus I'm on the hourly puke-and-shit round. I've been able to do one, then the other, but can feel myself losing strength to walk very far, strength to carry my bucket in with me. (Thank god Meggie got me a bucket - I was so sure I wouldn't need it...)
Fluffing up a famous quote, our family friend Dennis is known for saying, "It's always darkest before it goes completely fucking black."
I sit on the throne. I am going to have just enough time to turn and flush before I have to vomit.
Pull. Pull on the chain. Pull on the chain again. Stuck, stuck. No movement. Nothing. "Meggie! Meggie!" I shout, as I realize it. "There's no water!"
"It's ok then, it'll be back on in the morning."
And standing there I look at the shower drain hole in the floor, and the unflushed toilet. Gotta do it. And so I vomit into the bowl, filling it further - a classic scream-puke, if you're familiar (second definition at that link). I'm also crying, just to add another liquid-shedding bodily function to the mess, and I stumble back to the bed - I've given up on fiddling with the mosquito net, and am just leaving it up, so let's hope that puking up the malarone is not putting me at any risk.
I'm out of breath and lay there, panting, sweating. Meggie has left - to get Joe, it turns out. He brings an unused half-bag sun shower; the water is cold now and he's going to fill the toilet tank with it (I unknowingly used the last flush an hour ago).
"Oh no, no, don't look in there," I half-call out.
"Oh, please. I'm a veterinarian," he says. "And I have four kids," he adds as he lifts the toilet seat. "Eh! It's nothing." Later I think that he looked to be sure there was nothing dangerous going on - blood or anything - since he's the closest thing we have to a doctor. I mean - it's him or Dr. Elton, the dentist at the clinic!
He fills the tank, flushes, fills it again, and comes out. "OK, you've got one more good flush in there for a bit. Need anything?" I sort of moan. Meggie tells him we're alright.
Eventually the two bodily functions merge into one, and I have to hold the bucket on my lap, and then dump it into the shower drain or toilet after using the throne - the bucket contains such clear liquid it looks like water you could drink. There is literally nothing left in me.
When I come shuffling back to bed again, and lay down, Meggie is hovering above me. "Here, drink some water!" She looks anxious. I'm out of breath from the sheer act of full expulsion and gasp, "Just give me a second!" I have to catch my breath before I can drink water - with that awful knowledge that I am providing my body with exactly what is going to be coming back up again, so painfully, soon.
A little while later, the water comes back on.
At about 1 AM, I awake but am able to ride out the urges, and I fall into something a little like sleep, a little like passing out.