Being Sick in Bali

I’m back to blogging after a pretty bad run of getting sick here in Bali.  After writing about having a mild fear of getting Dengue Fever I’m pretty sure I got it.  I didn’t go to the hospital and get it diagnosed because it didn’t seem like there was anything to do besides rest and hydrate.


About two weeks ago I was reading before bed, and I suddenly felt drunk.  I literally only had a sip of wine, but started questioning if I could get drunk off of that.  My feeling of inebriation was soon replaced by a teeth chattering cold.  I laid in my bed shivering uncontrollably, thinking that someone must have turned the air conditioning way up on accident.  My girlfriend came in and put socks, multiple shirts, and pants on me under the covers.  I was so cold and weak that I couldn’t remove myself from the bed.  The air conditioning and fan were turned off, the doors were open with 80+ degrees of Bali heat coming in, and I still couldn’t get warm.


I tried meditating on my breathe to take my mind off the cold and stop shaking, but I had some very scary visions (skeletons and just dark stuff in general) that made me stop and come back several times.  I eventually was able to get warm enough to sleep, and woke up in the middle of the night sweating and burning up.  After I got rid of all of the layers to stop sweating I had intense energy.  I took my Kindle out at 2 am and read in the dark for an hour, and I felt like I could keep reading for hours without getting tired.  I eventually forced myself to lay awake until I could sleep again.


The next week I had a fever that came in waves, a little bit of a red rash, and general weakness.  Now I’m back to normal as far as I can tell.


I fly back to Puerto Rico exactly 7 days from now.  I really like the gym I’m training at (Nirvana Strength Bali), Bali has amazing cheap food, and I live in a great villa, but I am looking forward to going back.  I’m currently at that inflection point on any long trip: I can’t decide if I should just treat my remaining time like a vacation, or try and get some work done.  With 7 days to go (and a multi-day odyssey to get back home) I guess I’ll stay on semi-vacation mode.


Being honest with myself I have gotten very little work done the past month.  I do what’s required for my trading operation on a daily basis, but I’ve done minimal new research and development, and almost no writing.  Part of it was getting sick, and when that happened I didn’t care about anything besides having my life back, part of it was spending a lot of time making and changing logistical decisions (where to live, eat, train), and part of it was letting myself slide into whatever seemed enjoyable at the moment.


I’m a bit disappointed in myself when I go long periods without working not because I have an addiction to working, or that I like to beat myself up, but more because I enjoy the results of my labor.  It’s similar to working out.  If I take some time off from training because I’m tired that’s fine and good, but if I start to miss more workouts due to not making the time/effort I get annoyed.  The thing I’m most looking forward to going back is having a boring routine to get things done.


I did read graphic novels (never sure whether to say that or comic books) these past few weeks like it was my real job.  I renewed my Comixology unlimited subscription, and have been grinding hours daily through various series. “Criminal” by Ed Brubaker and “Death: The Deluxe Edition” by Neil Gaiman have been some of my recent favorites.  I have this list of comics I want to get through, almost like it’s holding everything else up in my life until I finish them. 


Comics are a great hybrid of cinema and books.  I love that feeling after a truly great movie or novel; when you know that you’re not the same person you were before you saw/read it.  When that happens to me, especially with classics, I’m almost annoyed at myself for not finding it sooner. Since I’ve been into film and novels for a long time this is hard for me to come by.  There are still great ones that I have no clue about, but I don’t have a good filter to consistently find them.  Comics are still pretty untapped for me, and I’m working through lists of ones that are universally regarded as excellent.  Reading “Sandman” and the “Death” spinoff by Neil Gaiman for instance was very entertaining, but also such a great rumination on enjoying life, as well as processing our (and our loved ones) impending mortality.


With that I’m going to press the publish button before I procrastinate yet another day on this.  I did make a trip to another part of Bali, Ubud, and posting a few pictures from there.  The top is the “Bubble Hotel” room that we stayed in, middle is the view from our room, and bottom is some Luwaks that eat coffee cherries, ferment them in their stomachs, and poop them out ready to roast.  It’s some of the most expensive coffee in the world, and was pretty tasty.


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