In my long-winded travels, I decided to go to Venezuela, the country known by at least ten people in the world for its Miss Venezuela pageants, and…what else? I didn’t know, but I was going to find out.
And then, the unthinkable happened. A mosquito bit my leg, and then I couldn’t stop scratching it. It bled a little. Then I went swimming in the dirty Rio Negro. That made it hurt a little when I walked. Pretty soon it was so infected that I was limping down the street, hailing a taxi to the hospital because the bite was the size of a peach pit and wouldn’t stop bleeding.
After the doctor cleaned my leg, which felt like I was having a child through it, I was a bit unsettled with what I saw.
(Warning: This next sentence is not for the faint of heart. Think of something happy first, and then read with care.)
I could have put two fingers into the hole in my leg.
“No, mi amor,” the doctor looked at me and said, concerned. “You are not going into the forest today.” (Which had been my plan. Now really, must you rain on my parade like this?)
The doctor prescribed a plethora of drugs, administered intravenous penicillin, and said that if I didn’t want to get sick and suddenly die I was going to stay put in my nice clean hotel for a week and not do anything.
Hmm. Decisions, decisions…
(Side note: while the nurse was poking and prodding me with needles the power decided to go out. Was that absolutely necessary?)
Honestly, it came as quite the surprise to me that mosquitoes could possess this level of danger. Had I let this go on much longer, it could have been life-threatening. Sure, fine, but why couldn’t it have been more interesting? Put some excitement into it; why couldn’t I have been thrown off a cliff while climbing Machu Picchu? Fallen off the boat and been eaten by crocodiles and anacondas in the Amazon river? But no,
“So, how did Bailey die?”
Excuse me, did you just yawn?
Well then. There was no glamourous, heroic death for me, just being stuck at the border between Brazil and Venezuela with a hole in my leg. Fine, you can take my mobility, but you can’t stop me from buying a nice dress!
It was nice actually having no choice but to wake up and do nothing. The city I was in was called Santa Elena, Venezuela. It is located at the only known land border crossing between Brazil and Venezuela, and it was quite charming.
And so, after an obscene amount of time being “forced” to sit around eating ridiculous amounts of pizza and sweets from the bakery next door, watching movies, having free unlimited internet access and good company, a diagnosis was made. They sent me to a specialist, and it turns out I have flesh eating disease.
I should be fully recovered soon, back on the road in no time. Hopefully.
But Bailey, you may ask, what is next on the agenda after escaping the jaws of death, facing your own mortality and the inevitable parting of this earth as you know it? (And gaining 50 pounds in the process.)
Well now, I can’t tell you that! It’s for me to know and you to find out. As usual.
- Miss Venezuela