Sunday, August 24, 2008

Health and Next Week

Tomorrow, I will be heading to Malatya on a 5pm flight. Malatya is in the Southeaster part of Turkey. It is a far more conservative and less touristy city than I been to during this trip or perhaps in my life. There is a 3 day Turkish Chemical Engineering conference at which all of my lab mates are giving presentations. Since the conference will be in Turkish, the educational aspect will be mainly so see how these conferences are held and the interactions that occur. During most of the conference, I will use this chance to see some of the sites. There is only one small museum in Malatya, which is supposed to be based on the local Anatolian history. The current city of Malatya is relatively recent as the original is about 7 km away. Lonely Planet says that it is well worth the journey to this older city as it should capture what Anatolian life was like around 100 years ago. I think there is a museum there as well. On Friday, I will be taking a tour with my labmates that is for about half a day. I don't recall what it involves, but I will be sure to tell you after I get back. Saturday, I will be leaving on a tour with Mert and Canan at around 5am. We will be traveling to the city of Urfa by way of the Ataturk Reservoir. The reservoir is the largest in Turkey and is apparently something to see. I am assuming it is on the order of out Hoover Dam. One of the other stops is to Mount Nemrut. "In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8-9 meters high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian and Persian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Persian god Ahura Mazda), Tyche, and Apollo-Mithras" (Wikipedia). The tour will end in Urfa which is 40 miles from the Syrian border and has a significantly more Middle Eastern feel to it than other areas of Turkey. Lonely Planet says that this is an amazing city to visit especially for its bazaars. I think this trip will be fun.

Now, what could possibly hamper the trip is my health. I can't remember how much I have updated this blog on my health, so I'll give a quick over view. After my first treatment that was described didn't seem to be working, I went to the medical center here at METU for a check-up. the doctor had some tests run here at their microbiology lab and determined that I just had giardia. I would like to add that the tests did not cost me anything. In fact, I only paid .8YTL for the doctor's visit. He put my on Ornidazol, which is variant of Metrodinazol, which I had the first time. After almost two weeks, I didn't particularly feel better, I went back and found the doctor I had was out on vacation. Fortunately, I was told to see another doctor, who ended up being the head of the medical center. He also spoke english, so I was able to describe my problem. He sent me for even more tests than before. They determined that my giardia was gone, but that I might have a small viral infection that should be clearing up soon. He gave me a strict diet of Bread and Rice and told me to come back in a few days. The diet made me feel better, but was indicative that my stomach is unable to handle foods other than these. Beceause I was felt better, I actually tried a fish sandwich which didn't work out so well. I went back on Friday, when he told me to increase my diet to bread, bananas, and soups with veggies. I have been living on that for the past two days. My stomach is very tender, but at least there are foods I can eat. I am trying to slowly add more complex things. Today, I tried some almonds (about 4), and they slightly upset my stomach, so I'll try something else tomorrow but also with just two almonds. I am slowly working my way back to normal food. For the trip, I will probably be heavily reliant on bread and trying small things off of everyone's plates. It's too bad that things turned out this way, but I guess it is all part of the adventure.

I'll try and update from Malatya, but I don't know if I'll have internet access. If not, I'll try posting Sunday night when I get back.


Anonymous said...

I hope you have an awesome time, and that your health doesn't continue to hinder such an amazing experience!

Anonymous said...

HEy B- Sorry the stomach thing has hung on. Been there...send sympathy. I would avoid things with fat...and nuts have fat. Veggies, bread, maybe potatoes but no butter, etc. Really easy to digest...
Let me know how it goes.