I beg your forgiveness!

Well, it's been about two weeks since I have last made a B-log entry.  Why such a hiatus you ask?

Well, as it turns out.  I got Malaria.

On our last and final day in Goan Paradise, I awoke to the ache and pains of bones and joints.  "I'm just run down from too much beach time" I insisted.  The last day we spent all day at the beach, under the high noon sun and I drank not a single drop of water, only beer.  I was convinced my low energy was directly related to heat stroke.  If only!


That same day we boarded a plane to Bangalore, and I starting to devleop a fever.  They barely allowed me on the plane, but Lydia fetched me some ice and I felt better temporarily, long enough to convince airport officials that I was okay to fly. Being stuck in an India Hospital for a week would be nightmare, I owe thanks to Slim for taking such good care of me.  In Paris I felt worse.  By Toronto it started to really suck.  The following morning with my fever reaching into the depths of hell my mom and my girlfriend forced me into the hospital.  6 hours later the results came back.   Malaria.

No, no, no.  That's impossible I said.  I don't get malaria, that's not how the story goes.  Other people get malaria, not me.


Five days of shivering and burning, some vomiting and lot's and lot's of nausea.  Oh and those freaky dreams.  I don't know if it was the nature of the virus or the medication, but I've been having some whacked out, acid like visions at night.  Not a pretty thing.  Not pretty at all. In fact I don't want to talk about it.  ha ha ha.

So, my wonderful aunt Kim came over to visit and to drop off a few gifts.  Such a sweetheart she is. She also mentioned to me that she's had two friends who passed away due to the malaria thing.  Fortunately for me I was not phased, the doctor had already identified the strain and it was not of the killing kind.  Only the very old and the very young have fallen deathly ill from this particular strain and reports say that someone in Canada has not died from the virus since 1995.  I was in good spirits.  

I looked up another report which stated that Moquitos or Mozzy's as we learned to call them, have killed more people than anything else in the world.  More than war, more than aids, more than natural disasters and more than falling coconuts. Here are some facts….

– A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.

– More than one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children and pregnant women and most of them in Africa.

-There are four types of human malaria – Plasmodium falciparum, P.vivax, P.malariae, and P.ovale. P.falciparum and P.vivax are the most common. P.falciparum is by far the most deadly type of malaria infection.

-Approximately, 40% of the world’s population, mostly those living in the world’s poorest countries, are at risk of malaria. Every year, more than 500 million people become severely ill with malaria. Most cases and deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected. Travellers from malaria-free regions going to areas where there is malaria transmission are highly vulnerable – they have little or no immunity and are often exposed to delayed or wrong malaria diagnosis when returning to their home country.


If I had of known any of this, I would have worn some mosquito rappelent like everyone else.  I just wasn't that concerned and that, right there, was my downfall.  We used mosquito nets at night, but somehow they alwasy got in.  I wonder why.  Here's a snap shot of Paul Bride hiding under his "table cloth" as he called it. 


I only have two more days left of these stupid pills and I should have some energy coming back.  I went to the gym last night and got SLAUGHTERED.  Seriously.  I could barely do the easiest of problems.  I felt as though I had never climbed a day in my whole life and above all I am supposed to go back to Scotland to climb Rhapsody in one month,  now how's that supposed to work?  My arms feel like wet spaghetti noodles.  When you take into account that I have now had three weeks off from climbing, it's going to be a struggle to get the necessary endurance, not to mention the power, to climb such a monster.  I am hitting the gym again today, hoping for better results. 

To make matters worse, Lydia and I are somewhat homeless at the moment, we are house sitting for a good friend right now and it's sweet, we live right downtown – but soon we have to find a place to call home of our own again.  And above all that, it's snowing.  CRAP.  From 35 degrees on the beaches in Goa, to minus 15 and 5 inches of snowin Manmore.

Okay, I have to jet.  I got some 'work' to do.  Much love.

Sonnie J.

  • Suzanne

    Wow! Sorry to hear you it Sonnie, and more glad to hear you survived. We should all check what innoculations are required before going overseas, ideally. Remember having to take those awful Malaria tablets when visiting my Mums home Countries Malaysia and Singapore, the tablets made me feel sick, daily.

  • Sonnie

    Hey Suzanne,

    Yah, the experience certainly reinforced the fact that ‘knowledge is power’. From now on I am going to try and do a little more homework before jumping into something.
    As for the pills, I know what you mean, the meds are almost as bad as the virus they’re trying to kill. nasty stuff! cheers.

  • ellian

    so sorry to hear you got sick – the kicker about those little buggers is that they get the best of us – as the saying goes ‘the mosquito treats king and pauper alike’ or something to that effect
    anyways – just a thought – not sure if you’re tied to Canmore – but if you need a place to ‘make your home’ – my dad’s place in Brisco (entrance to the Bugaboos) is empty all spring and most of the summer – very grand place indeed and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you living there for a couple of months if you were interested – just a thought
    Get better soon and maybe I’ll see you over in the UK – i’m leaving in a month and praying for an early english summer =0)

  • Kush

    Hi Sonnie,

    Didn’t get a chance to reply to your response to my earlier comment. However I’ve been following your adventures in India with much excitement. With all the fun you’ve had, its unfortunate that you gott hit by some of the havoc India has to offer…your tummy ailment first, and now this! Best of luck with your recovery. Hope your illness doesn’t dissuade other readers of your blog from a trip to the sub-continent.



  • Hey Sonnie I hope you feel better man. Malaria sounds like a hellish illness. Goood luck with preppin for Rhapsody. I’m stoked for you man.

    -Alton Richardson

  • Sonnie

    Hey thanks guys,

    I went back to the gym today and although sluggish, I had a a much better experience, I think I’ll be back to normal soon enough.

    As for dissuading others from visiting, if it’s any help, we are already booking our flights to go back to Asia in the fall. Maybe Thailand for a week and Vietnam, oh and we want to see the north as well, Dehli and Nepal. Although uncomfortable at times, Asia is nothing to fear and the returns one can have is ten fold.

    Ellian, thanks for the offer, wow, but unfortunately we won’t be staying long enough to enjoy Brisco, can I take a raincheck? Please? Ha ha!


  • Suzanne

    Hey Sonnie, take care in Thailand too, I looked after a man in the U.K (infectious diseases unit, in Oxford) who had caught something nasty drinking the water over there, but it sounded like it was the glasses more, that were washed in their tap water. If possible, stick to bottled water to keep you safe. I have an old friend from previous Royal Air Force days, who moved there permanently having met his wife there.

  • Kush

    Wow, I wonder how many of us would have the pluck to plan a 2nd trip on the tail of a malaria attack ! Kudos.

    If I can escape the shackles of my desk here in silicon f&$#ing valley I’ll try to head to asia this winter. Else, if you find yourself heading to Delhi (my hometown), I’d love to be able to help in any way at all.


  • Tom R.

    Trotter, Digging the beard, man. Bummer to hear about the Malaria, I’m still battling the Mozzi’s here in Africa on my way to Rocklands.