Sunday mornings I used to wake up early. I had to make sure I had enough time to do household chores before making myself ready for church.

On this particular Sunday, time seemed to taunt me with doubts of whether I would make it to church on time. I had to do all I can to prove that I could. In my hurried state I forgot that the house was sprayed with insecticide against cockroaches the day before. I didn’t forget as much as it was too late to take caution.

The church was about a 30 minutes’ walk from home. The English service I attended started at eight o’clock in the morning and it was already half past seven and I still had to wash and have my breakfast. After showering I made myself ready. I went to the kitchen to have a cup of tea. I took a mug from a tray on the kitchen counter. It seemed like the mug had been there for over a decade. But I was in such a hurry that I didn’t bother washing it. I just took it, made myself a cup of tea and left for church.

On my way to Balaka Cathedral of Hope I had to pass Balaka railway station and Balaka Bus Depot. I was running 20 minutes late. Once I was in the church I felt quite relieved that I had made it even though I was late.

After 20 minutes of my arrival, things turned upside down.

I felt a severe headache and my palms and forehead were sweating. My stomach puffed out, little by little. I told a friend sitting next to me that I was not feeling well. I decided to give up the service and go home. My friend thought that I was joking, but I couldn’t stay feeling the way I was.

I took my bible and hymn book, went outside and felt other members of the church gazing at me. I could only imagine what they were thinking: “Look at this son of the devil. Is this end of the service?” I hurried home thinking that if I was going to die, it should be at home.

By the time I got home I had quite aggressive stomach pains. I ran to the toilet and just as well as watery stools left my body. I breathed a sigh of a relief because my stomach, which had been taking on strange shapes from whatever was happening inside, had gone back to its normal shape. I went into my bedroom and lay down on my back on the floor. Maybe it’s cholera.

As I was in the sitting position it felt like my stomach, puffed up like a bullfrog’s was about to burst open. And there it was! I threw up everything. I mean my breakfast of tea and bread and even previous m

I thought it was over, but the stomach started to balloon again. I felt uneasy and had developed a headache which was too much to bear together with the severe stomach ache. I thought I was dying. I pulled myself to a sitting position and started inspecting my body closely, even pulling my skin. I was thinking so many things.eals. I felt a little relieved and there was a glimmer of light to replace the promise of darkness approaching.

I stood up slowly and with care and fetched a mop. I cleaned the room. Afterwards I came back and lay on the cold floor again. The stomachache was not still there and the headache was also showing no signs of leaving. I lay there rolling from side to side, groaning, until I fell asleep. I thought I had died, because whilst I was sleeping I didn’t feel any pain.

I woke up at around noon and was relieved that there was no stomachache. There was a faint whisper of a headache promising to leave me alone. I felt much better and sat up thinking about what might be the cause when I remembered the cup. The cup was left out when the insecticide was being sprayed. Could it have been contaminated with the insecticide?

My thoughts were interrupted by my mother asking: “Isaac, are you sick?”

“I’m not ill Mum. I’m fine. It was just that I was sick in the morning but I didn’t feel very ill,” I lied.

She went through to her bedroom. I guess she had heard about my vomiting from my sister. She was at church where she teaches Sunday school to children.

I never grabbed any lunch at noon. I was afraid of the consequences and of my stomach having a bad reaction again. My stomach looked full but I was not sure what with. Maybe it was filled with air.

Later in the afternoon around quarter past three, I started feeling hungry. I ate half of my lunch and started feeling much better. That evening I was looking and feeling so much better as I was preparing supper for the family. Again, I only ate half a plate in the hopes of not activating any yeast in my bloated stomach.

I went to bed 10 minutes after my supper and fell into an easy sleep. I woke up at two o’clock in the morning with my stomach as puffed up as a balloon. I breathed with tension. As soon as I sat up, my lunch and supper went all over my bedroom floor. I felt a little relief. I went and fetched the mop and cleaned my bedroom again. I went back to bed praying to Almighty God to allow me see the morning sunrise. I was afraid of dying. I slept.


Tell us: Have you ever been sick to the point you thought you would die? Tell us about it?