I just spent twenty-eight hours on that goddamn ferry, the better part of it contorted with stomach pain. I flat out refused to believe that I was being sea sick, on the account that I don’t believe in sea sickness, to start with. Even if such an affliction did, in fact, exist, it could not affect someone who had already spent over seven days at sea, in much worse conditions than these, for instance.
For one, I was lying down the whole time, under proper ventilation, and with a view to the outside, not canned up somewhere below deck. And the size of the ship was so that I could barely feel the movement of the wave underneath.
So there was really no way I could be subjected to « sea sickness », and again: I’d sooner believe in ghosts than in the existence of a stomach disease, caused by the simple fact of being aboard a boat. I do believe that my own mind could cause my body to feel sick, but that can happen in various situations. What the mind does, the mind can undo. If I don’t allow myself to entertain the reality of sea sickness, then my body cannot be afflicted by it, can it?
But there I was, unable to move from my position, bed-ridden by my stomach, threatening to relinquish its content without warning at any sudden move on my behalf.
Well, I must be having my period, then. For sure. Intense nausea has been a symptom before, especially on an empty stomach. I should eat something, drink more, and place my mooncup as a preventive measure.
Eating made it worse. Oh well, then I must have given myself food poisoning, by eating these awful crackers. After all, they do contain some milk products, that must be the reason why I can’t seem to be able to digest them. Even though I had eaten those last week, to no side effects. Fuck this. I need more water.
Well, I’ve been drinking over 1,5 L of water over the last 20 hours, with no feeling of thirst, and no need to go to the bathroom… Something if definitely wrong with me. My body isn’t processing anything at the moment.
Why isn’t my digestive system functioning properly? WHAT THE FUCK, BODY?
By the time we reached Bira, (Saturday, around 6pm, having left Friday at 3pm), I was seriously considering jumping ship. Then again, the full blast karaoke session that had been going on for the past SIX FUCKING HOURS made for a greater incentive than this pretend-sea sickness I still don’t really believe in.
I waited for my ride a few steps away from the ferry docks, praying it would be a car, not a bike of any kind. The ground was moving all around me, and I ended up sitting down on the warm stone, increasingly aware of my stomach, which content had not been released in over twenty-eight hours.
My ride came. Of course it was a motorbike. Of course there was no helmet. The driver took my backpack in front of him, and I remembered just enough indonesian to ask « pran-pran »: slowly please. It was only about ten minutes but it felt agonisingly longer, although at this point, I had no resistance left. I think my body went to survival mode, and I wasn’t as fear-ridden as I would have been, riding by night on the back of a motorcycle, clinging to some guy’s shoulders for dear life.
When we passed the gates of « Bira Dive Camp », I let out a sigh of relief. I was trembling when I got off of the bike, thanking my driver for his skills. He took me to meet the staff, then to my dorm, and let me get settled in.
But he was gone for about a minute when my stomach decided that it was time to let it all out. Ha, so here’s the water I’ve been drinking, but that my body hasn’t been getting.
I went down to the terrace only to bade everyone good night and fill up my water bottle, which I drained once for good measure. I was dehydrated for sure, and it was pointless to eat in these conditions.
As I lay flat on my mattress, I could here the soft rustling sound of the waves, less than fifty meters below. The noise alone was giving me a funny feeling inside. I drained another bottle of water during the night, and thought I’d best pass on the invitation to join in for the next morning’s first dive. Diving while dehydrated isn’t exactly the best idea.
So, I guess, that these past two days have taught me this: sea sickness is real. I am prone to sea sickness. I need to find a way to get past this. I will then get as much information as I can find about this illness, why it happens, how to get rid of it. There has to be a way. I like the sea too much to let it keep me at bay, on the ground that my stomach can’t — well, can’t « stomach » it.
I am the boss here. And I say that since I cannot ignore the problem anymore, I’ll solve it. Period.
— Saturday, July 30th