Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dan: The day I poisoned my wife

Returning from a strenuous four hour bus ride from Mai Chau, Celine complained of sore throat. Remembering only too well the sore throat I had in Thailand and the wonderful medication that cured it, I thought I could gain a few much needed brownie points by giving some to her. It took me a while to find the medication amongst our organized mess: some tablets given to me over the counter in a Boots pharmacy in Thailand. Once found I checked to see what ingredients there were for Celine is highly allergic to Penicillin. As I thought, there was no Penicillin in the tablets and I happily popped one down her throat.

We decided to walk to an English bookstore we had heard of in a nearby area. The heat was unbearable and with me in charge of the map we verged off course. We were extremely hot, sweaty and exhausted. Celine thought she had been bitten on the hand as it was sore and inflamed. I suggested a bee sting. A little while later I gave Celine a kiss on the cheek which hurt her. Celine thought sunburn. I thought my increasingly pathetic attempt at growing a beard. Celine soon felt more symptoms of an allergic reaction. I suggested heat stroke.

After a while we had to admit it was most definitely an allergic reaction, and we started to scrutinize the cause. First it was knitted bracelet given as a present in Mai Chau, then it was the tea given at lunch by our host, Madame Dzung. It was only then that fear (or possibly guilt) gripped my body and I remembered the pill I had given Celine.

“What was the pill for” Celine asked with a worried look.

“It was for a sore throat”

“Did you by it over the counter, it was not a prescription antibiotic?”

“Yes. Over the counter and I read the back. No Penicillin”

We then went back to the tea theory. Oh was I hoping for the tea theory. We stopped at our local café to cool down and soon after red marks were showing up all over Celine’s body. From Celine’s experience this was a mild hitting reaction and could not be Penicillin: until after a number of hours, it started getting worse. We decided on safety: going to the hospital, so we went back to the house and collected passport, insurance and the pills taken. After showing Celine the box she was adamant that was the cause. Knowing there and then the tea theory was finished I felt like complete shit. I had poisoned my wife.

We took a taxi to the French hospital, not too far from home, and the nurse was able to quickly determine that the pill taken was a sister drug to Penicillin. Great! The doctor did not want to give Celine a Cortisone shot, not knowing her medical history, so we had to settle for tablets which were slower to act. By now she was in a lot of pain and it was terrible seeing her struggle. She was red and her skin was burning all over, she was hot and cold and shivering. Her clothes were hurting her skin. She was very brave and I am happy to report that she never blamed me and didn’t even kick me out of bed. That is probably because it would have hurt her too much.

Luckily the pills kicked in after a few hours. It will take a while to properly recover however today I am happy to say she is much better (still red in the face but don’t tell her I said so, as I tell her she looks fine). I have learnt a few things after this little episode. One, Penicillin has sister and cousin drugs that can still throw a massive punch to someone who is allergic; two, Antibiotics can be bought without a script in countries like Thailand and Vietnam, even in reputable pharmacies and three and most importantly, when in doubt ask your wife.

Dan raconte la meme chose que mon post a moi "Je le sais bien pourtant!!", publie juste avant.


  1. Dan... sweety... you have to understand that there is NO money to inherit (?) in this family... please stop to try killing my sister !!



  2. Yes.... Dan, I agree with Christelle and I say to you very seriously "I don't want you kill my daughter" cause I love her and I need her !!!! okay ?????? do you understand me ????????
    okay, I'm not hungry with you......may be one day Celine could try to kill you too, with her vietnamese cookings !!!!!
    kisses from Chandler

  3. Dan,

    A quick qestion - how do you go about teaching English to two American boys who presumably already speak English as a first language - perhaps they could coach you in American!!! Interesting concept

  4. Well I think we all should be reassured that my mum is "not hungry with Dan". Hum....