Well, I have been hinting at the rest of the story more or less openly already, and here is what happened on the Thursday of our week on Majorca:
As mentioned in my previous post, due to changing rooms because of the ants we "lost" the entire morning, which wasn't too bad considering that the weather had not been that great; it was still rather windy with some rain every now and then.
But by the time we had made ourselves at home in our new room and were ready to go out, the sun had come through, and we decided to take it slow today after yesterday's long walk, also considering that there weren't that many hours left before it would be dinner time.
So we just went along the beach in the opposite direction of the day before, walking for no more than two hours. Afterwards, we went for a swim, and RJ enjoyed the waves so much, he stayed in the water twice as long as I! It was fun watching him from the edge of the water, splashing about, diving, jumping, throwing himself into the waves and generally just having a great time.
No wonder he was tired after that, and laid down for a nap. We agreed on a certain time when I should wake him so that he would still have enough time to get changed for dinner, but when that time came, I almost couldn't wake him up; he was extremely tired and at first thought about staying in the room, not going down for dinner. But he did get dressed and go downstairs with me; we both thought he'd feel his energy return once he'd have eaten something (we'd had a big breakfast and no lunch, so it seemed plausible that his leaden tiredness came from not having eaten since the morning).
We were wrong.
Shortly after dinner, still sitting at the table opposite me, he started sweating profusely and his face went all grey, his eyes went to one side and his upper body started leaning towards the table.
I quickly pulled his (now empty) plate out of the way in case he should fall face forward on the table, got up and asked one of the waiters to come back to the table with me, which he promptly did.
By that time, RJ was only dimly aware of what was going on, and he later said he was never totally "out" but was wondering why all of a sudden there were so many men around him, first helping him up from the chair and then telling him to lay down on the floor, when all he wanted was getting to the room to lay down again.
Let me tell you, it is rather scary when a tall, heavy guy such as RJ (1,94 m, 130 kg) crumbles like that - and I knew I stood no chance in moving him or helping him on my own! Good job we not only had some strong waiters there, but at a nearby table, one of the guests saw what was happening and came over to help; he was a nurse from Austria.
With his feet up on a chair and me applying a cold wet cloth to his forehead, RJ was soon able to talk again and said he just wanted to go to the room and rest. But the nurse and I insisted in having him checked out at the hospital, which was luckily less than 2 km away from the hotel. A taxi was called, and RJ was taken there in a wheel chair and helped into the taxi.
After half an hour or so, a doctor came for a first examination, and it was determined he was to stay over night and put on a drip.
RJ was installed in a room at the hospital, and I helped him wash and undress for bed (not easy when you're on a drip), hunting around for towels and blankets, and waited until he had been given some medication. Shortly after midnight I felt confident to leave him and walked back to the hotel.
The next day, straight after a quick breakfast, I walked to the hotel again, bringing fresh clothes and all the other things RJ would be needing. The doctor came and told us that the test results had showed that it wasn't a virus, nor salmonella or any other food poisoning, but (to me) most important of all, it had not been a heart attack or a stroke.
Instead, he explained it as a case of toxines; these are the waste products of bacteria that live everywhere on the planet, in the water, the air, the soil, the food, everywhere. Normally, our bodies can handle them, but sometimes our "guard" is down, especially when we are exposed to a different environment from home, with different bacteria to the ones our bodies are used to, and on top of that, we are more active than usual (which can certainly be said for RJ during the first days of our holiday), swallow sea water and so on. The doctor also said that this happens a lot (which explains why the people at the hotel were so efficient in their reactions), and I remembered that a GP here in Germany had explained pretty much the same to Steve, when he first came over from England and constantly felt tired and unwell, like having the flu without actually having it. Some people are more vulnerable to this than others, and apparently RJ is one of them.
Imagine our relief - just toxines, nothing more serious! Now all that was needed was getting RJ's system back to normal, which was done with the help of a drip, some medication and a strict diet plan (which he is, to an extent, still sticking to). RJ spent another night in hospital and was released on Saturday afternoon.
Inner courtyard at the hotel
When he returned to the hotel with me, everybody was so sweet to us! They had all been asking me how he was when they had seen me at breakfast on my own, and now RJ was greeted like a long lost friend.
We spent a quiet Saturday evening and equally quiet Sunday with (short!) walks on the beach, sitting in the shade under the trees, watching the world (and the other tourists) go by, no dancing, no cocktails, not doing anything strenuous, and on Monday, RJ felt so well the journey back home was no problem.
View from our balcony across the pool (where we never went - we were at the sea, weren't we!) and through the trees to the Mediterranean
All things considered, our holiday was good - and strange as it may sound, even the time in hospital was somehow relaxing, because we were not even thinking of work. We now know a great deal more about the Spanish health system than we ever cared to find out, and are both immensely grateful that it wasn't anything more serious than that!