(After being on the road for a while, the functions of one’s stomach start to become a normal topic of conversation. So if you’d rather not read the following, don’t.)
After the most disgusting eggy burps all afternoon, I self diagnosed giardia and started taking a course of flaygl which I luckily had recently purchased “just in case” one of us needed it before going home. “Just in case” came a lot sooner than I expected. I realized that any burps I had in Nepal and India probably weren’t from the hardboiled eggs I had been eating (and eventually stopped because the smell of eggs started to gross me out), but from the month or two (or three or four) that my stomach was infected with this nasty disease. Being sick is never fun, but being sick abroad especially stinks because you are in an unfamiliar place (no where is as comfy as home to be ill) and besides, you don’t even get paid time off from work (oh wait, I didn’t get that before I left home…silly non-profit).
A few days ago, as Matt may have mentioned, I got super sick on day two of our “Ha Long Bay from Hell Tour.” As I lay in bed that evening, my body aching and recovering from a day of puking (including once out the window of a bus and once on my way up the stairs to our hotel room…thankfully I had a plastic bag with me), my mind raced with thoughts of what could be wrong with me. Dengue? Malaria? Japanese B Encephalitis? I don’t even exactly know what the symptoms of those are, except that I’d been traveling in some crazy places and been bit much more than I would have liked. Was I dying? It sure felt like it. For the first time, I found myself wishing for SOS to come and Med-Evac me out to some nice hospital, like the Adventist one in Bangkok, where I could be hooked up to an IV of miracle fluids and nursed back to health on BBQ chicken and mangos with sticky rice.
Fortunately my malady on the boat trip was most likely just a case of food poisoning (or maybe that pack of strawberry oreos I ate the night before?…). But now something else seems to be wrong. I don’t know where all the gas comes from, but I imagine that there must be little green giardia oompaloompas (the orange ones are the good ones, they make candy) mixing this with that, causing an explosion, a green cloud perhaps, which causes my stomach to ache like no other. Travel isn’t all beaches and historic sites…