Saturday, April 12, 2008

travelers diarrhea

(Written several months ago, while traveling in Mexico.)

I have traveler's diarrhea.

It's been about three days now, and I feel like shit. (No pun intended.)

If things do not improve by Monday, I will seek medical attention. I brought antibiotics for just this eventuality, but I want to talk to a local doctor "just in case" I have a parasite or virus instead of the "normal" bacterial infection.

From now on while traveling in Central America I eat NOTHING that has not been boiled, peeled or cooked. Packaged lunch meats, bananas, packaged cheeses, cooked vegetables, well cooked meats, well cooked eggs. I don't care WHERE it's served. I trust nothing.

From now on I wash my own hands carefully and often, just in case I touched something in the environment that could carry diarrhea-causing bacteria.

After three days of diarrhea, upset stomach and nausea, my sense of humor and equanimity is pretty slim. A friend who has traveled widely claims the best thing to do is just get sick, let your body build immunity, and go on about your business. I hope to hell so.

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