This is the first time I had got sick while traveling abroad~ Havana, Cuba. Incredible trip by the way. YOU CAN READ IT HERE.
I did manage to get over "IT" without going to the doctor, but to be honest, I was a day away from calling for an appointment.
Later, I'll give you my other great tips to avoid the wild butt shenanigans on the road (Since this trip, I've added a few more! ).
I'm not sure what got me, but here's the way it went down.
We knew the water was not consumable in Cuba, we had also heard warnings about brushing your teeth with the water.
We stayed at a Casa Particular ( family home) in Cuba. Very welcoming, so maybe I just felt comfortable - at home, and there was no mention of the water by the family.
Sooooooooo, one evening, toward the end of our stay, I brushed my teeth the water. I was on auto-pilot. We can't be sure if this was the entry point, it could have been some leftover fish, beans and rice. It had been in the refrigerator for two days, not sure that fridge was up to speed cooling wise.
It started a day before we left. I had a few chills during the night, then the blowout came the next morning after coffee.
CRAP! No trotting here, full blown races, I was playing two step with the bathroom, two steps in.......two steps out......
You get it.
I always bring Immodium just in case and grabbed two. This was our self tour day in Havanna, so I really wanted feel better. I felt a bit tired, which Immodium will do to you, but didn’t have the urge to repeat the earlier event, so we headed to the city.
We ate light and the next day, was not too bad. I felt a little "floaty", but no sprints to the bathroom, thought the "Cuban" had left my body.
A day after I got back I realized I was still "With CUBAN", I am referring to the little pest as my "Cuban", only because I don't know what it was (parasite or bacteria) other than it came from Cuba.
I had Dehli Belly, a seriously protruding pot belly; severe headache and had just entered "Zombieville". The headaches, dopiness and stomach problems lasted for 13 days.
Really nasty, I sucked down an advil every morning for my head. I woke up with headaches in the middle of the night too, the throbbing was incredible.
I work at home, so the sudden pregnancy "look" didn't matter AND I was able to use my own commode.
Actually I couldn't work at all for at least 3 days, really. I spent a lot of time sleeping, my head was messed up.
So, besides sleep and lots of water, here's what else I did:
I bought a Butt Load of Yogurt, figured my gut needed some help, and my doctor had suggested yogurt when I had a bout with E-coli, so I started with Activia Probiotic Yogurt. I had three containers a day.
I also bought a load (not a butt load), of garlic. I have read many studies about the health benefits of this vegetable bulb. If crushed or chewed, it turns out a compound called Allicin which has shown to help with bacterial infections as well as boosting the immune system.
Here is some information about Allicin, if your so inclined.
Here is another study on garlic, its anti-inflammatory effects and boosting the immune system, if your interested. LINK
As I mentioned above, it was about two weeks. I did not take immodium after that first Havana Omelet Exit.
I could have gone to the doctor, and I am not suggesting that anyone else avoid the doctor, but for me, I didn't have a fever and I went back and forth between diarrhea and being bunged -up.
Last time I went, the Doc explained that antibiotics often kill the good bacteria, so she was hesitant to give me anything and told me to ride it out, so that is what I decided to do. When I had E-coli, it progressed and the doctor did give me some antibiotics.
Okay, so, I had a brain lapse and blew it in Cuba with the water (or fish), but this is the FIRST TIME, for an intestinal "fling" and we have traveled for over 20 years.
Or Better Yet, Just Listen to Anthony Bourdain.......................................Here's his response in 2011 after being asked if he had really ever gotten sick during his travels:
Twice in 10 years, and it wasn’t a surprise. Simple diarrhea is another story; it’s something you just have to be prepared for as a traveler. You bring your appropriate medications, but it’s hardly the end of the world. And I always try to remind people: Leave yourself open to the perfect meal by leaving yourself open to the occasional really bad one. The best kind of vacation is one where everything goes marvelously and memorably wrong. Those are the incidents you laugh about 20 years later.
Would love to hear your stories and remedies for staying healthy at home and on the road! Please comment below.
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