Crap! Travel Sickness What to do?

Getting sick while traveling is the worst, and it finally happened to me.

I Always try to be careful, but I blew it in Cuba. Here's what happened
.....and our NEW tips for avoiding Travel Sickness; Delhi Belly or Titanic Trots- whatever you want to call it. 

Havana, Cuba. Incredible trip by the way! Link to the story at the bottom of the page.  

I'm not sure what got me, but here's the way it went down.

We knew the water was not consumable in Cuba, and heard the warnings about brushing your teeth with the water. 
We stayed at a Casa Particular (family home) in Cuba. Maybe I just felt comfortable - at home, and there was no mention of the water by the family.

Sooo, one evening, toward the end of our stay, I brushed my teeth with 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, but "IT" was in me, which I will refer to as the "Cuban" from here on out. 

It all 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. Only one more day in Havana, 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.

I was relieved, the Wild Butt Shennigans had stopped. I did feel a bit "floaty", I was convinced the "Cuban" had left my body. 


A day after I got back, I realized I was still with "Cuban".

I had Dehli Belly, a seriously protruding pot belly; severe headache and had 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, Advil and lots of water, here's what else I did:

     I bought a Butt Load of Yogurt. I 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 

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 visited, 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.

So here is our practice NOW for staying healthy at home and abroad!
  • Use anti-bacterial wipes, I use them EVERYWHERE! After getting gas (the car kind), leaving the quick shop, exercise class, airplanes ~ specifically before I eat, on my tray table and my hands and again after I eat.
  • We keep a rehydration chew or drop in the First Aid Kit.  If your getting sick your probably loosing electrolytes like crazy!  You know, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, all those things that make you "tick"! So, we have two favorites. Jonathan like Gatorade Chews, he is just a Gatorade type of guy and I prefer DripDrop powder sticks. Here are the links for both, if you want to check them out. Gatorade Chews  DripDrop sticks
  • We keep our hands as clean as possible! Here's our tips......
    1.  Lather up that soap and wash at least 20 seconds. Wash your finger tips          AND between your fingers.
    2.   If the faucet is not an auto on/off, then try to flip the faucet off with the back of your hand or a paper towel. Just try not to touch the "germy" faucet again with your clean hands.
    3.  Grab another paper towel, and use it to cover the handle of the restroom door  when exiting, then toss the paper towel. If there is no trash can by the door, I take it with me back to the table. If there are no paper towels, I grab some                 toilet paper to open the door. No handle?  Use your elbow.
    4.   If you are at a restaurant, wash your hands AFTER you have ordered and      handled the menu-- that menu is full of Cooties! 
  • We look for recommendations or restaurants where there are a lot of people. I think street carts I fine too. I would just choose one where there is a line and the food has just come off the grill-Hot and Fresh! Here you can SEE how the food is handled up front-they should NOT be handling the food, then the money directly without plastic gloves. 
  • On the road, only eat fruit you can peel. Trying the local cuisine is a must for us, but we still try to eat standard familiar food too, just to keep the tummy happy. If there are containers of yogurt available we will always grab those--check the expiration date! We always carry Foil Tuna packets from home for extra protein or a quick meal.
  • Vaccinations! Talk with your doctor about 6-8 weeks before you go. We always head over to this section for traveler's, at the Centers for Disease site. Just locate your next destination and see if there are current vaccinations that may be suggested. Link: CDC
  • Also, check out our Travel Warnings Page for more information on your destination. Please share if you know someone else who will be traveling soon. Click here for: Warnings

-And From The Late Great Anthony Bourdain. 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.
-Anthony Bourdain

Read about our trip to CUBA!! We really had a great time and would love to go back! Now you know about the water, find out more. 
Click here: VisitCuba

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​Would love to hear your stories and remedies for staying healthy at home and on the road! Please comment below.


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