A life on the road isn’t all beach bars as well as hammocks. We’ve had some truly trying times in our (almost) 5 years of travel as well as if you’ve been on a long trip before, you understand that getting ill is all part of the fun. We absolutely dislike being sick, however when you’re travelling in establishing countries, it’s not a concern of if, it’s when! This is the story of my worst travel illness, as well as everything starts around Monkey Bay in Malawi, Africa.
I’ve been ill lots of times on the road. often it’s just a day of food poisoning, while other times the health problem has lasted upwards of 10 days. looking back in any way of my ailments, I need to state that the random tummy virus as well as prospective malaria in Malawi was the worst.
It all started when Dariece as well as I were used some left-over Boerewors (sausage), by a household of travellers from South Africa. They explained that the sausages had been in a cooler for a couple of days so they must be eaten as soon as possible.
Cooking up the suspicious sausages..
We’re not sure if it was the Boerewors that triggered me to get sick, however it’s a possibility. Either way, Dariece only had a day of diarrhea, so we’re sure that my sickness was far a lot more than just food poisoning from those sausages… however they may have been a catalyst.
The morning after eating the tasty as well as hazardous boerries, I went for a swim in Lake Malawi however I might barely keep myself above water. I just didn’t have any type of energy. I slowly sauntered back to the space as well as laid down for a rest.
Enjoying the lake, pre-sickness
Later that evening, the sickness truly started to take hold. I had a horrible bout of diarrhea which is usually not as well difficult to offer with, however we were in a little space with shared toilets. That doesn’t noise so poor does it? Well, the toilets were really about 300 feet from our room, as well as to get to them, I actually had to pass a pond with an upset hippo inside of it!
In situation you’re not conscious of the dangers of Hippos, they kill a lot more people than any type of other animal in Africa.
So there I am, hobbling together with a high fever, trying to keep myself from dropping in my pants, with the noise of an upset hippo grunting at me as I passed by.
The pain from the cramps was excruciating, however what made it worse was the intense fever as well as chilly sweats that I withstood all night in the warm of our tiny, fan-cooled room.
The next morning I was even worse. The hourly gos to to the toilet were doubled, however now half of them were to vomit. The fever would increase as well as break constantly throughout the day. I had a headache that felt like somebody was chiseling away at my skull, as well as all of my joints ached as well. I couldn’t get comfortable in bed no matter exactly how I was lying as well as I couldn’t muster sufficient energy to leave bed for a lot more than a trip to the bathroom.
Our space was only fan cooled as well as in the middle of the day, the small 4 walled prison ended up being absolutely sweltering. The little fan that buzzed in the corner was just moving around hot air, as well as if that wasn’t poor enough, regular power outages indicated that for much of the time, there was no fan at all.
After 5 DAYS of intense fevers, vomiting, aches as well as pains, I made a decision I would have to take on a trip to the hospital. The only reason I waited so long is since I just didn’t believe I might make it out of bed long sufficient to go to the clinic.
I selected a poor time to get ill in Malawi. We were there during a fuel shortage. obviously the UK Prime priest stated something that the president of Malawi didn’t like. In retaliation, the President kicked out everybody from the UK embassy in Malawi. In retaliation to this, BP Oil made a decision to cut Malawi off from all petroleum, leaving the country in total mayhem.
Transportation in as well as out of the country was at a near stand-still. products weren’t being shipped in or out which indicated that it was difficult for Dariece to even discover water for me on some days. On top of this, people were running out of fuel, so it was nearly impossible to discover a taxi.
We lastly discovered a trip on a motorbike to a close-by center where I might get checked for malaria as well as other viruses. The bike trip itself was like torture. Every bump over the dusty, pothole filled roads made my head split in two. When we arrived, I might barely get off of the motorbike however I handled to get inside the clinic, sit as well as wait on a doctor.
When the physician lastly came out, he explained to me that sinceof the recent shortages, he didn’t have any type of malaria tests. In fact, he barely had any type of medical supplies at all, not even painkillers!
He advised me to take a trip all the method to Cape Maclear, about an hour away, where I might go to the Irish physicians at the healthcare facility there.
I made a decision that there was no method I might make it there on that day, so I reluctantly got back on the motorbike as well as rode back to our bit hotel room. There I lay back in my sweltering space as well as Dariece as well as I tried to figure out what to do next. I had taken all of the pills we had in our medical kit, so Dariece went out on a objective to discover some painkillers, malaria test as well as something to simplicity my stomach.
She searched high as well as low as well as came back with a few painkillers, however nothing for my stomach. thankfully the painkillers assisted me to make it through yet one more night under the grip of this horrible sickness. The night came with fewer toilet breaks, however the pain of them had ended up being worse. Also, the hippo seemed a lot more aggravated with me as well as a couple of times I might hear him splashing about in his pond, endangering to tear my now feeble body in half!
The next day, we made a decision to try to make it to the Irish run hospital. We spoke to the hotel owners, who looked at me with extreme worry when they saw my condition. They called around to lots of taxi motorists (I refused to get on a motorbike again). lastly they discovered a personal taxi that would take us directly there. We asked as well as made sure that the taxi was just for us as well as that we wouldn’t be stopping to pick up others. They verified that the trip was private, so we sat down as well as waited for our taxi to arrive.
Of program when it came, there were about 20 other people packed into the little pick-up. Furious, we told the motorist what we had stated as well as he insisted that this was a personal taxi. personal for 20 people?!
Transportation in Malawi was outrageous during the fuel shortage
Despite the truth that I might barely stand up, Dariece as well as I weren’t about to get ripped off. It’s the primary you know! So we bargained as well as argued with the motorist as well as lastly he agreed to take us for the group rate… the exact same rate that the 20 locals were paying. great try!
When we got to Cape Maclear, the motorist refused to take us to the hospital. He had to decrease off 20 people after all. I was as well exhausted to argue, so he dropped us off at a great hotel with A/C. We inspected in as well as I spent the afternoon battling a lot more fevers, diarrhea as well as vomiting. The sickness had been going on for about a week at this point as well as I still hadn’t seen a doctor.
Finally, the next morning, Dariece spoke with other travellers at the hotel. one of them, an older gentleman from Slovenia, used to take me to the healthcare facility on his motorbike. At this point I had no choice. I had already lost 20 lbs, I was horribly dehydrated as well as I couldn’t go on without seeing a doctor. When the guy dropped me off I thanked him profusely, understanding that his petrol was a hot commodity at this time around in Malawi.
The healthcare facility was like heaven. I was treated by Irish nurses who were kind, gentle as well as attentive. I felt so frail that I didn’t understand exactly how much longer I would last! Unfortunately, they as well were out of lots of of the tests, including a Malaria test. They did have a lot of pain killers, some antibiotics as well as some tummy pills.
They explained that it might be Malaria, or a lot of other illness that are typical around the area, however that I would have to take the pills as well as come back if anything got worse. After the check-up, I couldn’t move. I had utilized all of my energy riding the motorbike to the healthcare facility over all of the bumpy roads.
I just lied on Dariece’s lap on the bench outside the hospital. Dariece understood we weren’t going to get a taxi so she asked the nurses if there was anything that they might do. We were lucky! They were planning to take the ambulance to a close-by village as well as they might decrease us off on the way.
After waiting on about 30 minutes, the nurses packed us up in the ambulance as well as started driving. Unfortunately, the ambulance was running out of gas! They had to decrease us at a junction, where we were to walk about a kilometer to our hotel. The walk nearly did me in. I vomited a number of times as well as nearly passed out.
In the next couple of days, the pills started working their magic as well as I was slowly getting better. I spoke with a couple of other foreign doctors, however things were looking up. For a number of days during my recovery, going to the washroom felt like I was pushing out razor blades. The health problem had terribly damaged my intestinal tract as well as I had to take one more set of pills to assist them to heal.
All in all I was bedridden for about 10 days, as well as I was not 100% for about one more 2 weeks as well as it took me over 6 months to get back the 20+ pounds that I had lost. This was by far the worst sickness I’ve ever had while travelling, however I’m sure (unfortunately) it won’t be my last.
What’s the sickest you’ve ever been? tell us all the gory details in the comments below!
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