Episode IV: The Crampire Strikes Back

Well I’ve finally reached Hoi An, and it is a very picturesque town with is small streets and myriad of lanterns.

At night the river looks beautiful, and i will of course get down there with the camera when I can.

But right now I’m in a bit of shock because just when I finally thought that I was over my mystery bug, it has hit again with a vengeance. Either that or I’ve been unfortunate enough to catch it again.

It starts of with a small feeling of discomfort in the outside of my stomach. Then seems to head inwards towards the centre, becoming more focused and much, much more painful as the area it is effecting gets smaller. From start to finish takes about five minutes. Occasionally once the cramp has subsided, I have to head very quickly for the toilet. Previously it was to throw up, this time its heading the other way.

There doesn’t seem to be any particular way of triggering it, as it seems to come on its own. However, rolling over in bed occasionally brought it on last night. It was certainly strong enough to wake me multiple times, and as i had no reason to be up early I decided to let my body rest and so I woke up around midday.

But thats not all.

Yesterday, Brandon – an Aussie that sits in the seat next to me on the bus has been complaining about a sore throat and coughing stuff up. I went with him to a chemists yesterday and they gave him something for it. Since I’ve awoken my throat feels swollen, very very sore and you’ve guessed it, I’ve been coughing stuff up.

Obviously, I’ve caught whatever Brandon has. Which is unsurprising when you consider we’ve been going to the same places, and been in close proximity on the bus for the last few days.

All I can say is how pleased I am that I’ve going to be in this town for the next two weeks. I know where the pharmacist is, and I know she’s helpful, so I can at least pop there in a bit and get what I need. But also, I won’t need to be packing my bag tomorrow and taking on another 11 hour bus journey feeling like crap. Instead I’ll be able to allow myself the chance to recover fully which is something I’ve not been able to do.
Then, if in a couple of weeks this illness is still kicking around. Well, then I’ll be hitting Australia and I’ll be able to speak to a doctor without a language barrier.
Right now it seems insane that I am still ill. Since arriving Siem Reap on the 22nd November; I estimate that I’ve had five, or maybe six full days without some kind of issue with my stomach. I’ve had colds that have proved persistent, but not anything like this before. It actually feels pathetic at this point.

I’ve always subscribed this to food poisoning and it came on very quickly after eating one night. That itself is a lesson in not judging by appearance as the place we ate that night was distinctly upmarket in its appearance in comparison to its surroundings. I’ve eaten in roadside shacks, grubby looking food courts and other places that I know would make a few people think twice and not had a single issue. In fact most of the time, in those places you can see them preparing, cooking and doing the washing. The time I go (as part of a group) to a more western style place of entertainment (the restaurant had a stage with dancers), a place which by all appearances was more hygienic I became sick.
That is the point. There is no sure-fire way to tell. Sure, there are things that you can do to minimise risk – say hello wet-wipes and hand sanitiser – but there are no guarantees that your body is not going to react to something.
But now, weeks later and with the same symptoms repeating themselves I’m wondering it it is something more. I am after all in a region of the world that my body and immune system it not used to. Sometimes there are the more alarmist thoughts that I am after all in a country where both Malaria and Dengue Fever are rampant. However, the simple fact is that I’ve really not had any proper rest in a long time. Yet, now that is about to change and I can take all the rest that I need. Then I can come back fit and refreshed. ready to take on a whole new continent.

Away from being ill, I do have photographs to share. However, the net connection at this hotel isn’t up to the task. Hopefully when I switch to the new hotel in another two nights I’ll have a decent and stable connection.

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