Life Lessons: Sometimes we need the meds

May 5, 2009

I had a post all lined up for yesterday, but sometimes, an upset tummy and a visit to the hospital just get in the way!


My dad and I spent the weekend in Siem Reap to visit the temples. It was a gorgeous trip and the temples were spectacular! So much to see and do. But then our stomachs started cramping uncomfortably. This lasted a couple days, on and off, until on Monday it got really really awful. We managed to spend a couple hours at the temples early in the morning but were back at the hotel to lie down in pain by 10am. We had made dinner plans with a friend from my cooking class, so I finally forced myself to get up and call her around 4pm. When she realized just how ill we were, she insisted on taking us to the hospital herself. We weren’t in much of a state, by this point, to argue!

The doctors and nurses were lovely and the service was so efficient. They took blood samples and checked our temperature and gave us injections; the whole shebang. It turns out that we had some kind of bacterial infection. I also had a fever and they said that my blood pressure is very low- unfortunately I don’t know what my blood pressure is like normally, so perhaps for me that is the norm. Something to check out when I get back to Canada, though; its really important to know what the norm is in situations like this.

They gave us medication and strict instructions to drink plenty of water with electrolyte powder, and then they let us go back to the hotel after staying in the hospital for only a couple hours. We managed to sleep soundly throughout the night and felt much better upon waking this morning.


When I had been making our dinner plans with my friend, Carol, the day earlier, she had offered us some medication that she had with her when we mentioned that we weren’t feeling 100%. But I don’t really like drugs or meds of any kind, so I politely refused. It was funny because on the way to the hospital she told us about how when she had been in a similarly very ill state, her sister had tried to ply her with vitamins because they were natural and she was convinced that they would be enough to help her. Carol shook her head in disbelief. Sometimes, you just need the medication.


Being that sick felt really terrible, and I’m sure that if we hadn’t gone to the hospital and accepted their injections and meds, we’d still be feeling just as awful. There are times when we just have to give in and accept that sometimes, we can’t heal ourselves naturally- we need a little bit of help.


It feels good to be back home in Phnom Penh. Even if we don’t feel completely back to normal, it sure is a lot better from how we were feeling! And I’m glad that we got to see a few temples and enjoy the sites before the illness took over (and am very grateful for health insurance. Don’t skimp out on that traveling cost!).


This one’s for MizFit: they have jerky here! It’s all dried fish rather than beef, though, in this picture:



  1. OH NO! Getting sick while you are traveling is the worst! Glad you are feeling better now though!!

    Keep the pics coming!


    And Im really enjoying the fact you are blogging while away.
    For those of us not traveling much lately the vicariousvacation is PERFECT.

  3. oh no, sick traveling is no fun! i’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better so soon! be extra careful though when it comes to tummy trouble, no matter how delicious sometimes our n. american bodies just aren’t ready to handle the local cuisine… but don’t worry, it does catch up :).

    so happy that you’re otherwise having a fantastic time! your pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  4. I agree with Miz, the vicariousvacation rocks. Hope you are feeling better soon. I know that dreaded SE Asian tummy experience only too well, keep drinking water and rice soup is good!

  5. Sorry Sagan!!

    Glad you are doing better! New terrain and bacteria is always a challenge. While I lived in France, I was sick every two weeks 😦 and that was only France! On a Mexican trip, the whole family went “south.” Yuck!

    Thanks for all the good advice, sorry you had to learn it the hard way.

  6. I’ll be taking more Imodium, more pepto, some slippery elm AND my acupuncture needles (acupuncture is an amazing treatment for gastro-intestinal upset)to tackle those darn bugs with new AND old treatments when I travel to Phnom Penh to take care of my family. Hold on Sagan & Grange, mum is almost on her way!

  7. You really are enjoying a different culture Sagan. 🙂 Sometimes that stomach fights you while you’re away. I hope you feel much better. Of course you could be home and a victim of Swine Flu.

  8. Battling a bad case of food poisoning myself last week, I under how you feel. Urghh! I have never been able to travel to any undeveloped country without a case of food poisoning.

    Hope this goes away soon so that you can enjoy the rest of your trip.


  9. oh no, so glad you both are doing better!

  10. Oh dear! I’m so glad you are both feeling better and that someone helped you! Also, I would love to try fish jerky!!

  11. Oh my goodness! I hope you are doing better now. I get so scared when I’m sick and away from home, especially stomach issues. Take care of yourself! 🙂

  12. I’m glad you’re ok! The trip, on the other hand, looks amazing! I’m not jealous at all 😉

  13. Hope you’re feeling better! It’s really no fun to be sick while you’re on holiday.

  14. sorry to hear about the disease! Looks like your adventures are nonstop, though!

  15. Ugh, getting sick while traveling is no fun. Hope you’re feeling better, great pictures!

  16. Glad you’re on the mend!

  17. Poor thing! This post brings up some bad memories of similar travel illness with similar medication outcome. Sometimes you can’t beat em! I hope you keep getting better 🙂

    Ive seen tuna jerky but never tried it!
    cant wait to hear if you placed dried fish in yer mouth 🙂

    Oh yeah.

    this isnt all about me 🙂

    How are you feeling?

  19. Love reading about your adventures! Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well, but hope you’re both feeling healthy now.

    I’m going to take a pass on the fish jerky. Sorry, Miz 😉

  20. Nothing is worse than getting sick while traveling! Glad you’re feeling bettr.

    Love the pictures! I am soooo jealous!

  21. oh no.I hope it didn’t put a damper on your trip and that you are feeling better. Your pics are amazing.

  22. Oh, that’s just the worst. Glad that you took the meds and are on the mend.

  23. Aww, I am so sorry you were sick, I hope by now you are already feeling 100%! Oh, and I just wanted to say that I am loving your pics and stories from Cambodia. It looks so wonderful!

  24. Thanks all! Am feeling much better now 🙂

  25. Oh, dear. I’m glad to hear you and your dad are feeling better! (And glad to hear your mom is on the way – having mom around when you are sick always helps to make you feel better!)
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and thanks so much for keeping us posted on what is going on – love the vicariousvacation!

  26. This is really interesting..I liked it very much….Keep up the good work…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: