Another fun topic, but pretty relevant on the Central Coast these past few weeks.
Three experiences over the years have taught me more on this than any textbook. The first was back in high school when giardia found the community, and I lost about 15 pounds in 2 weeks. It was a “slow burn” as I was able to keep playing soccer, and even take a painfully long school bus trip to Long Island. I still remember every pothole. From the experience I discovered the miracle of metronidazole (Flagyl), and I can recall my renewed sense of hope after just 24 hours.
Lesson two was aboard a cruise ship heading from Valparaiso to Rio with 300+ afflicted passengers. I’d really never witnessed such an outbreak before. Happily, I dodged the bullet myself, and everyone lived to tell the tale. Whatever it’s worth, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even the ship’s fault, because a large number of passengers seemed to have brought it aboard from a tour the previous week in Peru.
Since then, my policy when traveling has included the following:
- Carbonated or recently boiled drinks only
- Steaming food only
- No ice, thank you
- No salads, thank you
Lesson three came last week when I finally got to experience a saline infusion. The Central Coast gastric typhoon first hit Vanessa, then me the following day. I was amazed by how fast dehydration set in, and how hard it was to pry my head off the floor. But what a difference that saline made. (Actually, now my mind is on IV self insertion techniques. Turns out it’s fairly easy all the way up to connecting the tubing to the IV one handed. Then it gets messy.)
Before leaving the safety and comfort of your own bowl to find an ER, know the buzzwords.