Inhale, 2, 3, 4. Exhale, 2, 3, 4. Hee hee hoooooo. Hee hee hoooooo. Dammit, I want an epidural.
No, I wasn’t t in labor, though if I was in labor, at least I could have had an epidural. Rather, my sensitive stomach was reacting to something that slipped into my system and was causing the oh-so-pleasant Travelers’ Diarrhea.
Imagine someone slowly stabbing you in the stomach, tearing it open and then setting it on fire. Imagine that feeling every few minutes, over and over, for about 6 hours. To top that off, imagine that feeling while having sweats and chills and having to alternate between bed and porcelain throne every 20 minutes, over and over. For 6 hours. That is what happens to me nowadays when I travel abroad.
It started 10 years ago in Hong Kong where the culprit was seafood. A few years later, seafood struck again outside of Barcelona. During a past trip to the Philippines, one ice cube made from the village tap water gave me cramps and diarrhea for 2 days. In Mexico 2 years ago, I ate too much crab and had paralyzing heartburn for most of a day. Not full-blown Travelers’ Diarrhea, but just as uncomfortable. And last week in the Philippines, an unknown substance gave me the worst abdominal cramping I’ve ever experienced. I was SO careful drinking only bottled water, no ice, and paying close attention to what I was eating. Obviously I wasn’t careful enough.
To be honest, I wasn’t that surprised. In fact, it would have been more surprising to have made it through the entire week without having to dig out the Imodium. Oh, Imodium – my most precious travel item.