In an earlier post, I ranted about the dreaded Traveler´s Diarrhea, or TD.
In that post, I specifically mention that if the TD lasts more than three days, then you should seek medical help, because it´s NOT going to go away on it´s own. I had to use my own advice this past week.
And a quick word of warning should you become extremely gastronomically distressed while out there in the big, wide world – remember that it is KEY that you seek medical treatment in the country in which you were sickened. Never go home feeling ill in the belly and expect the Western Medical Establishment to be able to help you.
The country in which you acquired the disease is accustomed to dealing with it on a daily basis. Most of the time, you can march down to the corner drugstore, tell the clerk your symptoms and they will prescribe the effective treatment for you on-the-spot.
Once, I made the mistake of drinking some bad water right before I got onto a plane bound from the jungle to LAX. When I got sick, I thought, ¨Great. I´m headed to my home city, where there are the best doctors in the world!¨
Wrong. The Western Medical Establishment is great for some things – like if you´ve been in a car wreck or need to have your internal organs put back together. But hear me . . . most know nothing about effective treatment of parasites. Actually, with global travel becoming more commonplace, the instances of traveler´s coming home with nasty parasites is ever-increasing.
My well-heeled US doctors put me through a continual battery of tests that came out negative, but I knew something was wrong. They told me I was crazy. If you feel you have an intestinal parasite, it´s imperative that you become your own strongest advocate (even though you may not have alot of energy to do so). After six months of problematic doctor visits, I finally had a friend bring some meds back from abroad and that finally fixed it. My doctors, all the way from my general practitioner to gastroenterologist at Cedars-Sinai, were all well-meaning, but clueless.
This time, the problem got fixed with some meds from the drugstore. All for less than $10.00 US. My US medical file is about 2¨ thick from the time when I was sick before. I wonder how much all of that cost the insurance company. I certainly know it cost me a great deal in time, anxiety and sickness – let alone dollars. And they still weren´t able to fix it, diagnose it or listen to me, the patient. It was as though they were offended that I might be trying to diagnose myself.
Trust me, fix it in the country where you got sick.