The following is the second part in a series of posts titled Travel Health Disasters (find the first one here). Featured are the tales of other travelers and travel bloggers who have experienced some difficult moments on the road. Some of them are funny. Some of them are scary. Some of them are downright miserable. All of them are related to travel health in one way or another.
Laura from A Wandering Sole
I had to go to a clinic in a small town in Malaysia due to a bad infection in my leg. It was a one-man show, and as I filled out paperwork with my address, the doctor asked “What does K-Y mean?” I told him that it was short for Kentucky, and his face instantly lit up. “Oh, you like Kentucky Fried Chicken?!” he inquired. I honestly haven’t had Kentucky Fried Chicken since I was probably five years old, yet he assumed I was an expert. He wanted to know when the first Kentucky Fried Chicken opened and fired question after question at me. I, of course, fumbled over the answers and apologized for not being the KFC expert he had expected. He informed me that the first one opened in Malaysia in 1976 while he was a student; the man clearly loved his KFC. So, even though the infection was misdiagnosed, I did receive some medication and had an oh-so-random conversation about Kentucky Fried Chicken in a small town in Malaysia.
Reese from Travelated
I get pretty bad motion sickness, but I refuse to let this hinder my travel. I usually sleep through any motion. However, when taking a bus from Barra de Navidad, Mexico to Guadalajara, I wasn’t so lucky. I paid extra to get a nice, air conditioned bus, seeing as it was July. About 30 minutes into the ride, the driver decided it was such a nice day that we should shut off the AC and just use windows. The heat aggravated my motion sickness and I began to writhe in my seat. I sipped water, clenched my eyes shut and wrapped my arms around my aching stomach. I stumbled to the bathroom and laid on the floor before I could get back to my seat. Finally, the 2nd driver came by my seat and I told him “if you do not turn on the AC, right now, I will vomit all over your bus”. Crisis averted.
Caz from Y Travel Blog
When I was in Cape Town I woke up one morning with severe headaches, so bad I could not turn my head slightly without feeling like a vice was squeezing down on it. My joints had swollen and were stiff, making walking painful and difficult. I thought I was dying. After a couple of trips to the hospital, the doctors finally discovered that I had tick bite fever and gave me the medication to quickly get better. I was sick for days and lost a lot of weight (can I say yippee to that one!!).
Phil from Phil in the Blank
In 2007 I took the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. The first night we camped next to the Salkantay glacier. The night time temperature was close to freezing and the wind was relentless. I was bundled up in several layers inside of my sleeping bag. Apparently this is a bad strategy for maintaining warmth. It also turned out to be a bad strategy for another reason. Close to falling asleep, I carelessly tried to fart. I ended up shitting my pants, violently. This would be a nightmare anywhere, but inside of a sleeping bag while camped next to a glacier was a true disaster. I took a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of water to the “bathroom tent” where I spent close to twenty minutes cleaning myself. I threw away my boxers, pants and long underwear. In the morning, tired of everyone inquiring about the discarded pants in the bathroom tent, I finally spoke up: “Those were my pants and last night was the worst night of my life.”
If you would like to contribute to the next round-up of travel health disasters, send us a message on the contact page with your story and a link to your website (if you have one).