I acknowledged food poisoning as a price some people pay to eat outlandish food, just not me people. I don’t eat weird food, and no one ever got spaghetti-poisoning right? (If they did, don’t tell me). I figured I would just need to focus on avoiding tap-water. Spoiler alert: I got food poising anyway. Here is what I learned from my 48 hours of plague in Bangkok.
Saladbatoge – I may have been the last person on earth to realize that raw vegetables are potential enemies when it comes to food-poisoning. Vegetables are not always washed in clean water, and while cooking can kill some of the germs, if you eat them raw (→ SALADS ←), they can get you! The fact that I was brought down by a mediocre garden salad was almost worse than the poisoning itself. Why couldn’t have been something cool like a fried spider?
It Lingers – After I came to terms with the fact that I had food poisoning, I thought that it was just a matter of “getting it out of my system.” At one point I thought I had that accomplished, so I ate a whole bunch of complimentary gummi bears, and chugged a ginger-ale. Too soon. Gummi bears un-ate themselves (sorry). If you don’t respect the food poisoning, it angers the beast and it lasts even longer. Don’t anger it.
Audiobooks FTW– Audiobooks are your new best friend. (Unless you have a friend who is also food poisoned, which I did). To use Audible’s slogan “You can turn any time into story time” and that includes food poisoning time. It’s like having a parent read to you while you lie in a cold dark room with your eyes closed.
The ER is OK – I am not a doctor, but from what I gather, one of the most dangerous things about food poisoning is dehydration. It can be really difficult to drink enough water to makeup for the loss, especially if drinking is unsuccessful for a variety of reasons. Although I had travel insurance that would have covered it, I was reluctant to go to the ER. I was feeling like a blob and didn’t physically want to go, and I also felt like it was slowly getting better. It was getting better, but severe dehydration lead to three days of feeling like I had a mega-hangover. If I had gone to the ER, I likely would have received and IV which would have rebooted me and made the next few travel days much more enjoyable. So if you have travel insurance and there is an ER nearby, use it, that’s what the insurance was for.
Silver Lining – Although I spent 75% of my time in Bangkok in the fetal position, I did venture out once to see the view of the city from our hotel roof terrace (during the eye of the poisoning storm, if you will). I was lucky enough to share an elevator with a guest who informed me that there was a lunar eclipse that evening. I managed to retrieve my camera and snap a picture before I succumbed to my poisoning again. There was a literal silver lining to my time in Bangkok.