Food & Fitness

Life Lessons: Sometimes we need the meds

I had a post all lined up for yesterday, but sometimes, an upset tummy and a visit to the hospital just get in the way!


My dad and I spent the weekend in Siem Reap to visit the temples. It was a gorgeous trip and the temples were spectacular! So much to see and do. But then our stomachs started cramping uncomfortably. This lasted a couple days, on and off, until on Monday it got really really awful. We managed to spend a couple hours at the temples early in the morning but were back at the hotel to lie down in pain by 10am. We had made dinner plans with a friend from my cooking class, so I finally forced myself to get up and call her around 4pm. When she realized just how ill we were, she insisted on taking us to the hospital herself. We weren’t in much of a state, by this point, to argue!

The doctors and nurses were lovely and the service was so efficient. They took blood samples and checked our temperature and gave us injections; the whole shebang. It turns out that we had some kind of bacterial infection. I also had a fever and they said that my blood pressure is very low- unfortunately I don’t know what my blood pressure is like normally, so perhaps for me that is the norm. Something to check out when I get back to Canada, though; its really important to know what the norm is in situations like this.

They gave us medication and strict instructions to drink plenty of water with electrolyte powder, and then they let us go back to the hotel after staying in the hospital for only a couple hours. We managed to sleep soundly throughout the night and felt much better upon waking this morning.


When I had been making our dinner plans with my friend, Carol, the day earlier, she had offered us some medication that she had with her when we mentioned that we weren’t feeling 100%. But I don’t really like drugs or meds of any kind, so I politely refused. It was funny because on the way to the hospital she told us about how when she had been in a similarly very ill state, her sister had tried to ply her with vitamins because they were natural and she was convinced that they would be enough to help her. Carol shook her head in disbelief. Sometimes, you just need the medication.


Being that sick felt really terrible, and I’m sure that if we hadn’t gone to the hospital and accepted their injections and meds, we’d still be feeling just as awful. There are times when we just have to give in and accept that sometimes, we can’t heal ourselves naturally- we need a little bit of help.


It feels good to be back home in Phnom Penh. Even if we don’t feel completely back to normal, it sure is a lot better from how we were feeling! And I’m glad that we got to see a few temples and enjoy the sites before the illness took over (and am very grateful for health insurance. Don’t skimp out on that traveling cost!).


This one’s for MizFit: they have jerky here! It’s all dried fish rather than beef, though, in this picture:




  1. Danielle

    oh no, sick traveling is no fun! i’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better so soon! be extra careful though when it comes to tummy trouble, no matter how delicious sometimes our n. american bodies just aren’t ready to handle the local cuisine… but don’t worry, it does catch up :).

    so happy that you’re otherwise having a fantastic time! your pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  2. Berni

    I agree with Miz, the vicariousvacation rocks. Hope you are feeling better soon. I know that dreaded SE Asian tummy experience only too well, keep drinking water and rice soup is good!

  3. Dr. J

    Sorry Sagan!!

    Glad you are doing better! New terrain and bacteria is always a challenge. While I lived in France, I was sick every two weeks :-( and that was only France! On a Mexican trip, the whole family went “south.” Yuck!

    Thanks for all the good advice, sorry you had to learn it the hard way.

  4. Anony-mum

    I’ll be taking more Imodium, more pepto, some slippery elm AND my acupuncture needles (acupuncture is an amazing treatment for gastro-intestinal upset)to tackle those darn bugs with new AND old treatments when I travel to Phnom Penh to take care of my family. Hold on Sagan & Grange, mum is almost on her way!

  5. Small Steps to Health

    Battling a bad case of food poisoning myself last week, I under how you feel. Urghh! I have never been able to travel to any undeveloped country without a case of food poisoning.

    Hope this goes away soon so that you can enjoy the rest of your trip.


  6. the Bag Lady

    Oh, dear. I’m glad to hear you and your dad are feeling better! (And glad to hear your mom is on the way – having mom around when you are sick always helps to make you feel better!)

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and thanks so much for keeping us posted on what is going on – love the vicariousvacation!

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