ISBuC (v7) 2012
Travel Bug 2
by Ella Maughan

On the whole I've escaped some of the more unpleasant intestinal delights that Asia has to offer. In a three-month trip I avoided all of the unpleasant afflictions which generally affect backpackers: giardia, food poisoning, dysentery etc. That is until three days before flying back to Heathrow.

We were enjoying a brief spending spree, buying presents and ridding ourselves of the last of our rupees. I began to develop flu like symptoms, my head hurt, my bones ached, sometimes I was boiling hot, sometimes I was frozen. Most worryingly the fever came in waves. I dosed myself liberally with ibuprofen and fantasised about a nice, clean NHS hospital. The last three days dragged by, my travelling partner poured over the medical section in our guidebook, the only thing I didn't have the symptoms for was dysentery (small mercies I suppose!)

Eventually after an extremely unpleasant few days spent in Delhi airport, on a plane, in Amman airport, in another plane and then waiting at Heathrow I finally found myself in a doctor's surgery in Luton. From the surgery I was sent to casualty for a malaria test! By this time it was ten o'clock at night, my travelling companion had been awake for 30 hrs solid, after two hours the test came back negative. With great relief I thought at last I could catch up on some sleep.

Alas it was not to be, the doctors had a faint air of panic about them, a delightful variety of tests were ordered: chest x-ray, urine sample, blood tests, the poking the finger with a needle test. All this took until six o'clock in the morning until finally TB and typhoid seemed to have been eliminated! I was admitted for observation during which time my temperature rocketed and I turned an attractive shade of green (all that time spent cultivating a tan.) Still, a nice, sensible doctor came to see me and said they had no idea what I'd caught, but it wasn't any of the nasties so I could go home with antibiotics.

I have never been more relieved. We were staying with some exceptionally lovely friends near Luton so I crawled into their spare bed and slept for several days. I am eternally grateful to these friends for allowing my disease and me into their home! Despite this brush with tropical germs I am not deterred from visiting India again, my only reservation would be avoiding the heat.

If you have enjoyed these heart-warming tales you could try visiting my new web-site, Bedbugs & Biskots, for more anecdotes, opinions, information and waffle.