Erik MH:

blog entry

In which Erik travels health­wards and back again … and again … and again

Friends have expressed con­cern — and who can blame them? — that no one has heard a peep from me since I pos­ted the good news weeks ago that I didn’t have COV­ID, and the con­com­it­ant news that I did have flu.

I won’t per­petu­ate the on-going mis­quot­ing of Mark Twain, but will quote him here accurately:

I can under­stand per­fectly how the report of my ill­ness got about, I have even heard on good author­ity that I was dead. James Ross Clem­ens, a cous­in of mine, was ser­i­ously ill two or three weeks ago in Lon­don, but is well now. The report of my ill­ness grew out of his ill­ness. The report of my death was an exag­ger­a­tion. 1 Twain, Mark. Let­ter to New York Journ­al, 1897-06-02, as quoted in Men­tal Floss

I have been in Lima for 6½ weeks, all of which has been delight­ful. And on a few of those days I have felt 100% myself — and, indeed, those days have been ter­rif­ic. But for about half of the days I have been plagued by, shall we say, a fairly viol­ent ver­sion of a Com­mon Trav­el­lers’ Complaint.

I’d come pre­pared for such an even­tu­al­ity, bring­ing two courses of anti­bi­ot­ics For Use In The Event of Traveller’s Diarrhea, and I embarked upon the first course some­time in my second week here.

This was def­in­itely a case of The Cure Is Worse Than The Dis­ease. I was a good doobie and didn’t quit the anti­bi­ot­ics until I’d taken the full course; but I had hair fall­ing out, a des­troyed gut bio­me, and well, frankly, the anti­bi­ot­ics seemed to exacer­bate the very prob­lem they were sup­posed to fix.

So as I’ve had recur­rences, I’ve just powered through them — stay­ing closer to home than I might oth­er­wise have done, of course, but just car­ry­ing on.

I haven’t been able to fig­ure out the root cause. I haven’t drunk the tap water (although I know sev­er­al loc­als who do, without prob­lem). I wash my hands fre­quently. I eat in reput­able places, mostly with 4‑star rat­ings or high­er. I’ve kept hydrated — bet­ter than at home. I’m keep­ing mod­er­ately sane hours. I haven’t avoided alco­hol (except when sick), but actu­ally I’ve had less than at home.

Since I have every inten­tion of return­ing next year, I’m hop­ing that I’m build­ing up res­ist­ance and will have an easi­er time of it in the future!