When Things Go Wrong Abroad – How I Handled Getting a Parasite in India
Guest post By Hannah Latimer-Snell from Bold Destinations
I traveled to India about two years ago. I was traveling as a solo female, yes it is possible, and I spent roughly six months in the country. I explored bits of the north but spent most of my time in the south. It was a challenging but overall a great experience.
About two weeks into my trip, like many travelers, I got super sick and spent a couple days on the toilet. I figured it was my body getting used to the dirt in the air, the spice in the food and the overall uncleanliness. After two days, a trip to the doctor and lots of water and rest I felt fine and continued with my travels.
My next incident occurred about two months into my trip. Again I felt sick, couldn’t eat much and spent two days in the bathroom with stuff coming out both ends (sorry for the details). My stomach felt like something was eating it from the inside out. I could barely stand without crumbling over in pain. This time my symptoms lasted a week. After two doctors visits and a lot of time in bed and on the toilet, I finally felt well enough to continue my travels.
But I didn’t last long. Less than a month later the symptoms came back and this time they stayed. I could barely eat anything and ended up eating a daily diet of curd (yogurt) and rice three times a day. I felt like my body could give out at any moment. It took everything in me to get myself to the doctors who repeatedly told me that they didn’t know what was wrong with me.
Towards the end of my 6 months I started to feel well enough to visit one last place before making my way home. When I got home I went straight to my childhood doctor to see what was wrong. Turns out I had contracted a fairly common and basic parasite. But because I didn’t catch it at the beginning it had had time to fester and really make a home in me; making my symptoms a lot worse than normal.
After three rounds of antibiotics, daily herbs and probiotics and lots and lots of water I was finally feeling back to normal.
Looking back, I am still very grateful for my trip to India. I saw an amazing and beautiful country and wouldn’t trade it for the world. That being said there are some things I wish I had known before going, regarding health. Here are my five main tips around health in India:
5 Tips About Traveling in India Regarding Health
1. Bring Antibiotics From Home – one full dosage of antibiotics would’ve been enough to rid myself of the parasite. Ask you doctor for the prescription
2. Bring a Filtered Water Bottle – FILTER. FILTER. FILTER. You can never be too careful with water in India. Filter everything, especially if you don’t know where it came from.
3. Bring Hand Sanitizer – I am not one who usually shys away from dirt but in India you can never be too careful.
4. Go to the Doctor – One good thing about India is that Hospitals and Doctors visits are cheap. If you feel sick don’t push through it. Go to the Doctor!
5. Bring your own Over-the-counter Medicines – You can find a lot of different blog articles about what to pack for India. But the most important thing in my opinion is medication. Make sure to bring a small kit of the essentials: Antacids,antibiotics, anti-diarrhea medication, stool loosener, probiotics, hydration tablets and mosquito spray.
Related article: If you are interested in learning more about what to look out for in India and or how to prepare your body for traveling in India click here: Health While Abroad in India
Author Bio : Hannah Latimer-Snell is a writer, a filmmaker and an adventurer who travels the world and helps others do so too. She is the founder of Bold Destinations, a travel blog that focuses on helping others cultivate balanced mental health while traveling. Hannah has a degree in International Relations from Portland State University and a background in documentary film and media production. She is dedicated to breaking the stigmas behind mental health and eating disorders and encouraging more people to travel the world.
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