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Old 01-02-2013, 07:42 AM   #1
d.burbach OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Oddometer: 133
Sick on the Road

People get sick, in fact Iím sick right now as I write thisóI have a headache that wonít quit. My routine for the last few days has been gargling warm salt water and Hydrogen peroxide and brushing my teeth multiple times a day. Iím still congested even after going to the gym and sitting in the steam room. Chicken noodle soup and tangerines was my lunch today, and Iíll make a cup of tea in a minute here. We have all been in this situation. Itís not much fun. I also have to be an usher at my sisterís wedding in two days, so Iím really trying to kick this bug. Itís mostly just inconvenience and, of course, it wonít last forever. I would never choose to be sick at anytime, but if I had my choice, Iíd much rather be sick here at home, like I am right now, than on an extended motorcycle trip in a third world country. Or would I?
I was traveling through Africa in 2011 with my best friend Nick Rader. We were about three months into the trip and I had been feeling fine the whole time. I woke up to a case of diarrhea in Kisumu, Kenya. I was mostly upset because this broke my ďsolidĒ record for the last three months, but after using the toilet ten times before noon and exploding from both ends, I was no longer making jokes. I was just worn out. Nick was sick yesterday, but it wasnít this bad. I tried to watch a couple episodes of Lost on my computer, but my body just wasnít up to doing anything. I decided to use the outhouse one last time then make the trek into town on the bumpy Tuck-tucks. I went to a clinic that Brad (a missionary that we became friends with) recommended. He takes his family there all the time. The waiting area was a small cramped room with people coughing and looking sick. I was quite nervous as this town has a real AIDS epidemic. Iíve heard it is actually the AIDS capital of the world, although I donít know how true that is.
I started to calm down when I met the woman running the clinic. She called my name and took me in the back to a small bed with clean fresh sheets. She has been working with patients for over 20 years and speaks great English. She went through the drills of saying ďahĒ and looked down my throat. She said she could run a stool sample, but that would take three days to get the results back. Her instincts said that it was bacterial so she wrote me a prescription for some antibiotics and recommended that I take an IV with saline to get re-hydrated again. She noticed how nervous I got with the suggestion of the IV. She asked if I was worried that it would give me AIDS, which I obviously was. The needle came in a sealed package, and was for one-time use only, so I allowed her to put in the IV and let it work its course. Almost instantly I started feeling better. The saline was really working for me. I was very dehydrated from all the earlier bathroom visits.
After I paid my bill of $12 for the visit and another $7 for my antibiotics, I looked back at the whole situation with confidence and happiness. In America, I would have waited longer, had more tests done, and paid much more for the same results. Getting sick is never fun, and here I am sick right now at my computer not going to the clinic. I hope I get better before my sisterís wedding in two days.

This story, by Luke Swabb, originally appeared on RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel's website. I figured it would be interesting to post it here and ask to hear similar stories from everybody else, so, have you ever gotten really sick on a ride in a far off land?

Seeking adventure and working for RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Joined: May 2005
Location: MS. Gulf Coast
Oddometer: 5,354
No, but I've gotten sick on a business trip far from home. It stinks. All you can do is hope you live long enough to feel better and then try to get home.
I got tired of being here, so now I'm there
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #3
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Next to Rio Bravo
Oddometer: 3,527
Took my triumph deep into Mexico, headed to meet a new girl friend in Yucatan. Roads were real shit in the 60s.
I camped only & ate w/ the locals. Started feeling tired & always sweaty. Had trouble doing a days ride w/o napping half the day away. Remember putting up my hammock but not being able to get in it. That was all. Woke up two weeks later in a church hospital ran by French Nuns. I was a mess. Thought of nothing but where was I & passing out again & again.

After being cared for, for about three wks more I was walking around earning my keep. The nunns had found my girl's letters & sent word to her about my condition & location. She came as soon as she could get personal transportation.

I had Malaria along w/ a inside parasite sucking the life out of me. Lost weight & was down to 110 ish. Looked like shit but had a clear head most of the time. The best thing was that I was alive & getting better by the day but weak like I have never been before or since. My girl friend got my triumph brought to the hospital & nothing was missing.

She drove me to her parents home & I got sick again. She drove me to Brownsville, TX & then to Corpus Christi.
Cholera was my now new companion. At least I was in the US & getting test ran on me daily.

My new love thought me to sick pron to keep for a husband & retuned home. I still cannot thank her enough.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Prince William County, VA
Oddometer: 3,352
Many years ago I had some hot chocolate at 7-11. It did not sit well with my innards. While still over an hour from home, I had to pull the bike over and run into the woods and drop trow. It was not fun, but nothing compared to what you are going through,
2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200S
2009 KLR650
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