Health Advice in Uzbekistan
Trip Start Sep 04, 2003
22Trip End Dec 20, 2003
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#1: Don't get amoebic dysentery.
Unless, of course, you're desperate for a foolproof weight loss plan with immediate (and rather dramatic) results. But I really don't recommend it. Considering it took several days for the clinic to decide whether I had amoebic dysentery or giardia, the same advice applies to giardia as well.
#2: Don't go to the nearest clinic.
There are local clinics on every corner that might look tempting in an emergency by virtue of their proximity. Don't even think about it. Go directly to the Tashkent International Medical Clinic, any way you can. Once there, I suppose it's alright to see whoever is available, but try to see Dr. Ellen. She rocks. She should be in the Lonely Planet Guide for Uzbekistan... right after the restaurant section ;-)
#3: Get good medicine.
My antibiotics kick ass. :)
#4: Don't feel bad accepting as much help as is offered by the people who care about you.
This was hard for me to do, but of course it's worth it. Being taken care of when you can't move is never a bad thing. :) Good company is also very good medicine.
#5: Boil your damn water and wash /everything/ in it.
Everything. Don't get lazy. Anything here can potentially make you sick (while giardia and a.d. sound [and are] horrible, they are so common for travelers here that I didn't bother to go to the doctor right away [very bad!])
#6: Go to the doctor as soon as you do get sick.
Dr. Ellen wouldn't laugh if you were overreacting, she would make you laugh, give you a hug and a flu vaccine, and make sure you come back the next time you think you might be sick. Of course it's always better to be safe than sorry.