The long road to recovery

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, April 28, 2011

The next morning Tom threw all our stuff into our bags and we said goodbye to the owner of the guesthouse, who had been a sweetheart while we had been ill and had even offered to do our shopping while we couldn't walk into town. Before we knew what was happening we were at Luang Prabang airport, I was trying my hardest to pretend that I wasn’t ill and we were boarding a very expensive two hour flight back to Bangkok. As soon as we landed at Bangkok we went straight to our guesthouse to drop off our bags and then got a taxi to the hospital. There are quite a few international-standard hospitals in Bangkok but one in particular is renowned at being excellent: so we beelined for the A&E department at the Bumrungrad hospital. I have to say now that this hospital is absolutely incredible, the care I received here was outstanding and the staff were very kind and professional. If you ever find yourself experiencing ill health in Thailand or the surrounding countries I can definitely recommend the Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok. We walked into the A&E reception area and within 30 seconds I was being introduced to my own nurse who would be responsible for my care during my stay there; I didn’t even sit my bum down in the waiting area before I was whisked off to a bed. Once I had explained my symptoms and filled out the paperwork with my nurse a doctor turned up and I was fitted with an IV line in my hand and bloods were taken. The doctor was lovely and gave me a thorough examination; I felt so safe and cared for during my time there, it just doesn’t even compare to going to the hospital back in the UK. We were at the hospital for about 2 hours before the doctor got my blood tests back and told me that an acute stomach infection was the cause of my new stomach pains. I was given a goodie bag full of medication and packed off home to rest and recuperate.

The anti-biotics I was given started to do their work after a few days and before too long I was recovering pretty well. However we woke up one morning to find that, inevitably, Tom had also caught my stomach infection and it had hit him really hard. Having barely recovered from the Dengue he had become so poorly again. Luckily though you can buy anti-biotics over the counter here in Thailand, so I went to a local Boots Pharmacy with my medication from the hospital and explained everything to the pharmacist. Pretty soon I was walking back to the guesthouse with a bag full of medication for Tom and within a few more days he was starting to improve. By this point we had been ill for almost 3 weeks and we were as weak as kittens. Walking to the shop at the end of the road for water was exhausting and we were literally spending all day in bed either sleeping, staring out of the window or maybe watching a film on our laptop. It was the worst feeling in the world. We had no appetites, our stomachs were very fragile and we were suffering from exhaustion. We were both so emotional; we’ve shed many tears over the last three weeks. On the 4th May we were due to fly to Cambodia for a week to visit the famous ruins of Angkor Wat and to celebrate my birthday, however as the date approached we were both still too weak and ill to start traveling again. Unfortunately we had to cancel our trip to Cambodia and we ended up forfeiting our flights there and staying in Bangkok for another week to rest. I was devastated.

Now we have been traveling for over 9 months and yet we still have a long way to go before we return home on 7th July. We are due to fly home from Beijing in China and have got a lot of big countries and activities still left in our itinerary. But since we have become ill we have been forced to strongly consider whether or not we can continue traveling. The Dengue and stomach infections have drained every last drop of energy we have and sometimes we are very sad to admit that we may have lost our enthusiasm for traveling. This is a very difficult thing to admit, especially for me; this experience has changed my life and prior to becoming ill I never wanted it to end. But now we are both so tired and worn out I just don’t know if our bodies can keep going anymore. We have lost massive amounts of weight since we caught Dengue and are both now at the lowest weights of our adult lives; Tom at 11 stone and myself at 9 stone 6 pounds (I’ve lost half a stone in 3 weeks, eat your heart out Weightwatchers). We have had quite a few heart-to-hearts and have cried many tears at the way things have turned out, but we have finally decided that we want to keep going. While the thought of being at home in the next few days is incredibly tempting we just can’t let our trip end on such a low note. We will keep on traveling and we will see this trip through to the end. I would rather keep going and know how things end than go home early and always wonder if we could have finished the trip as planned. So from here we have got a month to explore Vietnam and a month for China and then we are heading home, as planned, from Beijing on 7th July. We were taking a massive gamble when we made this decision because we were both still unwell at the time and Tom only made a full recovery a day or two before we left Bangkok. We ended up spending over 2 weeks recovering in Bangkok and towards the end of our time there we started to get out and about a bit more; for my birthday we had our first day out in nearly a month and went into the city center to the cinema and for burgers and chips (fair enough we only ate a couple of bites each, but it’s a start). While we were there we stumbled across a Japanese Anime event where people were dressed up as there favourite comic book characters; it was a very strange sight but it reminded us how great it feels when you stumble across something so unexpected in Asia. We were trying to go for little walks every few days to build up our strength, it was hard but we were managing to walk for half an hour or so before we became too tired and sicky. However we are now starting to get our energy back and are excited at the prospect of our final 2 months of traveling. Roll on Vietnam, fingers crossed our bad luck is now over and we can enjoy the rest of our travels in peace and comfort.    
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rach on

that was really hard reading those last two enteries,it makes me sad to no that there was no one there for u both , but is happier now coz i no that your both better, sending you both all our love and massive hugs :)))) (((((((((((((((hugs ))))))))))))))) love you xx

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