Sick in Mexico

I haven’t written much of anything in the past three weeks and I can almost hear my fingers creaking as they work the keyboard. Never again should I go so long without putting words on page, it’s just not healthy.

It’s only halfway my fault though. A lot has happened in the past few weeks: I went on a resort vacation (and liked it!), saw humpback whales and visited the scene of this famous pinterest picture. I had my in-laws in town and played tour guide for a week, despite uncharacteristic pouring rain (thanks a lot Sayulita). I rang in New Years setting off sky lanterns on the beach with hundreds of others which was soggy, but beautiful.

And then, just when I had planned to get back to work and start writing up all these adventures, I got sick. At first I thought it was just a cold, but it got worse, not better. I had a half-baked idea I might have dengue, but the symptoms didn’t fit. Maybe the flu? Whatever was going on I felt like total crap and could barely string a sentence together much less write a blog post.

After several nights of listening to me sniffle and cough with a temperature of 100+, Mike insisted I see a doctor. I dragged my feet, but it was definitely the right call. It took the doctor about 30 seconds to diagnose me with a bronchitis, tonsillitis and a double ear infection. Basically my entire head was an infected, phlegm-filled, feverish mess (that’s a lovely image isn’t it?).

Not the drugs people usually associate with Mexico

This is actually the first time I’ve had to visit a doctor for illness since I left my job in 2010. I haven’t had an ear infection since I was ten and I have no idea what made my nasty cold morph into all of that. The last thing I expected while hiding out in Mexico was to get hit with a winter-illness triple whammy. I mean, what good is avoiding a polar vortex when you have the chills anyway?

Side note: how much is it to see a doctor without insurance in the United States? Here in Mexico it cost me 200 pesos, roughly $15.

After proper treatment and actual quality sleep I am already feeling a million times better. I’m ready to get back to work, which is good since I have a million scary deadlines looming over my head. There may be a delay in getting posts up here but hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

Have you ever gotten sick on the road?


23 thoughts on “Sick in Mexico”

  1. I wrote a post about this (getting sick abroad) last week as I got sick over here in Switzerland before the New Year. I have a knack for getting sick abroad/while traveling apparently! Glad to hear you are feeling better

  2. My boyfriend is just getting over some really nasty (what we assume) food poisoning that left him sick for almost two week. We ended up stuck in Ao Nang, Thailand, with him too ill to go enjoy the area. We finally went to a doctor, he had bacteria in his blood, had to get an 3hr IV drip and a liquid anti-biotic, got sent home with a goody bag of pills to take and nice fat medical bill. Thankfully we’ve got insurance to cover the 10,000 Baht ($340CAD) that we had to charge to our CC.

  3. Ugh that sounds awful! I’ve been really struggling with cold and flu season this year as I seem to catch another bug just when I’m recovering from the last. It’s so frustrating but I partly attribute it to so much travel. And this is after I had a really long stint without getting sick. This winter is making me reevaluate all my diet and health choices so it doesn’t happen again!

    I got a sinus infection in Brazil a few years back and was really sick. Can’t beat going to the drugstore and picking up over the counter antibiotics for a couple bucks to knock it out though!

  4. Oh that sucks! Seems like you don’t do things by halves ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope you are feeling better soon. I have been looking after Kellie, my travel partner and girlfriend, for the last few weeks in Mexico. She got salmonella and some other weird contamination from a tick! The Drs here were amazing though and so cheap. Happily she is on the mend, hope you are too!

  5. I was wondering why you were so quiet on here! Getting sick abroad is the worst. I haven’t been “need to see a doctor” sick yet while travelling, thankfully, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to ensure I always travel with emergency medicine and good travel insurance ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I got bronchitis in Istanbul and my boyfriend’s Turkish roommates took me to see a doc at the urgent care there. I was in and out and had prescriptions in an hour, and the boys kept turning to me while we were waiting and saying, “So sorry it is taking so long, normally it’s not so bad.” All I could think was, “Are you kidding? Do you know how long it would take me to be seen in the US for urgent care? Let alone get prescriptions for free?” Needless to say, having the locals there helped a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel better!

    1. I know, I was seriously resisting going because I know how long and tedious these medical things usually are, but I was in and out of the local place in 20 minutes. Breath of fresh air.

  7. Being sick on the road sucks. Add being a digital nomad on top of that and it sucks doubly. Glad to hear your bill didn’t cost too much, it’s a similar experience in Canada (yay for socialized medicine!)

  8. Sorry to hear you were down in the dumps. I got seriously sick in Mexico a few years ago and was terrified beacuae of the language barrier and the perception that their doctors wouldn’t be as good. In the end, the treatment they gave me was great and hardly cost anything at all

  9. So glad that you are feeling better. Last year, my husband and I went on a 3 week cruise, after saving for a year to pay for it. The first day of the cruise, I got a REALLY bad head cold. I couldn’t even lift my head off the pillow for the first couple of days. I ended up being sick the entire time. The day after we got home, my cold disappeared. BUMMER! Being sick while away from home, sucks!

  10. I’m in Mexico too… I just caught a small something that caused me a light diarrhea… but it was probably a combination of very cold nights (in the altitude nights are getting close to freezing points and without heating or proper insulation, it’s cold inside)… altitude (although I’m getting much better to it, being at over 2000 m is still tough for my body who lived all its life at sea level) and pollution in the city of Puebla (right after I spent a full month in Mexico City).

  11. I had the stomach flu during my first week or so in South America! I actually had my first symptoms (ridiculous stomach pains) on the plane ride over. After that it was a massive struggle to keep myself hydrated (during summer in Brazil!) and in good spirits. Especially difficult because I was traveling alone, but in the end I felt really proud that I managed to nurse myself back to health. Is that silly? Hope you feel better!

  12. Uh! Stupid health care back home… In Thailand, you can self diagnose yourself with almost anything, walk in to a pharmacy, and buy whatever they say you might need. It’s great and CHEAP.
    Of course if you really needed the doctor after not getting better, that’s cheap to according to friends. I have not had the pleasure of needing one yet…thank god.

  13. I was once on my way to Portland, Maine in the middle of the winter when I began to feel myself getting sick. When my bus left NYC in the morning it was just a cough, by Boston it was a sore throat, and by Portland it was a fever with all symptoms pointing to the flu. I was there to see my favorite band play a show, so despite my sickness I stood for 2 hours in the front row drinking bottles upon bottles of water, enjoying the set but at the same time just wanting it to end so I could sleep…. two days later I saw them again back in New York, hopped up on Dayquil and Advil. Oh and then a month later when seeing them in Philadelphia I woke up that morning with an infected wisdom tooth that I got extracted two days later.

  14. Paris. 1981. The absolute worst two days of my life. A friend and I hopped on the train in Freiburg, Germany. We had to switch trains in Lyon and had a bit of a lay-over. I was hungry so I purchased a cheese and ham baguette at a little stand in the station. It tasted a little “off” but I choked it down anyway. We got to Paris and were walking from the train station to the hostel when I started to feel a little dizzy. No bother- I purchased a bottled water, sat down a while on a park bench then continued on. We got to the hostel and my friend looks at me and says “You don’t look so well.” That was an understatement. I was pale as a ghost and shivering like it was twenty below zero in there. We get to the ten bunk dorm, grab the last remaining bunk and I laid down. And stayed down. For two days of feverish shaking, aching all over and vomiting my guts out. I couldn’t keep anything down. And the hostel was OH SO GRACIOUS! The manager kept popping in the dorm, insisting that I shouldn’t be there because I would get everyone sick. My friend kept telling him it was food poisoning but he wouldn’t hear none of that. The second day, around four in the afternoon, the manager came up to the dorm again insisting that I leave. I could barely stand up. My friend called a cab (which neither of us could afford) and when the cab arrived my friend explained to the driver what had happened and asked if he could take us as close to the train station as we could afford. Well, the driver- who was from Ghana- not only chewed out the hostel manager for kicking us out but he took us to his apartment and offered up his couch for us for the night then said he would take us no charge to the train station the next day. The driver’s wife made me some herbal broth which I not only managed to keep down, but which made me feel much better. The next morning, as promised, we were taken to the train station and back to Freiburg we went. I never went back to Paris. Ever.

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