Being sick is not fun. Being sick when you are alone is even worse. However, being sick, alone and away from home, is one of the most miserable experiences ever. Trust me, I have been there.
The worst experience I had being sick during my travels was in Nigeria. I got a really bad food poisoning. In the middle of the night, I woke up with high fever, and pain in my body. I was vomiting and having a really bad diarrhea. I lived with a local family and shared the room with the mom of the house. The toilet was inside the room, without a door that could be closed. You can imagine how uncomfortable it was, having to do these private things the whole night with another person (almost stranger) in the same room.
However, this part was not the worst of it all. Even worst was that there were no running water in the house. Almost no houses in Nigeria have water running water. This means that I had to go out in the garden and catch water from the well, and thereafter carrying the heavy bucket full of water back in to flush the toilet. Every five minutes I had to do that, over and over again the whole night and the whole next day. I can tell you that this is the worst experience I have ever had during my travels. Having to go out catching water all the time, while it is exhausting alone being sick, having fever, body pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
After two days of sickness, I did not seem to get any better. I was taken to a hospital, and was told that I had malaria. After the visit and the medicines given, I did not get any better. I went to another hospital, where I was told that I had a food poisoning. Which I had. The doctor tried over and over again to put a drain, as my body could not keep any water the last days and I was very weak. However, the needle did not want to entry. The doctor found out that my veins had collapsed, due to lack of liquid. It took him long to find out this as I am white, and he could therefore see my veins. While if they had collapsed on a black person, they would not be possible to see.
I was given antibiotics and recovered fast after that. However, I got sick again many times after, as my stomach was already vulnerable and did not stabilize. When I got back to Norway they found a bacteria in my stomach that it took months to be rid of.
After that I got sick again several times while travelling. Just a few months ago, I had E.coli. However, all of these times, I had access to a good and private toilet, with flushing water. When I am sick, I try to think back to Nigeria, and suddenly being sick is not that horrible. As I know that many people in the world, have serious sicknesses, but no access to water or medicine.
What is your worst travel-sickness story?