Let’s Talk About Sex. Oh Wait. Shit. Let’s Talk About Shit.

Let’s talk about sex.. Wait no.. Shit.Let’s talk about shit. 

I travel hard. Most of you know my adventures usually involve a least one trip to the ER, some kind of intestinal parasite or flesh wound. This trip however something really exciting happened; constipation.

What?!

Usually travelers diarrhea kicks in about day 3 and I can count on losing about 5 pounds by the time I come home. Not this trip, but let’s back it up to the beginning… (No pun intended)

Alexa and I landed in Singapore after an 18 hour flight from San Francisco. We had a 7 hour layover and booked a beautiful room at the Crowne Plaza airport to shower and relax for a few hours before our onward journey to Phuket, Thailand. We had a glorious breakfast at the buffet where I ate everything, but nothing that I haven’t already eaten. 


About an hour later had a very comfortable BM in a very beautiful bathroom. Cool, on with the show. (This is important, this would be September 29th)

A few hours later we land in Phuket and I start to develop a rash. I have allergies all the time to everything so I don’t think much of it. 

We proceed to get smashed that night. We’re talking about 15 Changs each. The better part is, Alexa and I aren’t huge party-ers, so instead of going out and going dancing, we got drunk at our guesthouse and played cards. After a few failed attempts at Go Fish, we realized we only knew how to play War. Gawd we are old. Bloody fun though. 


The next morning was awesome. I felt fine. Not sure how, but totally fine. Alexa however spent the entire day vomiting everywhere and not being able to function. I tried to drag her down for breakfast but instead she threw up in a plant. Super fun. I put her back on bed. As the day went on, my rash started to get really really bad. I popped the Benadryl I had, but it was just getting worse. I asked the front desk about getting Benadryl from the pharmacy but they said I had to go to the hospital, you can’t get it over the counter. Dammit. Ok maybe some water and I can kick this. I fell asleep next to Alexa for a few hours. 

When I woke up I couldn’t breathe. My throat had started closing, my tongue was starting to swell so bad I couldn’t talk, and my ears were about 5x bigger than normal and hurt to touch. 

Dammit time to go to the ER.

Probably should have gone a few hours before this but stubborn me was like “It’s just a little rash, it happens to everyone.”

I get Alexa up, who is doing much better. I tell her we have to go and we find a Tuk Tuk to take us to the hospital. The ER is quiet, which is good cause I would rather have not been in a busy Thai emergency room. They tell me to go back and about 20 minutes later the doctor looks over my rash and we all agree it’s probably a reaction to my new migraine meds. He hands me a box to take to the pharmacy and says I’ll be getting some pills and an injection. 

Once we fill my prescriptions, we go back to the ER room and wait for someone to administer the what I only can assume, is a Benadryl injection. She says it may tingle when it hits my system. 


I didn’t feel anything for about 30 seconds after, then it hit.

Holy shit.

All of a sudden my eyes lit up and it hit HARD. It started tingling, but not in my arm. Oh, no. It felt like fire, on my butthole. 

WHAT IS HAPPENING?!? 

I jump up and I look at Alexa and say, “I’m going to vomit.” Then I start running around the ER looking for a place to puke while shouting “Im going to puke” and grabbing at my tingling ass. It was like watching t-Rex come to life. If I had a tail it would have taken down half the building and raised hell thru that ER ward. Finally Alexa gets me to sit down and I try not to puke in the bag someone handed me. The tingling stopped slowly and I was able to stop loosing my mind while running around an ER unit. About 15 minutes later were cleared to leave. 

Here’s the best part. Guess how much this whole adventure cost..

$25.00USD. For everything. Meds, ER visit, shots, and 3 take home RX. From now on I only go to the ER in Thailand. Damn broken healthcare system in the US.

For the next few days, I take all my meds, Prednisone, Zyrtec, and Hydrocortisone and some Benadryl when I can find it. 


We meet with our group in Chiang Mai, and my rash seems to be getting a little better. It still is covering my chest, neck and arms, but it would appear and disappear through the day.

It’s now the 4th of October, and the rash and the meds seem to be getting better, however I notice that I haven’t pooped since Singapore. Some constipation is common for traveling due to weird bathroom anxiety, but I let that go a long time ago and it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Alexa and I leave the group at the Elephant Nature Park and head back down to the city for a day before we head to Cambodia for our next adventure. 

It has now been 5 days with no BM. I am very uncomfortable and bloated. 

I started googling side effects of benedryl and Zyrtec and the first one is constipation. Dammit. OK, I’m going to try and lay off the meds for a bit and see if I can poop.


We get to Cambodia and I went all day without taking a Benadryl. I am itchy as hell because of the rash, but now I have had 21 meals and they are just sitting in my body. Itchy or bloated, those were my choices. Awesome. I knew I was a ticking time bomb at this point too and something had to give, but it would be at the most inconvenient time and place. 

It’s been 7 days now. 

I feel like shit. Well more just full of shit.


So in Cambodia they have Benadryl so I finally decide to take one, since it’s becoming unbearable and I look like a leopard. We have a few beers, walk through the market, and….

“Alexa, I need to stand here and not move for a minute.”

“Are you ok? What’s Happening?”

“If I move, I’m going to shit my pants.”

“BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

“Ok we need to find a bathroom ASAP.”

“There’s a bar right there, I’ll order drinks, you go.”

“Wait, we don’t have butt wipes. Where’s the mini-mart.”

5 min later and some baby wipes.

Rejoice!

This was a typical tourist bar, decent bathrooms, it was about 5pm so not many people were out yet and the entire female staff was in there doing their makeup. 

Sorry ladies. 


20 minutes later, holy cow I feel so much better. 

Then the toilet clogged.

This can not be happening.

At this point I’m going through the stages of grief: regret, remorse, loss, confusion, anger. 

What do I do?

Do I leave?

There is a bald eagle sized shit clogging this Cambodian toilet. It might as well have been singing the national anthem coming out of me. And now it won’t leave.

Do I tell someone?

This can’t be happening.

After waiting 10 min, and 4 flushes later, I get it unclogged.

Oh and to add to this scenes you don’t flush toilet paper in Asia. That was 100% excrement clogging this bad boy up.

The bathroom is stilled filled with the female wait staff, who just stayed through the 25 minutes of hell and 4 flushes.

At some point though you just stop caring.

When I reemerge, Alexa has a beer waiting for me. Thank you. I needed that. I feel like a beer and a cigarette after that experience. 

So, here we are, Day 8, BM’s seem to be slowly returning back to normal. I still have the rash. No idea what’s causing it. I’ll deal when I get home. 


What I learned:

Bring everything. perhaps including laxatives. I never thought I would need a laxative when traveling since most of the time it’s the opposite problem. But I could have really used one this time. Oh and benedryl since apparently it’s hard to find in Thailand. My ever growing first aid kit will now be fully stocked with both. 

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