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sick in mexico.
December 27, 2009 2:41 PM   Subscribe

sick in mexico. need advice

I caught the grippa, or influenza going around couple of weeks ago.
Tried to wait it out, but felt worse, and started losing blood in my stools, and nosebleeds.
(point of information. I have familial thrombocytopenia....and colitis, but inactive for 2 years, and mitral-valve prolapse)
Blood test showed low, but not extreme? platelet count ('plaquetas x mm 71,000).
Went to a doctor who tested me .
('Anticuerpos Dengue- Negativo")
('Antigeno Dengue- Negativo")
He put me on Flonorm, then stopped it; Alevian Duo before food; Ranisen after food; Itamol and I got some Lomotil for the shits.
(another point of information; just finishing up 4 days of Clinamicina for a bad tooth)
It receded, but came back hard today w/ stomach cramps and blood.
I am out of here in 2 days for a week on an island w/ good health care, they say, (don't ask) then back to States.
I am eating good food like crazy, vitamins, drinking gatorade for hydration, sardines...
Need to get thru the next 2 weeks. Advice? I really do not want to cancel things.
posted by ebesan to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Sounds like the best thing to do would be to have an extended conversation on your health with a trusted professional back home. Do you know anyone you can talk to?

Seems like you're doing all the basics that a layman should do.

I always heard that when you're sick you should stick to simple carbs (like saltines or rice) rather than eating something that might be a bit difficult to digest (the sardines seem an odd choice, but must be a reason I'm not aware of?)

You say, "Need to get through the next 2 weeks", but you are leaving soon and staying just a week on the island. Is there another week's worth of things going on after the island?
posted by Deathalicious at 2:52 PM on December 27, 2009


Also, here's the thing. You've been sick for 2 weeks now. Unless you get remarkably better soon, either you will be miserable on the island staying in your room the whole time, or you will be going out and depriving your system of its well needed rest.

I'd say, just go back home. Mexico will always be there, but your health is a valuable commodity.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:54 PM on December 27, 2009


Your health is more important than a vacation. A vacation that you wouldn't enjoy anyway. Where in Mexico? Spend the next two days visiting another doctor. And sleep like the dead whenever possible.
posted by zardoz at 2:58 PM on December 27, 2009


Oregano Oil topically applied with a toothbrush may help with the tooth issue, mixed in honey
and taken internally may help with viral and bacterial crap. Not for the faint of heart, causes intense eye watering, hot enough to melt the wax in your ears,but is the best impromptu medicine I have ever used.
posted by hortense at 3:48 PM on December 27, 2009


Um, cancel things.
posted by carlh at 4:04 PM on December 27, 2009


I would say cancel things, and go home if they let you on a plane. I've never been to the "island" you speak of, but it's possible they may not let you pass customs if you look how you feel.
posted by Think_Long at 4:17 PM on December 27, 2009


If this island is Cuba - no need to confirm or deny in-thread - be aware that access to medicines/antibiotics/lab work/etc will be even more limited than wherever you are in Mexico, especially if you're outside a tourist resort area like Varadero or Havana. Furthermore, American bank cards aren't supposed to work there, and you do not want to be sick AND have no access to cash in case you lose your luggage or have your prescriptions confiscated by overzealous customs officials (not necessarily a Cuba-specific thing, but it happens around the world). If your condition worsens and you need to claim expenses back on your insurance, I imagine that Cuba may not be covered. Save it for another time.

However, you don't necessarily need to go home. You do need to be in a largish city with good medical services (say, a state capital?), and you need to get a second opinion from another doctor - ask wherever you're staying to recommend one that speaks English, or offer to pay someone at the hotel/hostel to accompany you and translate. A "house-call" may be relatively inexpensive compared to home, and checking into a hospital may end up being a better idea if you need more urgent care.

And if you're in a hostel, you need to be in a private room with your own bathroom/toilet, for the sake of your fellow travelers.

Clean water is also essential - if you're traveling with someone else, have them get bottles for you daily/however often is recommended, and keep drinking.

Finally - record what you're taking, and when, in an easy-to-understand format so that you can relate the information to someone whose English may not be great. A little handwritten chart in a notebook is enough. If it's late on Monday, December 28, and you haven't taken the last dose of Medicine X yet, your chart might look like this:

28/12/09

Medicine X - 1 tab, 400 mg, 4x per 24h
0600 [X]
1200 [X]
1800 [X]
2400 [ ]

Rest up, get a second opinion, and don't go to Cuba.
posted by mdonley at 4:56 PM on December 27, 2009


(another point of information; just finishing up 4 days of Clinamicina for a bad tooth)
It receded, but came back hard today w/ stomach cramps and blood


Clindamycin combined with bloody diarrhea makes me worry that this apparent recurrence might instead involve an infection with Clostridium difficile. If it were me, I'd like to get that ruled out, even if it meant canceling everything.
posted by Ery at 5:30 PM on December 27, 2009


Oregano Oil topically applied with a toothbrush may help with the tooth issue, mixed in honey
and taken internally may help with viral and bacterial crap. Not for the faint of heart, causes intense eye watering, hot enough to melt the wax in your ears,but is the best impromptu medicine I have ever used.


OP, you have a sense of the gravity of the current situation - especially wrt possible C. diff mentioned by Ery. Don't waste your time consulting anybody other than a doctor you trust, and don't waste time taking "remedies" suggested by anyone whose name isn't followed imediately by "M.D.".

He put me on Flonorm, then stopped it; Alevian Duo before food; Ranisen after food; Itamol and I got some Lomotil for the shits. (another point of information; just finishing up 4 days of Clinamicina for a bad tooth)

Were I taking this combination, I would want to be at home in my own commuity with doctors I know and trust and the support of my family and friends. YMMV.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:10 PM on December 27, 2009


You're sick and aren't showing signs of improvement. Your judgement may be impaired. To some degree, you appear to be bleeding internally. General consensus of hivemind shows concern and a bias toward coming home. I concur.
posted by Muirwylde at 11:37 PM on December 27, 2009


Clindamycin combined with bloody diarrhea makes me worry that this apparent recurrence might instead involve an infection with Clostridium difficile

Too true, Clyndamycin is notorious for this effect. Get yourself to a DR asap and tell him/her about the clindamycin
posted by Neiltupper at 12:14 AM on December 28, 2009


Some good advice being given here. I would add that I find the blended fruit shakes ("liquados") in Mexico to be a wonderful tonic for jumpy digestion. Frequently the liquado shop will have an array of supplements and options that put Jamba Juice to shame. But pass up the raw egg! Maybe once you're more on the mend if you don't bail, you might look into these.
posted by telstar at 12:59 AM on December 28, 2009


For poop control, the BRAT diet is the way to go
Bananas
Rice
Apple(sauce)
Tea

Good luck and be well.
posted by stormpooper at 7:30 AM on December 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


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