Each year for my birthday I go on a little adventure. Whether it is to the Gold Coast, Jervis Bay or to Bali. I love to get away for a bit, think about life and recharge for another year. This year was the year that I traveled to Bali, Indonesia. Since I live in Australia it is only a short trip away and the weather is amazing, and the hotels are cheap.
However, this trip turned into a bit of a nightmare where I had to delay my flight back home and even ended up in the emergency room in Sydney.
If you are curious about what happened and what you can do to prevent this from happening, then I suggest you read on…
Before I flew into Bali I did quite a bit of research. Before I went, I have had some stomach and intestine issues, and I got diagnosed with IBS.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects the intestines. It is a condition that needs to be managed in the long term. IBS commonly causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
I knew what food I couldn’t eat, so I made sure I stayed away from those (Even though I couldn’t eat chocolate anymore, I KNOW! )
Since I have lived in India for a couple of months for my traineeship in tourism I kind of knew what to expect, what to do, and especially what not to do. So, I was confident that I would be okay.
I decided that I would only eat at the hotel and not take the risk of eating in a restaurant elsewhere.
The first few days everything was PERFECT. The weather was good, the hotel was stunning, the people were nice and the ocean warm and blue.
I was on cloud 9 and I was truly enjoying myself.
I was having breakfast at the hotel every morning and in the evening I went to the same restaurant for dinner.
It looked clean and since breakfast was ok, I thought it would be safe to have dinner there as well.
Unfortunately, the second to last night of my holiday slowly turned into a bit of a nightmare.
SEVERE FOOD POISONING
The day went normal, chilling at the beach, going for a swim, reading a book and in the afternoon, I wandered the streets looking for some souvenirs.
In the evening I dined at the same restaurant I had eaten for the last couple of nights.
I went back to my room and my stomach almost immediately felt strange. I was not sick, but something just felt off. That lasted a couple of hours and suddenly I did get sick. VERY SICK. I won’t go into too much detail but it was awful.
This lasted the entire night and morning.
The next day was my last day and I was supposed to fly back home in the evening. I constantly had to puke and had bad diarrhea so I was in no shape to fly back home. I called my work and ask my friend Kim (Who was covering for me) if I could fly back a few days later. Luckily, she was ok, so I changed my flight (Cost $150) and booked into the hotel for 2 extra nights ($700)
That night I felt very weak. I didn’t bring any Paracetamol or diarrhea blockers, so I hadn’t taken anything up until that point. Throughout the evening I got pains that I would describe as bad muscle ache. I thought my muscles were just exhausted from constantly throwing up. I took hot baths and showers to diminish the pain a bit.
At about 11 pm I could not take the pain anymore, as it had gotten worse through the evening, and I called the reception of the hotel to see if they had some painkillers. I thought If I go to sleep I am sure I will wake up refreshed in the morning. But unfortunately they did not have any and the guy on reception barely spoke English.
There was nothing that I could do, so I tried to go to sleep. At 1 am I had to throw up again (for like the 20th time) and I got a tremendously painful sharp shooting pain in my side. I kind of collapsed in the bathroom and crawled back to my bed.
I FaceTimed my sister, who lives in the Netherlands, explaining what happened. She saw the severity of my illness and immediately called the hotel reception who organized a doctor to come in.
The doctor came around 1.45am and asked me some questions., what happened? where is the pain etc. He was a doctor that dealt with tourist on a daily basis and he did the best he could do.
He diagnosed me with a parasite. (Later test will show that it is not the correct diagnosis btw)
I got 5 different types of medication, some fluids because I was pretty dehydrated and that was it.
For the next 2 days, I stayed in bed, took my medication and slept. The sharp shooting pain was gone but I was super weak.
The day of my flight the doctor came back to give me the approval to fly and I was on my way.
I flew overnight with Jetstar and I landed on Thursday morning in Sydney. I had the Thursday off because I thought that was a good idea.
Unfortunately, we had a large group checking in on the Friday, and Kim had been working for 1.5 weeks straight, so I wanted to cover that shift.
I was weak (very weak) but ok-ish to work. The group, however, was very tiring so at the end of the day, I was exhausted.
PAINS ARE BACK
At night the sharp shooting pains were back. At 6 am an Uber was ordered by my friends and I was taken to the emergency department.
For hours they could not stop the pain. I had to try to take medication orally, and when you have severe food poisoning, everything that you eat comes back. Only after several hours and constantly having to ask for better pain medication were they able to stop the pain.
I had to undergo several tests and because of extreme food poisoning (Did not have a parasite) I got extremely dehydrated and my kidneys formed kidney stones. FUN
I have been going through the medical mill to make sure my kidneys are ok. Every now and then I have some pains, but it was nothing like it was before.
It has cost me thousands of dollars (medication, delayed flights, tests, specialist) and weeks of my life. I was so weak that I couldn’t work for weeks. And when I started work, I was exhausted at the end of my shift so I couldn’t do anything else.
I know this could have happened if I would have gone anywhere else. But just because their health and safety when it comes to food preparation it can happen a lot quicker in Bali.
I had spoken with several people in my hotel who were all sick, so it happens a lot more then you release.
So if you are planning to go to Bali please keep your health in mind and only eat where you think its safe.