Kari HuangComment

Food Poisoning (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

Kari HuangComment
Food Poisoning (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

On this day, Steve began the morning with a very gassy stomach. Starting at around 5 or 6am, I heard him rolling around in his bed and he was passing big bouts of gas very loudly. I felt annoyed, but by 6:45am, he was running to the toilet with diarrhea. That's when we suspected what we had feared from our trip to Thailand: Steve got food poisoning from the local food.

I was feeling fine, so we talked about what we had eaten the previous day, trying to identify what caused the food poisoning. The only things that Steve had eaten that I had not were the Tom Kung at the Don Mueang Airport upon arrival to Chiang Mai the afternoon before and the Kao Soi at the Warorot Market the night before.

After his second trip to the toilet with diarrhea, I gave Steve 2 Pepto Bismol pills hoping it would help with the diarrhea. (I had brought it specifically in preparation for any cases of Bangkok Belly during our trip to Thailand, along with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for sanitation control). We decided soon afterwards that taking the Pepto Bismol may not have been a good idea, as it's better to let out all of the food poisoning as soon as possible instead of holding it in. A few hours later, around 9am, I went downstairs to get some breakfast for us. Noodle soup for me and porridge for Steve. He was taking a shower and came out and didn't feel like eating. He ate 2 pieces of pineapple, and a few moments later, he ran back to the toilet and puked violently. His back was hot and sweat was dripping from his hairline. I had never seen him puke before. I stood behind him, not knowing what else to do but pat and rub his back to comfort him, as his throat made uncomfortable and helpless puking noises and colored barf splashed into the toilet water. I grabbed a hand towel and wiped his sweat and got him water to drink. I almost cried because of how helpless and weak Steve looked when he barfed.

I tried my best to take care of Steve for the rest of the day, going out to get crackers and foods that were easy to digest, electrolyte powder, and making sure he drank lots of water. I was wary of giving him any antibiotics or medicine so only gave him vitamin C pills to strengthen his immune system to fight off whatever was giving him the diarrhea. I knew about charcoal pills but didn't get them because the concept was new to me. Maybe next time I'll be more knowledgeable about what to do with food poisoning now that I've experienced it.

I also didn't dilute the electrolyte powder enough. I poured 1 whole pack into only 700ml of water and Steve ended up feeling shaky and jittery when we went out to the temple. :( I later found out that you're supposed to pour 1 pack into a whole 1 liter bottle of water (they sell this size at most convenience stores in Thailand) and drink 2 liters of water throughout the whole day.

Despite not feeling well, Steve still managed to leave the guest house so he could follow through with his plans to hang out with a friend in Chiang Mai. We went out for maybe a few hours during which Steve didn't eat much food, lacked energy, and made pit stops at the toilets. Soon, it was time for his friend to leave for the train station and we came back to our room so Steve could rest in bed. I went out to get instant porridge, crackers, and more water for Steve later that day. It was raining a little outside so I didn't mind staying inside.

Although it was unfortunate for Steve to get food poisoning, I appreciated being able to take care of him because I didn't feel annoyed by him anymore. Before he got sick, I found myself feeling rather annoyed by him and the way he was acting ever since we touched down in Thailand. However, by taking care of him, I didn't feel as annoyed by him anymore because I thought about why he may have been acting the way he did and unintentionally annoying me in the process. I also liked feeling like he needed me. So I didn't feel it was right for me to feel annoyed anymore, and this change in perspective helped us enjoy the rest of our trip more as a couple.

My next photo blog post will feature Steve recovering from his food poisoning. It's also our last day in Chiang Mai so we rented a scooter to explore Chiang Mai. Stay tuned for photos next week! :)