Cuenca – food poisoning and medical care

I’m writing this 2 days after quite possibly the worst episode of food poisoning I’ve ever had. It hit suddenly – a sleepless night with 7 instances of vomiting and more diarrhea than I care to mention. At 3am i am out of bottled water to rehydrate post-barf and to rinse away the acid. At 6am I am in a taxi for the nearest pharmacy that is open. There isn’t any. 6:30 am I am instead at the hospital by recommendation from my cabbie and whining from the “triage” area – still no water anywhere to be seen. 7am by more persistent complaining I am in some sort of clinic area with about 3 nurses and a gazillion patients. No water but gallons of paperwork. They take a stool sample and give me an injection for the nausea and then more waiting. Finally I’m on the verge of screaming at them why it’s so hard to get some f*ing water and so I run out and catch the nearest cab now that stores are open. I don’t know why this experience particularly disappointed me- I’m sure in the US I would still be filling out paperwork at that time.

After about 48 hrs of continuous sleep or bed rest I’m now well enough to walk to the park, eat a bread roll and whine to the world (or at least the blogosphere).

Here are pictures of the suspect meals. Yes, both breakfast and lunch from the same vegetarian restaurant, although for $2 a plate I suppose it might be asking too much for them to properly sanitize their vegetables. lesson learned – Ecuador you MUST rinse produce with vinegar or veggie wash and avoid sketchy restaurants.

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6 Responses to "Cuenca – food poisoning and medical care"
  1. Alana Chimes says:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry sissy. I hope you feel better. That’s a bummer because I know you were excited about that restaurant.

  2. J. says:

    I’m sorry about this too… I’ve heard this can happen in places where the water isn’t treated cause even if you don’t drink the water, food is rinsed in it and if it’s not cooked, it could make you sick. I got water sickness in Italy cause I drank the water from the tap in a hotel (my friend who was studying abroad there said hotel water was safe because I think she was already adjusted to the water). But I didn’t get as sick as you by any means! I kept doing my trip. I hope you feel better and I guess avoid places with lots of raw food. :/

    As for the hospital experience, it probably would have taken forever here too, but no water seems really crazy!

    -Jamie

  3. RoamingLisa says:

    Update: My friend said she saw cockroaches at the same restaurant! Could be a case of “you get what you pay for”

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Dave H says:

    I lived in Ecuador for 2 years and got extremely sick a few times. My only real piece of advice: don’t ever drink the tap water and don’t ever eat the lettuce from a restaurant. The lettuce is just too hard to clean and NO restaurant is going to clean it properly. I ate at all sorts of places (both clean and hole-in-the-wall-not-so-clean) and was fine as long as I stayed away from stuff like lettuce and berries.

    • RoamingLisa says:

      The funny thing is people say the water in Cuenca is clean so I started drinking it, no problem. I have no idea why I got so sick or what exactly that restaurant dies with its veggies. How cool to live in Ecuador, why did you leave Dave?

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