WHAT TO EXPECT – PRACTICAL ADVICE
You are alone. Nobody at the hotel speaks English, it is getting late and you are starting to feel nauseous. The barfing begins.
This has happened to me once in Campeche, after eating a chicken sandwich and once in Guatemala, from an ice-cube. Here is my advice.
Symptoms… you will start to feel nauseous and dizzy. You may feel your stomach start to gurgle with some minor discomfort. Get to your hotel room quick and prepare.
The tools you will need to survive are water [lots of it], a bucket, Kleenex/TP, towels and blankets. A room with a television helps too. If this occurs anytime close to nightfall, you will be up all night suffering and a TV helps to pass the time.
It starts… The time it takes to go from being nauseous to full-tilt puking differs from case to case. The nauseousness simply intensifies until you can no longer bear it and the barfing and diarrhea starts. This is why you should retreat to your hotel room soon as you feel it coming on.
I don’t recommended you take any form of pharmaceutical drug at this point [*I* am NO doctor-this is simply my advice], especially anything that will attempt to hinder or stop the puking/diarrhea. You want to get it “out of you”, not keep it in you, or stop it.
During your ordeal you will go from hot-sweats to cold-chills. Use blankets to keep warm when you are freezing. If your room has a plastic stool or chair you can put that in the shower and sit with warm/hot water flowing over you. If the room has air-conditioning you can crank that up when you go into heat mode.
The trick is to drink “lots” of water, continuously. Every time you puke you MUST drink water. Every time you go to the bathroom, you MUST drink water. This will reach a point where you cannot drink anymore, but you MUST. You will keep puking, long after there is nothing left in your stomach, so the water helps in that it gives you something to throw up.
Dehydration is a main concern as well and may occur if you do not replenish your fluids. There are “electrolyte” remedies available in pharmacies that you can mix with water to replenish the minerals you are expelling. What you can do is mix a little salt and sugar in the water you are drinking. Not much, just a pinch per glass.
Do Not Smoke… being around cigarette smoke will make you feel worse. Do not drink any alcohol.
How long it lasts depends on a number of factors. Even after it is over your body will be sore, especially your stomach muscles and your bum. Once it is over however, it feels like the tail end of a bad flu. What you need to do now is eat something, but it should be fruit or vegetable. Soup is the perfect thing. Stay away from greasy fried food until you have recovered fully.
All in all, the ordeal lasts around 24 hrs or longer depending on your recovery rate. For some people it can last days.
If The Sickness Persists… you need to see a doctor or go to a hospital.