pakse, laos is really a pretty small town and we've been hanging out here for almost 5 days. why you ask? well, aside from writing lots of overly verbose blog entries and picking lint out of my navel, we've been very busy trying to get healthy again.
both me and ronda started to get sick in siem reap. i got a low fever there one night and felt pretty crappy for the following two days.
ronda got a low fever the night before we left siem reap. then after getting into pakse and checking into our hotel her fever really took off. by 10pm on friday night her fever peaked at 103 F. she also had really bad stomach cramps, was puking, and had diarrhea. i was really worried since ibuproffen didn't seem to be doing anything to kill the fever. both of us didn't sleep much that night. i was taking her temperature every 20 mins, freezing rags to try to cool her down, and dragging her to the shower every hour to try and cool her off. needless to say, i was probably over-reacting but i was really worried. (we are really in a small town in the middle of nowhere.)
from this experience i learned that pakse does have a very large nice new hospital, which was built three years ago with japanese money. i went there during the night to the emerengcy clinic but couldn't find anyone who spoke english. the next morning me and ronda went down to the clinic with someone from our hotel to help us translate. first they told us she wasn't in a coma, which was a relief to me. then they told us that she didn't have dengue fever. after that they took a blood sample and told us it wasn't malaria either. all good news. eventually they said it was just bad food poisioning. (which was strange since we had been eating all the same food recently.)
after that they gave us "prescriptions" for a bunch of different drugs. (i put prescriptions in quotes because you don't need any to buy drugs from pharmacies here, so it was more just advice.) the drugs they recommeded seemed to be: paracetamol (for fever), amoxicillin (for i don't know what), buscopan? (or some type of antispasmodic to stop the stomach cramps and allow her to keep food down), and an antacid.
well, the fever hung around all day saturday and ranged from 100 to 102 F, sunday it was down further to the range of 99 to 100 F, and finally on monday it got down to 98 and ronda actually left the hotel room again to go get some food. while she was sick i went to the local market to buy some bananas and bread, but she really had no appetite and didn't eat anything. (which also had me worried.)
since then things have been looking better. she's been eating progresivly more and the stomach cramps have been occuring less and less. a welcome relief for both of us. my take away from this? being really sick in a small town on the far side of the world where few people speak the same language as you is a really really crappy situation for all the parties involved.