Hello there, adventurous people!
Every vacation can easily turn into a nightmare if you come completely unprepared.
In my case, there really wasn’t a lot I could do… I had twisted my ankle halway through Cambodia and had to have it checked by a doctor because it kept swelling and swelling. Or rather doctors… Plural. Yepp…
The first doctor I went to for medical advice was out of the office, talked to me on the phone and told his wife to give me antibiotics. Antibiotics because I tripped over? Uhmm, no thanks.
We headed over to Kampot’s little hospital but got there during lunch break. For real?! Lunch break in a hospital??
Okay, whatever. On to the next one (we were lucky to be in a city with quite a few doctors, I swear!). This third attempt to seek medical advice started off quite promising. At least, there was a man in a white coat and he had time to check on me. His diagnosis: a sprained ankle. “No walking, no running, no swimming, bed time for the next whole week at least.” He handed me some pills that would help the swelling to ebb off and that would prevent my foot from getting further infected. He also put a bandage around my foot to stabilize it. Very obviously this bandage was made for small asian legs – it wouldn’t even have fit my foot if it hadn’t been swollen to twice its size.
Needless to say that I took the bandage off later that night because it hurt more than the injury itself. Not walking/swimming/whatever was also not an option. So, I took my pills, put my foot up at night, and cooled it whenever I had the chance.
I recommend bringing:
Imodium (or a similiar anti-diarrheal product) x 2
Yeah, if you think you have enough, better take another pack!
some tissues (not necessarily for your nose :))
your own syringes (available at your doctor’s office or the next Globetrotter)
good sunscreen with a high sun protection factor!
Mosquito spray is unnecessary… The asian spray Off! is very aggressive and really all you need. You can buy it everywhere ($5-$8).
Before our trip we were vaccinated against:
and please be aware that some immunizations need a little while, so you might want to see your doctor about 6 months in advance.
hepatitis A + B (everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against hepatits B may want to get the Twinrix)
DPT vaccine (diphteria, pertussis, tetanus)
typhoid fever (not to be confused with typhus)
A norwegian doctor we met along the way told us that all these vaccinations aren’t even necessary and that european doctors just try to make money off our fear. Well, it worked. I wanted this vacation to add to my life, not end it. Therefore, I don’t regret the immunizations.
Just make sure your health insurance covers them. If not you may want to switch to a different insurance because you can indeed save a lot of money.