Egypt, Stomach Bugs and Fasting

This summer I went on holiday to Egypt for two weeks. I picked up a stomach bug. On returning to England, I suffered from sickness, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and sleepless nights. This continued for weeks, I was hoping it would sort itself out, the body would deal with it and normality would return. No way.

Its now October and little has changed. Each time I think its getting better, another wave of nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea. I went to my doctor, who put me on a course of anti-biotics. They didn't work. He was at a loss and sent me to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in central London. There they took blood, urine and stool samples, and instructed me to return in two weeks. Their early diagnosis was "Amoebic Dysentery", but this was unconfirmed. On returning home, I looked it up on the web, its a form of parasite and the body has no way of dealing with it.

The stomach pains were bad. Each time I ate food I was feeding the bugs. They seemed to be celebrating, particularly if I had dairy produce.

Last Friday I ate heartily, not a blow-out but I ate well. The next day, Saturday, I was in trouble. When was this going to end. So much stomach pain. Enough was enough. I vowed not to eat again till this thing had been diagnosed and treated.

All day Saturday, I drank fruit juice, and small amounts of diet coke and diet lemonade. The diet coke tasted foul and I switched to weak coffee. Sunday, things seemed a little better, as the bugs had been deprived their usual nourishment. I stuck with the diet, drinking fruit juice and the occasional weak coffee.

Monday was uneventful, it passed quietly. Tuesday I was wacked. I felt sick and slept for 2 - 3 hours in the afternoon. I was sticking to the fruit juice.

Wednesday it was back to the hospital, for the results. More urine samples and wait to see the consultant. He was really nice and understanding. He admitted they had not identified the parasite, but all the evidence seemed to indicate it was "giardia lamlia".

"Here take these pills, but no alcohol for 4 or 5 days, or you'll vomit". "Another thing, they may leave a metallic taste in your mouth". I was put on a course of Tinidazole. "Take four today and four more in five days time". "Remember, no alcohol". I explained that the stomach cramps were so bad, I had stopped taking solid food. "That's okay. Take the pills, stay off the solids for another 24 hours, then eat what you like". On the train home, I took the pills, the metallic taste slowly over-ran my taste buds.

Thursday, the diarrhoea returned with a vengence, I was on and off the pan all day. The stomach cramps returned, along with the nausea. I felt ill. Had they got the diagnosis wrong. Were these the wrong pills? Considering I hadn't eaten in 6 days, how come I was passing so much stuff?

I'd got used to going without food and when I felt a little faint, I'd take a sugar hit. This lifted my blood sugar level and I was back on track. Slowly the desire for food fell away. The rest of the house was eating and I could smell the delicious dishes being prepared in the kitchen, but it was okay. It didn't bother me much. My main aim was to stablise the cement mixer that was churning in my stomach. Avoiding solids seemed to help.

Its Friday evening on day 7. I don't feel weak and I have a mind to stick this out for another week... I'm gonna record my progress in this blog.

When I started I weighed in at 11st 10lbs (162lbs). I know I've lost weight, cos my jeans are loose. I'll weigh myself tomorrow and report back. I'm also gonna take some photos to record the change and include them in the blog.