Thailand is great in some respects.  One respect is the ease with which we can walk into any street side pharmacy, tell them our medical woes, and walk out with cheap antibiotics or whatever else we need within reason.

During a visit to Chinatown week before last my friend and I had lunch at what we were told was the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown.  All three of us ate the same things.  Is it any wonder that 24 hours later the two westerners were glued to a restroom with severe stomach distress while our Thai friend felt fine?  Iron stomachs?

After a few days we both still felt poorly but decided to head down Kanchanaburi way during Songkran anyway.  Several restroom breaks later we arrive in Kanchanaburi and check into our hotel rooms, both feeling like our stomachs had been severely abused.

Hours later I’m not feeling any better so I asked our Thai companion if she would be so kind as to visit the pharmacy, describe my symptoms, and bring me back some good drugs.  My friend overhearing said “can you get me some too?”  Desperation.

A few days of antibiotics later we’re both feeling better, but not completely recovered.  A few more days pass and my friend is fully recovered and I think I am too.  I discovered I was not!  Now, several days later I’m back into full distress mode and have scheduled a visit to my doctor in the morning.

I’m hoping she can diagnose and treat me correctly the first time around.  Should I have gone to her first?  Probably.. but this isn’t the most glamorous sickness and the promise that 80 baht’s worth of antibiotics could cure me sounded appealing.  In fact, it did cure my friend.

I suppose the moral of this story is that self-medication carries risks.  It’s possible I could be totally cured as I write this, instead of being in pain and making sprints to the bathroom.  Honestly, if it happens again I’d probably do the same thing.

Sometimes we never learn.

Until next week..