|A billy goat tied to a tree.|
Finally, Tom is on the mend. After considerable research, we speculate that the abscessed tooth he had pulled may have resulted in the gastrointestinal infection that began to plague him 48 hours after the extraction, lasting for almost a week.
He suffered from severe gastric symptoms, fever, chills, body aches, and weakness. He took over-the-counter medications to alleviate the fever every four to six hours for the first few days until the fever subsided, sleeping most of the day on the sofa in the living room.
|A bubbling brook.|
The simple fact is that pulling the tooth released bacteria from the abscess in his bloodstream and stomach, resulting in what appeared similar to the bacterial infection I had in Marrakesh, Morocco after eating raw vegetables in a restaurant the first day of our arrival.
After traveling for 17 months at that point, I should have known better. Now, we’re more cautious than ever in less developed countries. I had waited three weeks before succumbing to a three-day dose of Cipro which we’d brought along for exactly this reason.
|Recently, we read a study that discovered the depth of the intellect of horses and their innate ability to connect with humans, even reacting to expressions on a human face.|
Within hours I began to feel relief. In Tom’s case, we didn’t want him to take antibiotics a third time since his first dose for the abscess was in November, the second in January, on two occasions when the abscess flared up. Thus, he waited.
It wasn’t until he started feeling better yesterday that we conducted research to make the connection to the abscessed tooth extraction and the gastric. Had we suspected this earlier, calling the dentist to inquire, most likely he’d have recommended antibiotics, which we didn’t want Tom to take once again unless it continued for more than a week.
|A creek we encountered on a drive.|
Its in these types of scenarios that not having a “regular” doctor and dentist puts us in a tough position. In our old lives, if we were sick for more than five days we’d make an appointment to see the doctor often having tests and leaving with a few prescriptions.
We don’t have this luxury now, 40 months after leaving Minnesota. For those family members and friends who are reading today…please don’t worry…if one of us exhibits life-threatening symptoms, we’ll immediately find our way to an urgent care facility or hospital.
|Even on cloudy days, the countryside has a special charm.|
It may seem as if we’re often sick as we share the details of our daily lives. Most likely it’s no more than most of our readers. The difference is that few document each virus, infection, injury, and days of being under the weather. Most likely, twice a year we experience a malady of one sort or another.
After considerable discussion, we’ve come to the conclusion that moving from one location, one country to another, we have little time to build an immunity to local viruses than those who live in one location occasionally traveling who seem to build an immunity.
|Stopping to admire cloud-covered Mount Taranaki.|
On cruises, passengers are exposed to a variety of illnesses from living in tight quarters for a few weeks. Luckily, we’ve never had Norovirus even during periods when there’s been an outbreak.
Although on four of our past cruises either one or both of us has developed the common “cruise cough,” the worst of which was on the cruise from Hawaii to Sydney with horrible symptoms lasting three weeks after the cruise ended. By far, that was the worst illness either of us has experienced since we left the US.
|Horses we encounter are animated and friendly. Check out the cute pink spot on his nose.|
When the ship disembarked we were so sick with a fever and a cough neither of us hardly recalls the time we spent picking up the rental car at the Cairns airport and finding the house in Trinity Beach.
We caught this awful virus toward the end of the cruise when a woman coughed on me in the elevator which, once my symptoms manifested, Tom was infected developing into the same whirlwind of awful symptoms.
We each spent the last few days of the cruise in the cabin (it was an 18-day cruise) in an attempt to avoid infecting others. Otherwise, this was one of the most enjoyable of our 12 cruises to date, making many new friends with whom we’ve continued to stay in touch.
|Another creek we crossed on a drive.|
Most recently with Tom’s abscessed tooth, we ask ourselves what we may have done differently once the symptoms manifested. We were living in a remote area of Fiji. We visited a dentist within days of the first symptoms, taking antibiotics as prescribed.
His second bout of symptoms occurred on the day we boarded this last cruise from Sydney to Auckland. The only solution was another round of the same antibiotics. As required in the case of antibiotics he continued with the full course of the medication.
Once we arrived in New Plymouth, within two weeks of arrival, we were in the dentist’s office when at that time, no new symptoms were present. We feel we did everything we could. Then, he developed the awful gastrointestinal infection plaguing him for almost a week.
|A winding country road.|
Now, he’s able to eat again, is feeling well and life will continue on as always, always, stress-free, filled with simple daily pleasures and the comforts of living in the countryside in this beautiful country. Soon, we’ll head back out to tour more of this exquisite location, sharing new photos along the way.
We feel blessed and grateful for each and every day of our lives. But, no one “said” life of world travel would always be easy. It’s not. And, it’s the times it’s not easy that make us appreciate greater periods of good health and simple pleasures. Overall, we were very fortunate during these last 40 months.
Thanks to all of our readers for sharing this journey with us during periods of both excitement and the mundane events of daily life.
Photo from one year ago today, February 13, 2015:
|Thousands of feral chickens populate the island of Kauai. It is speculated that Hurricane Iniki in 1991 blew away hundreds of chicken coops, letting them loose to proliferate. It’s quite a sight to see! For more Kauai photos, please click here.|