Getting Sick in Cambodia
Sihanoukville (aka Snooky) is not a place you ever want to need medical attention.
Granted you never WANT to need medical attention, but Snooky is the nut worst place in South East Asia to need it.
Just My Luck Getting Sick in Cambodia
After getting my leg bandaged at the best spot Snooky had to offer (CT clinic) I hadn’t been back for a few months. Then one day I was extremely sick with flu like symptoms and stayed in bed for most of the day.
When I finally woke up I noticed I had some red bumps on my hand, and it hurt when I walked.
Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
I did what I generally do when I need answers which is hop online and post my problems in any thread I could find searching ‘getting sick in Cambodia‘ in the hope some kind soul had the answers for me.
It didn’t take to long for someone to say that they thought it may be hand, foot and mouth disease, and when I googled it I was 95% sure they were right.
You get flu like symptoms, have some little painful dots on your hands and feet and sometimes your mouth (I had none on the mouth). There isn’t anything you can do but wait it out. It had actually killed a lot of babies earlier that year in Cambodia, but it is rarely fatal for adults.
Now if I was in the western world I would surely have gone to see a doctor because it seemed moderately serious and could have been something else. But being in Snooky I thought it was best to monitor how it progressed and go to the doctor if necessary.
Basically I had no good options and chose the lazy and cheaper route. The next day I felt a little better but the annoying bumps were still there and they lasted for about a week, with 4 of the days being quite painful to walk. And then they just disappeared and I was back to normal.
That was my worst experience getting sick in Cambodia but it was not the only one.
Stomach Bug Cambodia Style
Of course I had the standard ‘traveler’s tummy’ that was definitely expected since it was my first time living in the third world.
I had a couple bad cases of it but once I was told about ‘nifuroxazide’ it wasn’t that big of a deal.
In Cambodia it is only $3 a box and I wish I would have stocked up on it before I left because it is much more expensive in the Philippines.
I also got a fingernail fungus that was really weird. A few of my fingernails just started eroding away from the middle almost like I had dropped acid on them. It then spread to a couple others, and randomly one of my toenails fell off even though there was no sign of it on any of them.
When I left Cambodia I went to a doctor and they said I would need to take pills for 6 months to get rid of it. I hate pills so decided to wait it out a bit and luckily it went away on its own once the nail grew out.
This is probably the biggest problem with getting sick in Cambodia. Especially in Snooky, you are kind of on your own so far outside the capital city. I didn’t know what to do. I’m no expert so here’s a CDC link with +EV health strat and all the vaccinations for Cambodia.
If I had diagnosed the hand, foot and mouth disease wrong and it had gotten worse there is a chance I could have died. It certainly didn’t feel that serious….. but wtf do I know about something like hand, foot and mouth disease?