Egypt was one of my most memorable trips. Seeing the pyramids in person is a mind-blowing experience. After traveling for three weeks, it was time to enjoy some much-needed relaxation, so I decided to go to a resort about an hour away from Cairo. I called my driver, and we were on our way. The resort allowed us to use the facilities for a day to enjoy the pool and the Red Sea. I had the most amazing conversations with locals. Some of us had on swimsuits, and others were fully clothed from head to toe. I had two chicken Caesar salads and two cocktails at the swim-up bar in the pool. We switched from the pool to the Red Sea. I felt renewed. I saw a friend of mine at the Red Sea, and we talked for about an hour. After about 8 hours, I was ready to go back to Cairo.
Before I made it back to my hotel, I decided to stop and do some shopping at the Bazaar. I was in a shop, and I saw the mask that King Tutankhamun was wearing when he was excavated. I had to have it. I grabbed the mask to observe it, but before I could fully enjoy it, I felt and heard a groan in my stomach. It sounded like water bubbling over. I quickly gave the mask back to the shop owner and asked where the nearest bathroom was. He pointed to the left, and I dashed in that direction while clenching my sphincter muscles. What I left in the toilet was not pleasant. I cracked the bathroom door open and peeked out to make sure that no one was waiting. The coast was clear. I ran away in shame. Afterward, I finished shopping and went back to my hotel. My flight was at 7 am, and I had to be up by 2 am. I wanted to finish packing, and there was a 1-hour drive to the airport.
I woke up at 2 am feeling horrible. I was vomiting like crazy and had a terrible case of diarrhea. As soon as I got off the toilet, I was back on it within ten minutes. I laid back down because I was weak and nauseous. “Oh my goodness,” I thought, “What am I going to do?” If I stood, I had to vomit. If I sat, I could not pack, and no matter what I did, diarrhea came flowing like Niagara Falls. An hour went by. My flight was leaving in 4 hours, and I needed to be on it. I went to vomit yet again, and I looked in the trash and what did I see! Green lettuce! My mind immediately raced back to the Caesar salad at the resort. When I got the salad, the chicken did not look quite right, but in a split-second decision, I took a bite, and the entire salad was devoured in less than fifteen minutes. I liked it so much that I ordered another one. I text my friend because I recalled her having the same salad. She was glued to the toilet as well. My mind raced back to Saint Louis when I told myself to run to Walmart and get Pepto Bismol. It was the only item missing from my travel medication kit. I never made it to Walmart, but no point crying over spilled milk. In a panic, I laid down again but immediately stood back up to start packing. I started vomiting again.
My body was in a game of tug and war against itself, and I was exploding from both ends and starting to become irrational. My stomach was jumping like Steve Urkel when he transitioned to Stefan Urquelle. I washed my face and looked in the mirror. I walked to the bed and bent over with both of my hands flat on the bed, “Get it together, Karisha.” Frantic- I was weak and helpless! My driver was finally outside, ready to pick me up. I panicked! I texted him and explained what was going on, and he said that he had a solution. My ears perked up like a Siamese cat, but I thought to myself, “What type of solution could he have at 3 am?” Desperate-I threw my clothes in the suitcase. Sweating, I grabbed my makeup and threw it in the bag. Holding my chest while pacing from one side of the room to the other, I grabbed my stuff a threw it all in the suitcase. The vomiting slowed down; this was a good sign, but the diarrhea was nonstop. My driver came to my room and grabbed my bags; I rushed down the stairs while praying at the same time. The last thing I wanted was to make a mess in his car. Yikes!
We pulled up at a pharmacy. “A pharmacy, I needed Jesus, and he took me to a pharmacy,” I thought to myself. I got out of the car, and we raced in, I explained the situation to the pharmacist. “I am vomiting and have liquid diarrhea, and I need both to stop for at least 15 hours to get back to the United States.” He spoke to his assistant in Arabic, then turned to me and said, “Okay, I will take care of it come with me.” We went to the back, and he pulled out two separate packs of medication. He opened the first package and pulled out a needle and bottle of liquid solution. My eyes popped out of the socket like Stanley Ipkiss. He filled the needle with the medication and told me to bend over. “Bend over, wait a minute what is this,” I stated in shock. I do not fear needles, but I had no clue what he was giving me.
All types of scenarios ran through my head. What if I pass out? What if my body goes into cardiac arrest? I had no clue what is in the needle. He stated, “You want to stop diarrhea right; I need for you to bend over.” I was out of options and desperate, so I bent over he gave me a shot in my right butt cheek. After the shot, he gave me a package of small white pills and advised that I take them as needed for nausea and vomiting. He guaranteed that I would be ok on my flight home and that I was not contagious. I paid the equivalent of $10. I left the pharmacy, and my driver took me to the airport. I felt fatigued because I lost many fluids, but I was no longer vomiting, and diarrhea stopped. I flew 15 hours from Cairo to Chicago diarrhea and vomit free. I slept like a baby the entire flight and did not wake up even once. Now what I did to the toilet once got to Chicago; that is another story.
Update: This was Pre-COVID. In retrospect, and going forward, I would stay put until my symptoms are gone for others’ safety and myself.
Please read my article about how to prevent and get rid of food poisoning when traveling here.
What crazy experiences have you had while traveling?