It has been an unusual week for us since I last posted.
We enjoyed our last few days in Battambang and on Tuesday we headed to a southern Cambodian town called Kampot. We traveled 10 hours by bus to get here and when we arrived Evan and I were grateful we were all still alive…the rules of the road in Cambodia have not yet been written. I think we spent more time in the oncoming traffic lane than we did in our own lane, as the driver sped past people on motorbikes, slow moving trucks, walkers. Let alone dogs randomly running into the road and the occasional cow. Oh and throw in torrential rains at times and the driver’s cell phone ringing and maybe now you can see why we were glad to be alive. Interestingly, the Cambodians on the bus never seemed alarmed. I suppose it is a travelers right of passage to have one of these kind of trips. I’ve been learning that the same road rules apply in Vietnam as well…so we may stick with the train for long travel days!
Anyways, Jamey unfortunately started to not feel well the afternoon before we left for Kampot. He developed a really high fever (I looked into purchasing a thermometer at the pharmacy but they only sold the glass mercury ones, and we thought it best not to throw one of those in my backpack!), sore stomach and headache. He was comfortable when he had ibuprofen, but when he woke up at 2 am vomiting and burning up,the nurse in me started worrying about crazy bad things, like meningitis or dengue fever…in Cambodia. I started planning (in my mind) his evacuation to Bangkok to get to nearest best hospital and didn’t sleep at all that night. Surprisingly he awoke at 7 am the next morning feeling much better (so all my worry for naught, which is what Evan always tells me!). He felt well enough to get on the bus, and slept on and off during the journey.
Two fairly quiet days in Kampot later, Jamey was feeling pretty much back to his normal self; however, Becca was not. It seems overnight she developed a terrible tooth ache. Becca is a pretty tough girl so I knew it was really hurting her when she cried herself to sleep the first night. The ibuprofen I purchased at the local pharmacy didn’t seem to help, and she cried and whimpered off and on through the night. It was so sad. The next morning, I went back to the pharmacy and was able to pick up amoxicillin ($0.50 US for 10 days) and tylenol ($0.25 US for 8 tabs, it’s called paracetamol here in Cambodia) and every 3 hours she needed either more tylenol or more ibuprofen. In SE Asia prescriptions aren’t needed for most medications. They are available at the pharmacy, you just ask for what you need and the pharmacist dispenses the medication to you.
Again, I was picturing worst case scenario (why do I do that???) and figuring out how to get either her tooth looked at, or evacuated to Bangkok (that hospital would be busy looking after my kids) due to a brain abscess forming(of course this never happened). Sometimes having too much knowledge as a health care provider can be a bad thing. Today she is on day 3 of her amoxicillin, and she is starting to feel much better. In fact, she has gone over 6 hours without needing medication for the pain, and hasn’t iced her cheek all morning. So so thankful for our dentist in Coeur d’Alene, Dr. Rachel Fehling who talked me through (on Facebook) best treatment and looked at her latest x-ray done in November 2015 to see if there was anything suspicious back then with that tooth.
So it has been a quiet week for us in Kampot, which is fine. We have been doing school, spending a bit of time exploring in the afternoons when it isn’t as hot, and Jamey and I rented some bicycles yesterday and explored the town on bike.
This morning is the final day of the Buddhist holiday known as “Pchum Ben”. On this holiday, Cambodian families get together, visit their local temple and give offerings of food and money to the monks in honor of their deceased relatives. Evan and I rode our bikes early this morning to the temple to witness some of the celebrations but we found the temple very quiet (except for the monk calling out prayers on the megaphone overhead). Apparently we were there a little early, but past 8 am it gets so hot here, so we headed out at 7 am to beat the heat…but not the crowds. Once I got home I started to feel unwell…tired, headachey and my skin hurts…so now it’s my turn.
Evan and the kids just left for a bar to watch some Aussie rules football. There are a lot of Australians living here as well as some Kiwis so they’ll be in good company. I thought I would take this time to do a blog update. We’ve learned that bugs and illness still find you, even when you are on the road and we have learned to listen to what our body needs. Thankful we are able to purchase the medication we need to heal our bodies as well.
On Tuesday we will leave Cambodia for Vietnam. Yes by bus…wish us luck!