Seafood Poisoning Is Less Fun Than I Ever Imagined

Seafood Poisoning Is Less Fun Than I Ever Imagined

By |2016-07-21T23:46:57-04:00January 10th, 2013|India|115 Comments

Palolem Hospital, Goa
It is only natural that the day after I published my post on how healthy I’ve been feeling as of late while here on the beaches of Goa, I would be stricken with an illness. And what an illness I’ve ended up with.

My face is swollen and red, there’s a rash on my arms, my legs and even in my ears. And if I were to list all of my body parts that have been affected and that have been itchier than the itchiest chickenpox, it would be one long list, not to mention quite inappropriate for a travel blog. Yes, that’s right.

The culprit appears to be seafood poisoning as all of my symptoms began only thirty minutes after eating a questionable fish curry a couple of nights ago. Actually, the fish curry looked fine but it was the restaurant that looked questionable.

Despite a strong dose of anti-histamine that I received from a pharmacist and despite a visit to the local government hospital (which was quite a nice hospital I must say and which charges only 300 Rupees / $6 USD for a visit) where the knowledgeable doctor confirmed the medicine I had was the best option, the swelling, rashes and itchiness have remained, although there has finally been a slight sign of improvement this evening.

But this morning, it was an entirely different story.

I woke up, washed off the zinc oxide soothing ointment that I plaster on my face every night in order for me to enjoy a semi-itchy-free sleep and then I went out to the beach. Thirty minutes later I felt tired and so I returned to my hut and laid down on my bed.

Rash Ointment

And it all went downhill from there. I only remember a little from the following couple of hours but according to my friend, who has had the most unfortunate job of taking care of me, I was in a most delirious state. I passed in and out of sleep, often times waking up in an instant, muttering some nonsense and then closing my eyes immediately after. My words were jumbled, I couldn’t focus on any one location for more than a second and I wasn’t comprehending much of what she was saying to me. Using my own strength to sit up was impossible and I would alternate between very quick and extremely slow breathing.

After about an hour of this, my friend finally managed to get me to stand up and while she wanted to take me straight to the hospital again, I used my ridiculous stubbornness to convince her that I should eat some lunch and see how I felt after that.

And then, on the way to the restaurant in front of my beach hut, I nearly walked into a tree. I didn’t even see it and again, according to my friend, I could barely walk in a straight line at all.

Anyway, I sat down, ordered a tomato soup and within minutes of taking my first spoonful, I thankfully started to feel a little better. But even though I managed to regain some of my awareness, I found it difficult to do much more than just stare into space and after my meal was finished, I just went back to my bed again for another sleep.

So now, here I am tonight. I just took my latest dose of medicine after waking up again after taking a long hot shower, and now my body is not nearly as itchy as it was earlier. I’m still covered in a good amount of rash and tiny white bumps, though, mostly on my fingers and legs, but this is the best I’ve felt since I ate that fish.

Of course, I am wondering if my brain has been severely affected by this poisoning considering that I am sitting here telling all of you about the swollen, itchy parts of my body, something that I am relatively certain you don’t really want to know about.

All I can hope for at this point is that I wake up tomorrow morning feeling a lot better and that you’ll forget I ever wrote this post. So, on that note, it’s about time for another layer of ointment and then I’m off to sleep.

Seafood Poisoning

But before I go, just in case anyone is curious, there seems to be two basic types of seafood poisoning – Ciguatera and Scombroid. Ciguetera seems to be more severe, at least the symptoms are, and is caused by eating fish that have ingested certain toxins that are produced by dinoflagellates (that word sure gives me a flashback to high school science classes!) that are found in tropical and sub-tropical bodies of water. Scombroid, on the other hand, which is what I’m dealing with, occurs when you eat fish that was not properly refrigerated or preserved after it was caught. The toxic agent in this case is histadine, which is found naturally in fish, however, if the fish reaches a certain temperature (which would occur if it was not properly preserved) the histadine transforms into histamine which is what causes the allergic reaction. And once the histamine forms, it remains, even if the fish is cooked properly.

Good stuff.

Any seafood or any kind of food poisoning stories to share?

The Travel Email - SIGN UP!

New blog posts, updates from around the world and endless inspiration to help you achieve your own travel goals. Sent once per week.


  1. […] that he hadn’t felt that good in a long time, but then he posted a new article telling us how he got really really sick with seafood poisoning. It’s always sucky to get sick, and even more so abroad. So I’m putting Earl in this […]

  2. Brian Wadman January 18, 2013 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Looking thin my friend, put some meat on those bones and get well!

    • Wandering Earl January 21, 2013 at 2:43 am - Reply

      Hey Brian – It always happens in India…I lose a lot of weight every time I’m here!

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures January 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    OMG!!!!!!! You poor thing! Thank goodness you had someone to take care of you though. Feel better soon!

  4. Jessica January 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Earl! So sorry to hear about your poisoning. Were you at the hospital in Chaudi? I know it well! I was at two doctors in Palolem, one in Chaudi and one in the other direction, plus two in Margao all in one week. First, I had major knee issues, MRIs, etc, then the first day I could walk again after the right anti-inflammatory medicine, I got rammed by the cow right on the main Palolem road leading to the beach. I bet if you ask any of the ladies in the stands nearest the beach about the crazy, screaming white lady who got rammed by a cow 8 months ago, they would remember me. Ah, Palolem…I am sure I would have loved it, but man did bad things happen to me there. And that Coffee Day? The guy groped Dani while she went down to get me ice since I couldn’t walk for 8 days thanks to the cow. Crazy times 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 21, 2013 at 2:27 am - Reply

      Hey Jessica – I was actually at the small government hospital in Palolem, about ten minutes walk from the main road…and it was quite good I must say. But damn, you sure had a crazy experience over in that beach. Seems like one thing after another and I wish I was still there so that I could ask those vendors about the crazy screaming white lady 🙂

      That does not sound like the peaceful relaxing Goa experience that is meant to be had!

  5. […] was a little less so, which has led to my current writing struggles. I’m sure that my intense bout of fish poisoning (which still hasn’t completely gone away) had something to do with it and when the overnight […]

  6. Rashelle January 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh Earl, that’s awful!!

    I can only imagine how terrible you must’ve felt!

    I hope you’re feeling much better now and back to your happy, cheery self. 😀


    • Wandering Earl January 17, 2013 at 5:59 am - Reply

      Thanks Rash…I’m about 90% back to normal now but I feel great finally. Should be all better by the end of the weekend I hope!

  7. Ali Dark January 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Earl, all the best!
    +1 for Sharma’s suggestion above.

  8. Dora January 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    The best – umm worst – food poisoning happened when my husband and I were traveling by van in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. We decided it was our one good chance to try musk ox burgers. We had been mostly vegetarians for months. I chickened out after one bite, but my husband ended up eating everything and spent the next three days on a bathroom floor at the nearest campground – not pretty, but at least in the arctic they use all that geo thermal heat the floors of the restroom. Beware of big shaggy animals. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Wandering Earl January 17, 2013 at 5:57 am - Reply

      Hey Dora – That couldn’t have been a nice experience at all for your husband, or for you I guess. Good thing you stopped eating it quickly 🙂

  9. Shalu Sharma January 16, 2013 at 6:30 am - Reply

    I hope you get better soon. Its no fun when you are not well. That is why I always say to people that when travelling one should become a vegetarian. You never know what you are eating. At least when at home, you know what you are buying hence chances of food poisoning is reduced. Wish you all the best in your recovery.

    • Wandering Earl January 17, 2013 at 5:55 am - Reply

      Hey Shalu – I eat mostly vegetarian but sometimes I do need a little chicken or fish in my diet. And unfortunately, many people get sick here in India from eating the veg curries, especially when the vegetables aren’t properly washed 🙂 But for actual food poisoning, yes, going fully veg would definitely make a difference…maybe I will return to it one day 🙂

      • Shelley July 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

        My friend Joseph got food poisoning drinking a small amount of water at a Hindu temple in Hampi. He is a vegetarian. LOL
        I avoided meat 90% of the time while traveling in India, and managed to stave off sickness. Though I did get quite sick when I moved to Hyderabad. Not sure what it was, but I was having hallucinations and had a high fever.
        Once my body got used to India I rarely got sick again, other than the occasional “loose motions” that all Indians tend to get from cooking with the water, or mild food poisoning.

  10. Jennifer E. Howard January 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    I hope you’re feeling better, Earl. I love reading your blogs.

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Thank you Jennifer and yes, I am finally feeling much better 🙂

  11. Richard Crest January 14, 2013 at 3:27 am - Reply

    That was one disadvantage when traveling and unfortunately to eat in a restaurant like that. Thanks for sharing that place, travelers should avoid to eat there. Glad your doing good now!

  12. Colleen January 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Please update us soon as you feel better! = ) I bet I’m not the only reader rechecking your site hoping you’re feeling better. = )

    Interestingly, in 6 months of travel in India, the only time I ever got sick was from something I ate in Palolem. That said, in 10 days there my other 3 family members stayed perfectly healthy as we all did otherwise in 24 combined months of travel. (4 people times 6 months.)

    Hope you’re already completely recovered. = )

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:55 am - Reply

      Thanks Colleen and I am just about fully recovered now…still a few more days to go I’m sure but I’m getting there! And that is funny that you got sick in Palolem as well…hopefully it wasn’t too bad of an experience although, if you’re going to get sick, Palolem is not a bad destination to get sick in 🙂

  13. GRRRLTRAVELER | Christine January 13, 2013 at 9:17 am - Reply

    ohhh, hope you feel better soon. I’ve never had food poisoning thankfully, but I did catch amoebic dysentry either from water or food in India when I was doing a yoga teacher’s certification. My case felt a whole lot more fortunate than what I’d seen and heard of in India. I was still able to do things despite the discomfort & lethargy; but it took at least 2 weeks to get rid of.

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:52 am - Reply

      Hey Christine – That does seem like a good bout of dysentry you had, if you have to get dysentry. The range of effects of all these types of illnesses is incredible with some people suffering for a few hours and others for a few months. I’m at day 8 or 9 now so it looks like a relatively lengthy one!

  14. Forest Parks January 13, 2013 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Oh man that sounds rough! The in and out of sense and tiredness reminds me of sunstroke that I had. I was hallucinating a little too! Crazy what can happen to the body.

    Glad you are feeling a little better, a good cause to go vegetarian, cuts down on poisoning chances :).

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:51 am - Reply

      Hey Forest – It’s funny because while in India, I am usually vegetarian but towards the end of this trip, I started feeling the need for something else. Oh well, so much for that. Back to vegetables it’s been!

  15. kathy January 12, 2013 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Murphy’s law, if you say you feel great you get sick within 3 days. I must admit when I first started reading your symptoms my first thought was Dengue Fever. After spending 2mths in Chaloklum, the hot spot on Koh Phangan which is the Dengue hot spot down in the south, the symptoms sounded very similar. Starts with a rash all over, that is very itchy, then a crazy fever and being almost completely incapacitated for 3 days… but then it just keeps going on for a few weeks. Luckily I avoided it, but I knew a number who had it and they said they don’t call it break bone fever for nothing. Hope you are feeling better and completely healed.

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:49 am - Reply

      Hey Kathy – It does sound like similar symptoms and so far, I’ve managed to avoid the fever part of it. The ordeal is almost over now!

  16. Matthew Karsten January 12, 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Damn! This sucks. But such is life, right? One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute you’re struck down.

    But back up is the next part of the cycle! Hope you recover quickly buddy.

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:46 am - Reply

      Thanks Matt and finally after 8 days or so, I’m almost fully better!

  17. Tim | Adventure Strong January 12, 2013 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Oh man! That’s awful. Good thing you have a friend to help you out. Who knows what the blog post would be about if you wandered out for food alone…

    Since you could tell the restaurant was questionable was it just awkward to leave or was it no more questionable than other places you’ve eaten?

    Get well soon!

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:43 am - Reply

      Hey Tim – Actually, I left right after I ate and at that time I felt fine. It wasn’t until I returned to my hut a few minutes later that I started noticing the symptoms. And the more I researched, the more I discovered that it probably wasn’t even the restaurant’s fault. The fish was probably bought from a street vendor who kept the fish in the sun for too long, so by the time the restaurant had it, the fish was already full of the histimine and ready to wreak havoc!

  18. Jennifer Barry January 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Wow, that sounds awful Earl! I hope you are better soon. 🙂

    I once got food poisoning from shrimp from a “nice” restaurant in the USVI, so you never know. I was only sick for 24 hours, but unfortunately that included my flight home!

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:39 am - Reply

      Hey Jennifer – Thanks for that and I wish this only lasted 24 hours. I’m on day 8 I think and while I’m mostly better, I still have some rashes and itchiness hanging on!

  19. Steve C January 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Oops! Ya just never know. “Yer buys yer ticket, yer takes yer chances”!

    It seams like everyone’s got a good story on this topic. Earl, you look like death warmed over! Hope you’re feeling better by now and it was lucky that you had good people around you and a good hospital close by.

    Once, on a trip to La Paz, Mexico, we harvested a bunch of clams at the beach, took them back to our hotel and boiled them up for dinner. I was the only one that got sick (bad clam) and that ferry ride the next day to Mazatlan was not one to remember! We found out later that La Paz’s sewerage treatment plant discharged right into the bay, next to our beach! Oh Boy!

    On picking a safe place to eat: After a year’s travel in Mexico and Central America, we crossed over the boarder into Texas and went straight to a nice restaurant to have a typical “American” hamburger. It wasn’t long, and that burger made a bee line to the other end! Ya just never know when you’re going to get a case of something.

    You’ve got a hell-of-a Fish Tale! Sh** happens, and you never know when it will strike again. I hope not for a long time! Stay well, my friend!

    • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:36 am - Reply

      Hey Steve – You never know when it will strike! And I think every traveler is forced to deal with some issues at some point, especially those who enjoy eating a little more adventurously!

  20. sockeye January 11, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Wow! that was scary, glad you had someone to watch over you. I’m down in Mexico and we’ve been cooking for ourselves. I went all the way to a Walmart and bought some chicken to cook but when I opened it up it smelled back. We chucked it. Then a few days ago I saw some guys unloading heavy plastic boxes off a truck. There was a crash and one of them opened spilling frozen chickens out onto the cobble street. They were scooped up and put back in the box….and I thought yep! That’s my walmart chicken right there.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      @sockeye – Good call with throwing that chicken away…probably avoided quite a sickness with that move!

      • T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries January 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

        Indeed, Sockeye 🙂 I happen to live in Mexico also (Cancun) and one of the things Cristina told me (my girlfriend) told me (she’s Mexican) is that you always need to wash the meat you buy at the local grocery stores, because no matter how clean and packaged you might think it is…at some point it’s probably been on the floor or in contact with some extra protein.

        If it smells funky, for sure toss it. Otherwise, a thorough scrubbing + cooking will generally kill off any germs/bacteria.

        I can also tell you, from having worked in construction for 15+ years in the U.S. and putting ceramic tile in many a Tyson factory/kill center, not to mention numerous restaurants over the years…that Mexico is not alone in people working minimum wage jobs who just can’t be bothered to give a rat’s arse about food quality. My father (I was a third generation craftsman) literally — and no joke here — hasn’t eaten a chicken in over 15 years since he worked on his first Tyson chicken plant, and he refuses to eat any meat that hasn’t been raised on his own ranch, specifically because of the things we’ve seen at food processing centers and in the restaurant industry behind the scenes.

        As Steve C. said, ““Yer buys yer ticket, yer takes yer chances!”

  21. Kristin of Be My Travel Muse January 11, 2013 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Yikes, and here I was feeling sorry for myself for having a persistent ear infection from Phuket’s less than cleanly waters. As a friend put it, I have “shit for brains” at the moment. Feel better!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hey Kristin – Sorry to hear about your own illness at the moment. Hopefully we’ll both be better soon so that we can continue to enjoy our time at our respective beaches!

  22. Beverley | Pack Your Passport January 11, 2013 at 5:07 am - Reply

    Not seafood poisoning but before I even started travelling I was having dinner in one of the most popular Italian restaurants in town. For some reason I was eating vegetarian at the time and so I ordered some sort of non-descript pasta/tomato type dish with a side of bread and oil to share with my friends. Oh and a diet coke because I was driving. 7 hours later I woke up with the worst stomach pain I’ve ever experienced and didn’t stop throwing up for the next day.

    Hoping you feel back to your healthier self soon Earl!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Hey Beverley – We never know when such an illness will strike and it can happen anywhere unfortunately. I’m starting to feel a bit better tonight after my injections today.

  23. Sofie January 11, 2013 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Man, that sounds awful:/ Being sick sucks, but being sick while abroad is hell.
    Well, you’re practically always abroad, but I know I feel even worse when I’m in a strange place and don’t know all the possibilities I have to make me feel better.

    When I was in highschool I’ve once gotten a food poisining just a couple of days before I lef ton my first trip to the States with my parents and brothers. Probably caused by eating a lasagne at a restaurant. It was in summer and for once it was really hot in Belgium. I think it probably hadn’t been decently refridgerated. I’ve spent my first couple of days in San Francisco eating dry cakes and bananas and ordering dry pasta whenever my parents and brother would go have dinner somewhere.
    Try finding something dry and simple to eat in the States:D

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Hey Sofie – Haha…that would be a challenge for sure 🙂

  24. Alina from Romania January 11, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    When I was in Greece for my holidays 4 years ago, I got minor food poisoning from some fish I ate. 20 minutes after eating it I started vomiting and ended up at the local, very small, clinic (I don’t think there were more than one doctor) and he did an injection and recommended that I stayed away of oily food and continue to take some medicine.

    I can’t even describe how hard it was to do that, because they put olive oil in everything. I ordered a soup that had 1 mm of oil floating on the surface, had a baked potato that was swimming in olive oil and a cabbage salad that had a piece of black hair in it, the view only was enough to make you sick. When they saw I didn’t finish my meal they where very polite into bringing me their local beverage, ouzo, which I had to refuse because of my condition.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Salut Alina – Not a good experience you had either and seems like it was the worst possible country for you to get such food poisoning. Hopefully it didn’t last too long in the end and you were able to enjoy the majority of your holidays!

  25. Nico of A Travelles Journey January 10, 2013 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Sounds horrible, but at least you are lucid enough to write a coherent post, so things are on the up.

    The only time I’ve ever got seafood poisoning was in Bolivia. To be honest that says it all rreally, should never have been so stupid as to eat seafood in a landlocked country…

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Nico – Ha…sometimes we don’t question our actions until we’ve already paid the consequences! Lesson learned I’m sure.

  26. thetravelfool January 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    I can relate. I remember a holiday meal in 2005 where we had the surprise of Shrimp Cocktail being served. Since there was never any shrimp at this location we should have been suspect but just the thought of having something out of the normal bland food we had been eating was a treat. Until the next day when everyone came down with food poisoning. The worst seems behind you now, but fish curry will never look the same again.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      @thetravelfool – Fish curry might be out for good…seafood itself I’ll eat again though. Although, possibly not shrimp after your tale 🙂

  27. Helen January 10, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Damn – glad you’re doing better! I don’t comment frequently but do follow your travels postings, regularly and enviously. Hope all is better tomorrow!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Helen – I certainly appreciate your comment here and thank you for the wishes!

  28. Gaelyn January 10, 2013 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    I’m sure that would steer me away from fish for a while. Sure hope you feel better soon. I usually stick with the fish because of an allergy to shell-fish and crustaceans. Glad there’s someone around to help out.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Hey Gaelyn – I’ll probably take a short break from fish but I’m sure I’ll be back to eating it eventually!

  29. Jathan January 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Get to feeling better soon, Earl!

  30. Someday I'll Be There - Mina January 10, 2013 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    the last paragraph reminded me a lot of my studies! It’s true that fish poisoning is the worse kind of food poisoning you can get. Hope you feel better soon Earl 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mina and I imagine you do know about these conditions quite well in your field of work. Hopefully you only study them and don’t have to experience it for yourself 🙂

  31. olivia January 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Omg. I am so sorry to hear this. Atb least you have gone 10 years traveling foreign countries and never encountered this before! Looking on the bright side :/

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Hey Olivia – Before this current India trip, I had barely gotten sick at all over the years. But with my stomach illness and now the fish poisoning, I’m catching up apparently!

  32. John Sherman January 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    I was witnessed someone eat a half of a cockroach once. Her only surety was, that her last bite she didn’t chew it very carefully. It took 6 months before, she’ll eat raspberry pies again. The thought of getting sick from a disgusting looking insect, made her nauseous for several days. Fortunately it was all in her head. Getting food poisoning also can do a number on one’s head. As in my experience, one it kicks into high gear.. you think.. I’M GOING TO DIE!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

      Hey John – I’ve tried to stay positive so far and despite that one odd incident where I wasn’t so coherent, I’m quite confident I’ll get over this soon and will most likely be back to eating fish eventually.

  33. Preeti January 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Ouch that sucks. I hope you feel better soon.

    I graduated from college in June and got food poisoning the night before graduation from a fish taco. Within 45 minutes of eating it, I was in bathroom throwing up. I spent my graduation in the doctors office and throwing up instead of walking across the stage to get my diploma. You have my sympathy.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Hey Preeti – That’s terrible…and it’s crazy that one simple fish taco can have such an affect. And you sure had a graduation remember 🙂

  34. Maria | Acceleratedstall January 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    You are so fortunate you got the appropriate meds and it’s not worse (people here in the US die each year of fish or nut allergies) but you must be on the mend because you posted and it’s a coherent post. I look forward to your recovery, hope it’s speedy.

    Kudos for posting the pic w/the zinc/calamine lotion on – you’re bold!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Maria – It did help that this tiny village actually has a very good local hospital. And while the medicine they gave me didn’t work in the end and I needed to get injections today, I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll finally start feeling better for good!

  35. budget jan January 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I too thought you had ciguatera. I have had that twice and now only eat river fish that I know can not have been near coral, or I choose cold water water fish like salmon, but unfortunately I live in the tropics where coral reefs abound. Of course that is generally not a bad thing! I hope you get better quickly now and next time you do a post on how healthy you are feeling you better cross your toes.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Jan – Haha…you can bet I won’t be writing a similar post any time soon!

  36. Shane January 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    I hope you get better soon. I’m only awake because I’m keeping an eye on Deirdre who is sick herself, though, thankfully, not as bad as you have been.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hey Shane – Please send Deirdre my good wishes and I hope she recovers quickly as well!

  37. George Bezushko January 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    A friend I’d met in Hampi suffered a similar reaction. He recovered fully, as we are sure you will. My sincere sympathy. It’s certainly horrifying to feel so vulnerable and sick, and at the kind mercy of those who are with you. PS -As a reminder, which you probably already know, don’t forget to take the anti-parasitic pills upon your departure from India, just in case! Wishing you a quick recovery!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hey George – Thanks for that reminder and yes, whenever I do return from a trip to India, I do take something for the parasites. Good advice!

  38. Elaine (A Geordie Up The Ganges) January 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Scary, scary stuff Earl……….I’m glad you’re feeling better, but you still don’t look yourself.

    I’m very nervous now – will be travelling to India beginning of February and due to a medical issue I need to maintain a low fat diet. My plan was to stick to fish meals…….back to the drawing board!!!

    Take it easy and you’ll soon be back to your normal self.

    Elaine –

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Elaine – It actually took a turn for the worse today and I had to get some injections back at the hospital. But as for your trip to India, unless you are on the coast, I don’t recommend eating fish here and to be honest, it won’t be easy to find fish in most locations that are not on the coast. But there are plenty of vegetarian meals and even restaurants that serve salads and other low-fat western dishes so you shouldn’t have much of a problem.

  39. Alyson January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I’m very glad it’s not ciguetera, when I first saw your FB post, that was what I thought, it’s nasty! What you’ve got looks very unpleasant, too. Just incidentally, my ex swelled up like a big red, very itchy, tomato after eating prawns in Sri Lanka once. I wonder if that was a milder version of what you’ve got, he didn’t have the neurological weirdness, that must have been scary. Hope you are better tomorrow!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

      Hey Alyson – From my research and from talking to the doctors at the hospital, usually this kind of fish poisoning lasts no more than 2 days, so it seems that this is serious case of it since I’m on my fourth day and counting. But either way, as I’m sure you felt when your ex had it, it sure is a frightening experience to go through!

  40. Cailin January 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Ugh, that sounds horrible! How unfortunate 🙁
    You are very lucky to have a friend there to take care of you! I recently got sick in Rome and had no one to take care of me, getting up to get your own food and going to the store for meds is not awesome haha Lets hope it doesn’t happen again 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Hey Cailin – You are right, in that situation, it is even LESS fun. Glad you managed to deal with the situation though and get over that illness…and I also wish that neither of us have to deal with such sickness on the road again 🙂

  41. Bill January 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    What a terrible thing you’ve experienced. I hope you are getting better. This same thing happened to me last month. I ate at a questionable cafe; food seemed good but the cafe was a little dirty. Looking forward to your joining me in the Caribbean. I’ve been snorkeling and catching my own fish and cooking it the right way. Get well soon, finish your tour/trip in Mexico and sail for a couple of weeks/months or whatever fancies you. I know you are enjoying your paradise in India. Hey, this is paradise, too.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Hey Bill – Not a bad way to find and prepare your meals at all…now that’s the way to do it!

  42. D.J. - The World of Deej January 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Yeah…pretty sure I don’t ever want to encounter this. Glad you’re back on the mend…

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hey D.J. – Do whatever you can to try and avoid it!!

  43. Chris January 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Saltwater has been my downfall, or rather some sort of ignorance about sun+water, which is diabolic since I grew up on an island. One year I stepped on something in the tide and the bottoms of my feet swelled up; itched, burned. yikes. Crawled about the house for about 4 days – no fun at all. Note to all headed for tropics: ALWAYS wear a dive skin or something not only on your back but legs too. While snorkeling off Ambergris Caye in Belize I wore a t-shirt for protection but figured the legs would be ok. Naaa. The backs of my legs were so sunburned I passed out in the bathroom of my room. If someone hadn’t stopped by to say hello, the doc says it would have been adios; I was that dehydrated. Be cool guys – take good care, Earl….and head for the fruit!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Chris – Your allergic reaction / sunburn story doesn’t sound so fun either. Hopefully you’ve avoided such incidents and sunburns since then!

  44. M January 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Poor itchy Earl! Hopefully by the time you get this you are back to your old sweet self!
    Do you plan to let the restaurant know what happened to you?
    I, for one, am glad you posted this. I’m sure many of us are filing this away in our memory banks for future travels, and will steer away from the iffy looking restaurants.
    I hope you are able to get well enough before you leave to retain some of your original healthful enthusiasm!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hey M – I’ve passed the restaurant again once so far and the owner wasn’t there. But if I do see him (he was the only one that really spoke English) I will certainly tell him!

  45. jess shaw January 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    hope you’re feeling better soon!!! 🙁
    This does NOT sound like fun

  46. Jeff Dobbins January 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Wow. Hope you’re feeling much better now. Thank goodness you had a friend at hand. As a solo traveler, this story leaves me thinking, “What would I do?”

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Jeff – That can be an issue but luckily, the staff at the beach huts where I am staying have also been super-helpful. I went to them to ask about a pharmacy and they asked what was wrong. After that, they organized transportation to the hospital for me and have been checking on me as well. So there are always people around who will help out if something like this does happen and you’re on your own.

  47. Verena January 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Irony of fate! Iiiiirony of fate!
    Nothing to laugh about that of course, but I admit I chuckled a little when I read your first sentence. And most importantly, you feel better now – I wish you all the best!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Verena – I admit, it is quite ironic. And unfortunately, I got worse today and had to get some injections at the hospital…so my road to recovery has hit a couple of obstacles. Hopefully tomorrow I get back on track.

  48. David Venter January 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    My girlfriend at the time and I bought a seafood pizza from a reputable pizza place here in South Africa. About 2 hours after eating it, while watching a movie.. My girlfriend started feeling very ill. There I am holding her hair back for her ( aaawww shame) then suddenly it hit me. We were sick, flat on our backs for 3 days. Could not keeps still but could not move.. Felt so ill and I don’t wish that feeling on anyone… You have my sympathies. Ps. Hope to hook up for that lunch when in SA. Cya

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hey David – I agree…this is not something you want anyone to go through at all. And yes, I do hope it works out to meet up in SA soon!

  49. Julie Appleby January 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    OMG, and look what it’s done to your hair! Just kidding… food poisoning is aptly named because when you’re suffering from it, you really do feel like you’ve been poisoned. Hope you are now on the mend.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hey Julie – Haha…it has affected my hair actually. Since I’ve felt so crappy I haven’t washed it at all for, well, a long time, making it stick up even more than usual 🙂

  50. Davie Pocstar January 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Nice little post there Earl. It made me chuckle at my food poisoning adventures while traveling SE Asia.
    Here are two links to my blog post on tales of food poison:

    I enjoy getting your posts in my inbox!

  51. Sergio Felix January 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Holy crap, that does look nasty as hell man!

    Even though I’m obsessed with seafood and have eaten more than I can remember, I’ve never intoxicated myself with it, not even once (or at least not that I know of).

    Maybe it’s because I live near the beach and we always get everything fresh but anyway, it looks like you’re doing better now.

    Hope you recover soon Earl and next time if the restaurant looks super nasty, just skip it dude, I don’t think is worth the risk after this!

    Take care! 😉


    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Sergio – The problem was that a friend of mine recommended the restaurant and the specific dish I ate, so I figured that it wouldn’t be a problem to eat there. Oh well, I guess I was wrong!

  52. Tyler January 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Hope you feel better!

  53. New Age Nomad January 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Ouch steering me away from seafood for a bit. That doesn’t sound fun at all.

  54. Iggy Pop Pbt January 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I hope you get better, it was horrible what happened to you. It remainded me of one of my rascal’s husband’s adventures years ago when he got food poisoning from a TJ hotdog! Awful. Take care and I hope you will feel better! Enjoy your paradise!

  55. Erin Wilson January 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear you’ve been so sick! Yikes. Hope you’re all healed up soon!!

  56. Spinster January 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Well DAMN! 😐 Take it easy & take care.

    P.S. Yes, dealt with a couple of bouts of food poisoning. Not fun at all. Don’t eat pizza in Venezuela, folks. 😐

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      @Spinster – Thanks for the pizza advice and I should probably tell people to avoid the fish thali at the Calcutta Restaurant in Palolem.

  57. mzurie January 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Ghastly experience, but nothing to compare with yours or some others.

    Georgian remedy: Chacha with salt. That’s the drink, not the dance. Hope you recover soon.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Hey Mzurie – If it doesn’t get better tomorrow after the injections, I might need to look at some local remedies!

  58. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries January 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    I’ve never had a food poisoning bout…but I have had a parasite infection that was six weeks of living hell. I lost 20 pounds, was in constant agony, had ultrasounds and an endoscopy looking for ulcers and stomach cancer, problems with my liver, appendix and beyond….and the doctors couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t sleep, I was living in constant agony, no matter what I ate I was in constant pain…and finally, one day, after about 6 weeks, I woke up to a little surprise when I went to the bathroom. Well, rather, a lot of little surprises, which sent off the light bulb in my head about what was wrong.

    Took some pills, killed the bastards, and literally was feeling back to normal within four days…although the bathroom trips weren’t exactly things you want to remember.

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

      Hey T.W. – That certainly must have been a miserable experience. Glad you figured out what it was and took care of it!

  59. Ray January 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  60. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries January 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Amigo, that’s horrible to hear =/ Hopefully you start feeling better soon. The fact that you can at least sit up and write is a sign that you are at least on the mend after your body started pushing out the toxins.

    Kill it with tequila would be the way of things here in Mexico, but sometimes allopathic medicine has its place. Rootin’ for you from my side of the world!

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Hey T.W. – Actually, alcohol apparently increases the severity of such a reaction quite a lot so I’m sticking with the medicine for now. But today it got worse and I had to go back to the hospital for a couple of injections…not quite on the path to improvement yet it turns out.

      • T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries January 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm - Reply

        Ouch =/ (at more injections)

        Well, hopefully you get feeling better soon. Long-term illnesses are never fun, and it seems as though the allergic versions are always the most intense.

        Yeah alcohol rarely actually cures anything, that was more of a joke than anything else 🙂 Every time someone I know gets feeling under the weather here (in Mexico) the running theme is “take a shot of tequila!” to get rid of it. Same thing with Hot Toddies; it’s not so much that they get rid of the sore throat as help numb the pain a bit 🙂

        Fingers crossed for you, mate!

        • Wandering Earl January 16, 2013 at 2:40 am - Reply

          Hey T.W. – And when I was living in Bucharest, people there often prescribe their local alcohol (known as Tuica) for several illnesses. At the very least it numbs the aches and pains for a short while 🙂

  61. Camels & Chocolate January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Oh man, you poor thing! That sounds horrible. On my honeymoon in Borneo, I had a bout of food poisoning that conveniently struck while on a dive boat in the Celebes Sea. Let’s just say…it wasn’t pretty =)

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      @Camels & Chocolate – That sounds most unfortunate…far worse of a situation that mine considering that I at least get to lay in my beach hut all day 🙂

  62. Carolyn January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    This sounds just terrible. Do you think this will keep you away from fish for a while??

    • Wandering Earl January 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Hey Carolyn – Not sure. I will probably stay away for a while although I’m confident that this occurred due to the fish being stored in warm temperatures. So as long as I eat fish from a more reputable place, I’m not too worried, but I sure wouldn’t want to go through this again!

Leave A Comment