7 Feb 2017LOCATION: Floating Hotel (between Brazil, Peru and Colombia) on the Amazon River
BOOK: The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez. It is a story about 1970-80’s Colombia with a bit of the rhythm of Love In The Time of Cholera.
SONG: Proud Mary (…rollin’ on the river…) by Credence Clearwater Revival
THEME: The theme of my blog will not be the chronicling of our days as Peter has been writing wonderfully about them and has got all of his really cool pics to send along too. I have decided that I am going to move through a list of Maladies, Disorders and Syndromes that are specifically related to travel. I will carefully described one of them in each blog and apply related pics as they are available and/or appropriate to general audiences. I asked Peter about taking photos for me, but he said that I should not use photos for many of the illustration possibilities and he said he wouldn’t take them even if I asked him nicely. I have not found many emojis that’s I could offer either.
These are physiological problems that are particular to traveling. They have a health imbalance issue that has not yet been researched academically and may provoke my medical readership into deeper research and reports. Anyone of you can feel free to offer your own experiences to help us expand the knowledge base and prepare for future adventure planning for everyone.
We have been through Bogota and Leticia…5 days into the whole adventure. This afternoon, we head deep, deep into the jungle. Well not Jane Goodall deep but off the easy beaten path/river. I have let go of catastrophic thinking specifically related to ways we could die due to unforeseen causes. Now I am at the phase of pondering real or imagined, minor or seemingly major, aches and pains and what they might or might not mean. I will, whenever possible, offer my best solutions to date, if I have found them.
The first one is:
FDD: Food Deprivation Disorder
This disorder is specifically related to displacing oneself into a region where bacterial and viral organisms are different from the region you have just left (and where you have probably resided for a long while.) It is specifically related to:
Inability to eat, drink or ingest in any other way, fresh water, raw fruit, veggies, especially including leafy greens things. (In general it cannot have an outer covering less than 1/4″ thick and it cannot include more than about 20% liquid in make up if you have to chew it, or it has to come in a sealed can or bottle of some sort.)
These food items are not suggestions, they are The Rule. Violation of The Rule causes GI tract interruption of the most devious kind. I have found ways over time other than using antibiotics at every turn, or getting into the projectile nausea, vomiting, diarrhea cycle that may come on simultaneously when The Rule is disregarded.
Yes we have the medical terms like dysentery. Singular, isolated occurrences of the symptoms (skoots, runs, hurling or puking.) Farting is just farting, but it becomes a tainted, crowd dispelling issue if The Rule is not followed. The thing you most want to avoid is the combination of all these things simultaneously. It is not graceful or merciful and humility is often required since you will not be able to explain yourself effectively.
Green things go off the list and slurping up lake water is never that good of an idea anywhere, I don’t care how clear it is – but it is off your list as soon as you fly over that border!!! So for several days to a week, kiss those salads good-bye and look for the filtered water. Drink beer or soda and chase it all with a ripe banana.
Solutions: My most effective solution is to move your entire list of food choices to Fried Things. For a good portion of the world, chicken and some variation of the potato can be deep-fried into non-threatening submission. Moving to this intake alone will subtly raise the level of grease into your normally fat-free diet, and subsequently it will line the entire GI mucosa with a thick greasy coating over all the crooks, bends and crannies in its entire length. This just sort of seals it off.
This increased grease intake is not going to immediately result in the more often diagnosed, catalogued and studied diseases like Elevated Cholesterol and Cardiac Anomalies and Nightmares. That takes continuous effort and a sustained disregard for anything green (except jello or pistachio ice cream.) The fried food-grease-build-up can be a temporary condition that prevents any absorption of the dreaded microbes. And that is a good thing.
Eventually these disease-laden items can be reintroduced into one’s diet, one tiny little green leafy item at a time. Watermelon is usually a long way out (thick-skinned, certainly! But about 99.9% water sucked out of the bacterial earth in which it grew.) If you are sampling the lettuce (a bite at a time, from one meal to the next) remember that lettuce should NEVER be soft. If it stimulates a gag reflex, spit it immediately into your napkin or your hand whichever is easily available. In all situations either the country you are visiting will be eco-friendly or will be looking to manufacture goods for our needs as cheaply as possible. Paper for napkins (discussed in a later disorder in more depth for other uses) dissolves or disintegrates very quickly. You will go through 7 or 8 just eating your chicken. If you then spit into it, you are actually going to spitting into your hand anyway.
OK, so this introduces you to the nature of further blog posts. I have found about 6 other Disorders and Syndromes I feel are worthy of thought and consideration based on my fairly extensive travel experience. You can join me, or de-friend me or just not pay attention to the notifications
If you brave it, send me suggestions. All will be considered and possibly integrated..be careful sending photos as you might get yourself put on a special list!