For the first time since arriving in Bali almost three weeks ago, I’m truly starting to enjoy it.
Weeks of a bad stomach and constant cramps had taken its toll: I’ve lost weight, am tired alot and not sleeping well. My appetite had diminshed to eating only one meal a day and I wasn’t able to relax or go very far from a usable toilet. More than once I had to evacuate a place because my stomach had kicked off.
I was frustrated and felt like I wasn’t making the most of my trip. I felt like Bali was a waste of time and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I had no energy to blog or inclination to explore my surroundings. For the last two weeks, all I could think about was Australia, my next country, and I would count down the days on my calender before I could leave.
After having to quickly leave dinner one night with friends, I reached my limit. Something had to change.
Things began to improve when I stopped brushing my teeth with tap water. At first I’d flat out refused to do this, adamant that my body would HAVE to adapt eventually. But guess what? It doesn’t. Everybody’s different and my stomach perhaps just isn’t as robust as I’d like it to be. So, sick of the constant diarrhoea after every meal and painful cramps each day, I pulled everything right back and took stock. Ceasing to use tap water was the first thing I did, and three days later I can tell you that not only are my stomach cramps significantly improved (we’re down to once or twice a day) but I’ve not had diarrhoea for two days! (touches wood).
The second thing I did was strip the food I was eating down to basics; bland and easily digestible in small portions. For me what’s worked is things like toast, scrambled eggs, pasta, plain omelettes, and pureed fruit (smoothies). You might think the eggs would make things worse but actually it’s fine and I’m really craving them so eat what appeals right? I’m a curry girl and whilst the rice is good for backing you up, I daren’t eat spicy food again until I’m sure everything’s settled.
For a while I also stopped with the ice in drinks as a test but it seemed to make no difference, and nor did I really think it would as ice is tightly regulated by the Indonesian government. So I’m back to chilled drinks.
I never took an Immodium. If your body is reacting like that it needs to get something out and you need to let it. I was given antibiotics but never took them, determined to make my body overcome it in its own way. I’ve had travel plans disrupted and sleeping arrangements changed for bathroom privacy but it’s all part of the experience I guess.
If you would have asked me a week ago if I would ever return to Bali I would have said absolutely not. But now, able to walk down the cafe lined streets of a chic and relaxed Canguu without needed to be by a toilet 20 minutes after eating, and whose biggest problem is where to catch the best waves, I would say probably yes. Feeling happier and more myself than I have in weeks, I’m finally able to ‘vibe’ with Bali. Toilet not required.