I had been living in Costa Rica for nearly two years and had already experienced many episodes of diarrhea, but nothing could have prepared me for what was soon going to invade my poor body…submitted for the approval of the Number Two Guide society, I call this story: The Tale of Cryptosporidiosis
I was enjoying a quiet weekend in the small South Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo. A surfing village with great beaches, exquisite Caribbean cuisine, friendly locals, tourists from around the world, and annoying cracked out ex-pats. I was drinking the water, eating the food, sharing the bathroom and showers at the hostel, which was nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seemed fine…until I was leaving, taking the bus back to my house — two hours north of this fine port city.
Suddenly, it felt like something was eating the inside of my stomach. It was painful and I wanted it out of my body. Luckily, (well not so luckily because I was still on the bus) my body was one step ahead and initiated the abort sequence.Ã‚ I felt like I was going to vomit and have an episode of diarrhea at the same time. I managed to control my bodily functions for the next twenty minutes, which happened to be the worst twenty minutes of my life.
When the bus made its first stop I jumped off immediately, ran to the bathroom, vomited, and then instantly spun around on the toilet to diarrhea. I barely beat my internal clock that would have made me diarrhea in my pants. I didn’t even have time flush the vomit, disgusting, but I had no choice.
These episodes continued for a few days with constant vomiting and diarrhea every time I tried to eat or drink. I could hardly sleep because I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes for 48 consecutive hours.
I finally decided to see the local doctor in the undeveloped town where I lived. The doctor gave me a shot and some pills that seemed to help a little bit, but unfortunately my symptoms continued for the next few days. I had no choice but to see internal specialists at the hospital in the capital city, San Jose.
The doctor recommended that I give a stool sample to be analyzed in the laboratory. Have you ever tried pooping in a small plastic container the size of a Dixie cup with explosive diarrhea? Not easy, not fun.
Anyway, the doctor found that I had a small parasite living in my stomach and colon, and that it was most likely contracted through drinking water, eating uncooked food, or sharing showers or swimming pools with another infected person. The doctor gave me the proper pills and the vomiting began to stop, but the diarrhea and unsettled stomach continued for almost two more weeks.
It was the worst illnesses I have ever had. Please do not put yourself through it. Read up on the facts of Cryptosporidiosis and learn how it can be prevented: