07 April 2016

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming: A Final Petra Update

Back in December 2015, when I really started to feel like myself again, I composed a "Petra is GONE" blog in my head. The update was to be titled "Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming" and it was going to be about poop.

That's right. I was going to write a blog entirely about poop. My poop to be more specific. Number of times a day, duration of sessions, consistency, odor, discomfort before, during, and after.... and so on.

But I've thought better of it. The truth is - now that pooping isn't an issue - I really don't care to discuss it. I know this saddens some of you. and relieves others (pun intended). If you let out a sigh of disappointment just now, let me assure you that the thought of reading about someone else's poop is far more appealing than the act of actually reading about someone else's poop.

What's the point of my rambling? Many of you continue to ask me how I'm feeling (thank you), and are curious to know more about Petra's exodus. I'm happy to report mostly good news.

A quick recap: I traveled to Thailand in December 2014 and contracted a parasite (whom I named Petra). I didn't know Petra had taken up residence in my belly until late-April 2015, at which time I took a very heavy round of antibiotics to evict the illegal squatter. She was a fighter though, and a second round of antibiotics was needed. They made me feel GREAT at first, but the inevitable fall came after a meteoric rise. My stomach was completely off kilter - both from Petra and the antibiotics - and I was advised it would take 2-3x her residence duration to get my tummy back to normal. I was sick for five months, meaning the expected recovery time was 10-15 months.

Well, right on track at 12 months post-Petra-discovery, I am finally feeling better. The "microbial imbalance" - which had so adversely affected my mood - seems to be more or less gone. I still have days where I wake up pretty unmotivated. I sometimes have more trouble than I'd like concentrating. My tummy hurts occasionally. But really, who's doesn't have problems? I can blame those ailments on oldness, work-induced ADD, and eating-entirely-too-much-chocolate, respectively.

Overall, I do not feel 100%, but to me that's good news. I feel pretty damn okay right now, so if it's just going to get better, I have no complaints at all.

Moral of the story: If you go to a third world country, don't drink the damn water. Even if it's hot and you just want a slushy. DO NOT DO IT! I would not wish a parasite on my worst enemy. Or, I would wish a good one, like a tape worm or something, where at least you get some weight loss for all of your suffering.

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