For months, I’ve been looking forward to my vacation to Vietnam. When my job got stressful to the point that I semi-seriously wondered if getting hit by a car would be *that* painful compared to the bliss that time off would bring, I reminded myself that it was only X more weeks till Vietnam. Three weeks off work and 2.5 weeks wandering around and trekking through jungles and caves. Then I got here, and got sick.

First my husband did, actually. He thinks it was the flu that an idiot coworker who wouldn’t stay home passed on to him. For our first few days in Saigon, he was fine, but our three days in Hoi An turned into three days in a hotel while I took care of him and made occasional trips out to pharmacies to play the “Let’s guess which drugs will work!” game. On the day we were set to leave for the highlight of the trip, a week exploring some of the largest caves in the world in Phong Nha, he was feeling better, but my throat was starting to tickle.

Day one in Phong Nha was supposed to just be biking around and settling in, so at first I wasn’t worried. However, on day two I had a massive headache, chills, and constant coughing. We decided to cancel the first trip and take a couple days holed up in our room in the hope that it passed through me as quickly as it did Mr L. By day three and four, I was sleeping 18 hours a day and had started vomiting occasionally. I don’t remember much of day 5 except for a nightmare/paranoia feeling that wouldn’t leave me. We were way out in the boonies with no English-speaking doctors* in the closest city, so we finally made the decision to call it quits. I managed to wake up enough to book a plane ticket to Hanoi, got a hotel, and made a doctor’s appointment as well (my husband is great, but if I had to rely on him for travel plans we might as well apply for Vietnamese citizenship). The next day we flew to Hanoi, and I tried my best to stay conscious long enough for them to let me board. By the time we got to our hotel, I could barely stand.

Yesterday I spent the morning hooked up to an IV while sleeping at the clinic and found out I had a raging bacterial infection brought on by the flu. I was prescribed more antibiotics and anti-nausea drugs, and was sent back to the hotel $592 USD poorer (Yay for trip insurance and cheap drugs). Today I’m starting to feel human again, and managed an hour long walk! 4 days left to make the most of the trip I planned for a year and a half.

Travel advice: Don’t get sick.

*Not to disparage non-English-speaking doctors, but I thought it best to be able to communicate my symptoms and know the results if at all possible.