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Hospital in Cambodia – be careful what you eat!

Hospital in Cambodia – be careful what you eat!

By on Nov 17, 2014 in Health, Life Lessons, Travel experiences, Travel planning | 4 comments


Well, the last couple of days have been quite unplanned!

However as one of our friends noted, we really know how to show all the sides of international travel!

Saturday started out fairly normally as we headed out to take in the Phnom Penh’s markets. The first market we stopped at was the Russian market (know to the locals as Phsar Toul Tom Poung), it’s a massive market that sells a ton of stuff from clothes to soap to hardware and food. We choose to eat at one of the local eateries that was serving chicken noodle soup – we did have a few doubts when it appeared they didn’t re-cook the precooked chicken! Anyway it tasted fine and we all got on with a day exploring Phnom Penh.

In the evening we packed ready for our departure the next day to Siem Reap – 6 hours bus ride away. At this stage I was starting to feel quite ill with a very full/bloated and uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.. By 3 in the morning I was so uncomfortable that I had to go and throw up in the toilet and had a small amount of watery diarrhea – oh, great I thought this will make the 6 hour bus ride awesome! I tucked myself back into bed careful not to wake Simon hoping that would be ok…

At 5am I was up again this time with a lot of watery diarrhea. I washed my hands about to return to bed when I was over come with a very sick feeling and decided I needed to sit on the toilet again …. ******

That was the last thing I remember until I heard Simon yelling at the kids – she’s dead, quick get up, go get a doctor! I had no idea what he was talking about but I could hear the panic in his voice.. Then it occurred to me that I as on the bathroom floor – weird. And then I thought, he thinks I’m dead? I yelled out I’m fine, just .. mmm … Resting on the floor!

Next thing simon comes into the bathroom, filled with relief because I was ‘not dead’, and telling me to stay still because there was blood coming from my ear. I kept telling him, I fine and he kept saying, no your not!

After a time he allowed me to slowly get up – I sat up at first and saw the kids and simon staring at me anxiously.. “I’m ok every one, really”. Simon checked my head and discovered that it was actually a gash in my head that was bleeding and not my ear. By this time my head was actually starting to hurt. I stood up slowly and walked to the basin and was again over come with nausea/unwell feeling and told Simon and the kids I’d have to go to the toilet again.. *****

Next thing I remember I was back on the floor again… “What the ….?” I had no idea how I got there but at first I felt quite peaceful, then I heard simon telling Tash to go tell the staff we had a medical emergence.. He sounded very stressed!

I found myself again saying “I’m fine, don’t worry, I’ll be fine” – while I’m thinking, ‘I just need to stay on my damn feet!’

Tash got a taxi to the hospital sorted while simon helped me get dressed (while I was still lying on the floor of the bathroom he wouldn’t let me up). Plus I wouldn’t let him take me to the hospital in my nighty :p

Simon arranged for the kids to be looked after by the great staff at our accommodation (velkommon backpacker and guesthouse), while he took me in a taxi to the hospital. I had to lay down on the back seat to stop feeling sick.

We were a little nervous about the kind of hospital we would find our selves in (you hear stories after all), however to our surprise the hospital was very very new (only opened a couple of months ago, kinda new!). In fact I was the only emergency patient at 7am – nice πŸ™‚

The rest is the usual hospital formalities, tests and routine – not that interesting really πŸ™‚

The up shot for me is two nights in the Royal Phnom Penh hospital, a cat scan to check my head, 3 stitches in my head and it appears the dehydration from food poisoning may of caused the fainting episodes (I have never fainted in my life till now).

I’m writing this from my hospital bed hoping that tomorrow things will run smoothly and we’ll be able to catch our 2pm bus to Siem Reap and continue our journey. The hospital has its inauguration tomorrow and I’m hoping the pomp and ceremony won’t delay my discharge. The care here has been very good and as I said the hospital is very shines and new – we are lucky!

While in the hospital I’ve had visits from Simon and the kids but also from some new friends we made on the bus from Vietnam – 3 lovely ladies from the Philippines who’re working here in Cambodia. One of them wanted to stay and keep me company through the night (in the Philippines a family member always stays in the hospital with a sick relative :-)), this was very sweet but I said it wasn’t necessary. They also bought a few things for the kids, who were rapt! We’re calling them our Filipino Angels πŸ™‚

FaceTime has also been a godsend and I’ve been able to chat with my mum, dad and step-mum face to face – put their minds at ease and it makes me happy to see them πŸ™‚

I’ve also been looking through the facebook messages and notes – and I feel incredibly touched by all the well wish from around the world – including new friends we’ve made during our recent travels. It just goes to show that in general people are every kind and generous all over the world and we are lucky to be making friends in all the places we visit!

I can’t finish this post without saying how much I love all my kids and grandkids – they’ve all been awesome – Tash, Ben and Seb have helped their dad through a very difficult time and our big kids have stayed in touch.

However my biggest love has to go to my super hero husband, who is always there for me no matter what, who stands by me and stands up for me when necessary, who’s strength always pulls us through, he is my rock and my soft place to fall (literally when I fainted the second time), who shares all my joy and sorrow, he is my soul mate, the love of my life and I would be lost without him!

Honey, I am very sorry that I scared you half to death! XOX

Now on with the journey πŸ™‚


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Mum, wife, online geek girl, distance runner, adventurer etc. all rolled into one! My job is to make sure we all have clean clothes, food to eat and most importantly that we have a heap of awesome experiences to fill our memory banks!


  1. avatar

    MICHELLE! Don’t do that again!


    Very glad to see you are doing ok.
    That is one attractive hospital gown

    • avatar

      Yep, I was thinking about putting one of these hospital gowns in my bag πŸ˜‰

  2. avatar

    So relieved that you’re okay!!

    Glad you got great treatment at a nice new hospital. I think you should all become vegetarian now for the remainder of your travels! πŸ™‚

    Well done to Tash for organising a taxi so quickly and for she and the boys being so brave. Must have been very scary for them.

    You might need to get poor Simon’s heart checked after giving him such a scare! πŸ™‚

    Take care of yourself, rest up and please don’t do that again!! xxxxx

    • avatar

      Thanks Bev, you might be right vegetarianism might be the answer mind you it won’t stop the water getting you πŸ˜‰

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