My Intestines Hate Me

—–Original Message —–
From: “Dani Magistro”
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 18:25:44 -0500
To: “‘Philip Magistro'”
Subject: RE: Northward
Hi Phil,
Great to hear from you. Are you OK?? Is your gut getting better??
Mom
________________________________________
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Ah, not so much. But there really isn´t much I can do about it. I´ve got some AD meds if I need them for traveling…otherwise I´m just going to hole up in Bariloche (where I can live cheaply) and wait it out. I have a sinking suspicion that I may have contracted giardiasis….I know I drank some untreated water about 10 days ago downstream of a cow pasture….oh well. Life and learn.

Don´t worry about it though….I know the s/sx and treatment……I´ll just be really unhappy for a week or so. If it turns out to be giardiasis, I´ll probably check out treatment options in Bariloche or else head to Buenos Aires.
anyhow, gotta run…..I´ll email again in a few days.
Phil
________________________________________
Monday,April 19, 2004: My Intestines Hate Me

Hola padres!
Don´t send this out…..spare the group the gory details…

I wasn´t gonna write today, but I´ve got nothing better to do than sit around and hate my intestines. Just kidding. Though I am certainly hurting. I am all but 100% sure that I´ve contracted giardiasis…..my symptoms are a perfect match and my history strongly strongly suggests it (I drank from a stream without treating it, then found out the next day that a herd of cattle lived upstream 500m….live and learn right?). Honestly it´s not that bad….just have to go to the bathroom pretty often and am feeling extremely bloated….well, also lacking appetite, been suffering nausea for three days now…no vomiting though. Also on the bright side, I´ve been exhibiting symptoms for two or three days now….which means I only have somewhere between 5 and 12 more days before things calm down!
My best efforts to gain some weight foiled again…I was up to 165lbs before this darn bug!

I´ve got a bunch of Immodium here, which takes care of me just fine for cruising around town and being on the bus…but I don´t like taking AD medication. I´d rather let this thing run its course and just take care of myself.

I´m not sure whether or not to try to get treated in Bariloche….symptoms usually go away on their own but there is a medication available (metronidazole) to kill the infection. I don´t know whether it´s worth the hassle of going to a spanish-speaking hospital, cost, and potential side effects… Any chance you could do me a favor and look up giardiasis in my book Medicine for Mountaineering and see exactly what it suggests? I don´t know exactly where the book is…might be in that box of books I brought home? Also please check out my ISIC card medical coverage (Dad, I left that with you somewhere)? Thanks!

I´m in Comodoro Rivadavia today. The bus to Bariloche left Rio Gallegos last night at 9:30pm and arrived here at 8:30am today….we have the day off in town (and this is quite a town! bigger than I´ve seen in a while) and then leave tonight at 10pm for Bariloche, and arrive tommorrow AM sometime. The buses here are tremendously comfortable…they showed ¨Life is Beautiful¨ on the way here last night….what a great movie. I am traveling with two instant friends…folks that you meet along the road, are best buddies with for a day or an hour or a week, then split up probably forever. Three of us, myself, Tim the Australian who has been traveling for 4 years and Mariana the Argentinean from Bariloche, walked south on the beach (did I mention this town sits right on the Atlantic coast?) for 5km this AM and saw a sea lion rookery….pretty cool stuff. Hung out on the beach for most of the afternoon….now trying to kill a few more hours before the bus leaves.
So that´s pretty much the state of affairs. I´ll check in tomorrow sometime.

Ciao,
Phil

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