Sosúa, Dominican Republic

It was too much to ask for. You can’t expect to take a journey through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic over the course of an entire year without getting sick at least once.


I felt more or less fine when I arrived in Santiago, Dominican Republic. My driver was waiting for me with a sign and we were off for the little over an hour drive to Sosúa. My driver was from Winnipeg, so I sat in the front and got to speak English for the first time in almost a year. That was fun.

That was four days ago. That night I started to feel awful. Luckily the first thing I did that first night was to go to a grocery store and buy milk and bran cereal. I wasn’t going to be leaving my condo rental for a few days.

Mild vertigo became severe vertigo. Mild stomach cramps became severe stomach cramps. My bones ached and my muscles ached. My head throbbed. After 48 hours in the Dominican Republic I hit bottom. Diarrhea had dehydrated my system and many times I had to rush to the toilet to empty my stomach and continue with dry heaves.

I felt like I should just live in the bathroom. I started to question my decision not to seek medical help.

On the worst night I woke up around daybreak (I thought it was daybreak, but it was only 11:00 p.m. – I was out of it). I slowly rolled out of bed and shuffled to the toilet, which in this condo is at the other end of the apartment – not attached to the bedroom. Damn!

I had to carefully place each step. I was bent over in half staring at the floor as I scuttled ever so slowly to the bathroom. I didn’t know which I needed first, to throw up or clean out my bowels for the umpteenth time.

Bowels first.

I was lucid enough that I flushed before assuming the praying position in front of the toilet. The dry heaves commenced. There was nothing in my stomach except for some amazingly green bile. It was really, really green. I’ve seen the standard green-shaded mucous, but this was very different. Once my body was done with that, I flushed and couldn’t wait to wash my hands and arms and shuffle slowly back to bed.

I think the Gods were smirking at my plan.

I got to the sink and turned on the water. I reached for the soap and realized my upper body was not quite centered above my feet. I started to fall backward. I kept shuffling my feet quickly in reverse to try to recover. I bounced off the shower stall and that sent me hurtling towards the bathroom door. The door was already open, so I flew right out the bathroom door at top speed and slammed into the wall opposite the bathroom.

Then, as Howard Cosell once said, “Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier! Down Goes Frazier!”

I hit the opposing wall hard and that forced me back towards the bathroom again, but a little off target. I face-planted on the hard tile floor. Initially, I tried to move, but my gas tank was empty. I attempted to roll over, but couldn’t even manage that. I thought, “these cold tiles feel good”, and they did. I lay there for about an hour. I almost went back to sleep, but decided I wanted to maintain some kind of personal dignity and make it back to bed. It wasn’t easy, but the hour rest on the floor had put something back in my tank. I ever so slowly got up on my hands and knees (doggie) and then managed to get my feet under me. I went back into the bathroom, where the water was still running in the sink and happily washed my hands. It took some doing, but I managed to get back to bed.

The green arrow is the direction I flew in reverse. The red “x” is the wall I slammed against. The red arrow is where I spent an hour of my vacation contemplating the nature of the universe.

I’ve been in Sosúa for four days and I haven’t done or seen anything. Today I was able to walk three blocks to a cafe to get coffee in a “to-go” cup and I bought the security guys at my complex some donuts. But, that was it. Three blocks there, three blocks back. I hate to make a post without photos. I’m right on the water here and it’s unbelievably beautiful. I made a trip of a few steps for a photo of a false smile and the waterfront. I’m looking forward to some day enjoying my trip here. I’m going back to bed.