Cabeza (1999), by Fernando Botero. Medellin, Colombia
Cabeza (1999), by Fernando Botero. Medellin, Colombia

On the Mend

My apologies for the silence here over the past three weeks. I’ve been on the mend from Hepatitis A and since my doctor ordered lots (and lots) of rest, I threw a near-total digital detox into the mix as well. Both were well overdue.

Based on the virus’s incubation period, it’s most likely that I contracted Hep A somewhere in Colombia –my guess is that one of the many fruit juices I quickly became addicted to was mixed with some contaminated water. The symptoms –fever, chills, night sweats, some jaundice– emerged on the second of my five days in Boquete, Panama. The diagnosis came in on my first night in San Jose, Costa Rica, where I was immediately taken to a hospital by my old friend, Drew, who I’ve been staying with since.

Guanava/guanabana vendor in Popayan, Colombia.
Guanava/guanabana vendor in Popayan, Colombia.

The virus is pretty much behind me but it has kicked my skinny behind. It’s left me weak, listless and exhausted, forcing me to seriously rethink my next moves. The initial plan was to continue working my way up through Central America and Mexico and eventually arrive in the U.S. Pacific northwest. But attempting to recuperate while on the road is difficult enough. Trying to do so in Central America, one of the world’s poorest regions and during the summer’s worst heat, would probably be folly at this point. I’ll decide in the next few days, so stay tuned.

Many thanks for the messages and emails over the past few weeks. They remain very much appreciated.

And one more thing: there is a vaccine for Hep A. If you ever plan to spend any time in areas with a history of hosting the virus, get the shot. 🙂

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