Friday, January 18, 2013

Moctezuma’s Revenge





I have been a little under the weather lately which is why I haven’t posted for a while. I was the victim of Moctezuma’s Revenge, also known as TD, among other things. I am told that the cause of this infliction is usually bacterial enteropathogens. I have often been heard to say, cavalierly, that I am not affected by by such things and these words came back to bite me in the area in which I have been suffering.

I admit that I have occasionally had short bouts of intestinal problems since moving to Mexico, but as a rule they do not last more than 24 to 48 hours and have never been severe. However, over the last couple of weeks my situation worsened to the point where any food entering my body was immediately shown the back door and violently ejected. Although this is a very effective diet plan it is not one that I recommend.

Eventually I was forced to admit that I really did have a problem and that I needed to see a doctor. After the uncomfortable experience of submitting a stool sample for inspection I was given a prescription for antibiotics that can only be described as “horse pills”, as they were large enough to gag one. During the following week I vacillated in my opinion about which was worse, the sickness or the cure.

The instructions for taking the antibiotics suggested taking them after meals as nausea was a possibility on an empty stomach. Possibility? Really?  For the first couple of days food didn’t stay in my system long enough to act as a cushion so it was a toss-up as to which exit the food would take. The only thing that I could be assured of was that it would exit. Eventually, however, the antibiotics did kick in and I was once again able to retain my dinner with the only worry being the possibility of vomiting due to the nausea caused by the pills. Believe it or not, this was an improvement.



Emilio’s Enchiladas Placeras in Patzcuaro


Now having shared the embarrassing details of my recent illness with all of you, I should also say that one of my favorite things about living in Mexico is the food. So I am now on the horns of a dilemma. It is painfully clear to me now that I am not immune to the health risks of eating everything and anything that looks or smells interesting.



Alambres in Quirroga


I also don’t want to become paranoid and avoid everything that does not come from an upscale restaurant or my own kitchen.



Arrachera in Nurio,  Michoacán


I certainly haven’t finished exploring the culinary cornucopia that is Mexico and I don’t want to have that exploration tainted by fear of repercussions. I would love to be able to feel that since I enjoy the food here, and the experiences associated with it, so much that I could take the occasional bout of TD as an unavoidable side effect. However, I am loath to experience a reiteration of my recent intestinal distress.



Chilaquiles in Restaurante San Diego, Patzcuaro


In reality, the TD may not even have come from food. I could have handled something, money for instance, that had bacteria on it and then not used hand sanitizer before eating. I’ll never know. I will, in the future, be more careful about announcing my immunity to things (Murphy’s Law will get you every time!) and I just hope that my zest for new Mexican cuisine is not affected by my unfortunate experience.



Oh Yum!


  1. Sorry you caught the bug badly; but I'm glad you are on the mend.
    Like you say it is impossible to know where you caught it. Hope it doesn't stop you from eating wherever you want to.
    Take care.

    1. I am feeling much better now Brenda, thanks. To be honest I think I enjoy food too much to let it stop me, LOL. I hope so!

  2. These days you might obtain this problem with food north of the border as well. I think Mexico has gotten better and the U.S. worse in this regard.

    Get well soon!

  3. Thank you Calypso, I think I'm okay now but that was a humdinger of a bug! I am surprised to hear that there are similar problems north of the border. It would never have occurred to me to worry about it there.

  4. I have been ill with one thing or another since I came north. Mostly colds and coughs. I am looking forward to getting south. And catching the flu.

  5. LOL, I guess it doesn't matter where you are Steve. Different place, different bug.