Thanks so much for your nice comments! We are, in fact, feeling much better. I've made an appointment for the kids with the pediatrician for later on this week for a full checkup. Since we don't actually know what we had there's no way to know if they might have a parasite that could rear it's ugly head again later.
The whole incident was very scary. I've always been pretty relaxed about food when I travel. M and I were laughing at the irony yesterday: we traveled illness-free for a week on a safari through Tanzania and ate chicken that was kept for days on end in a cooler filled with water. It was cooked by the time we ate it, of course, but still! I guess that time we just got lucky with the Russian roulette.
This time we didn't.
And what made the whole ordeal even scarier was that we have no idea what it was that made us sick. We were staying in a good hotel which was supposedly taking precautions for foreign guests and their sensitive stomachs. We only ate out twice, and then, as recommended, at busy restaurants where high turnover supposedly ensured that the food was fresh. We only drank bottled water and didn't use ice in juices.
Despite these precautions, however, M and S got sick, then B 12 hours later, and then, after playing Florence Nightengale around the clock, I eventually succumbed.
Once we'd recuperated enough to keep anything down we were too weak to take the hour drive into the center of Cairo to forage for food, but were also too afraid to eat much of anything in the hotel. It was a nightmare. Literally, because I'm still waking up every night in a panic after dreams that the kids are eating bad produce or are playing in dirty water.
On the 15th S was terribly ill and I called for a doctor. He came and inspected S, B and M and, without explaining what he thought they had, he wrote out two long lists for medications. When I, as a lowly female, asked what each of them were for, he got angry. And when I mentioned that I didn't need a fever reliever because I had Ibuprofen with me he got up and stormed out of the hotel room and didn't return. (!!!) (How dare I question his authority, no matter how politely!)
Someone from the hotel went out and bought the medicines for us, but I had no idea how much to give, because the dosages he'd written were vague (1 big spoon??) and differed wildly from the amounts given in the package inserts. Luckily M had his Blackberry with him so we were able to email with my dad and my Grandfather, who is a GP, for advice. (THANKS AGAIN, GUYS!)
We had a very scary moment with S later on that evening. He had a high fever but was feeling too nauseous to take children's ibuprofen or any of the anti-microbial medicines. He was very weak and seemed to be getting worse, so M and I picked him up and put him in the shower to bring down his temperature. After that he started feeling well enough to take the ibuprofen and when that kicked in we could move on to the other medicine. If that hadn't worked the next step was definitely the hospital.
Oh, and the icing on the cake was that the bathtub leaked. Every time you took a shower water would stream out from underneath the tub onto the floor of the bathroom. So every time we bathed or used it to bring down various fevers the flooded bathroom became like an ice rink. At one point S needed to vomit, jumped up from his bed in a panic, raced to the bathroom, wiped out and skidded into a wall. It was just such a nightmare!
And I haven't even gotten to the insects yet. The ones that feasted on the kids and had S waking up one night screaming because he thought that he'd been stung by a wasp.
Let's just say that this travel experience was less than optimal.
We did have a chance the first few days to see some interesting sights. I'll blog some more about those tomorrow...