Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Roofied in Cambodia

As you are probably able to deduce from the title of this post, I was drugged in Siem Reap. But before you get too concerned for my well being, you should know that I know the person who did it.

It was my husband. 

Ok, maybe that doesn't make you feel any better. How about if I told you it was an accident? And that he was trying to treat my food poisoning?

Maybe I should back up a minute and try to explain this a little better.

Only a few short hours after arriving in Cambodia for Chinese New Year, we were partaking in a sunrise tour of Ankor Wat. The colors were vivid, the views incredible, and all seemed right in the world.

Except for my stomach. What started as a slow churning progressed to full nausea as we walked about. At our second temple, the smell of incense set me off and I desecrated the ancient temple grounds with the contents of my stomach.

Fast forward a few hours and my body was still attempting to eliminate the ill advised street noodles I had consumed the night before. With nothing left to purge, I was vomiting bile and quickly becoming severely dehydrated. 

As this wasn't my first bout of food poisoning, we knew that getting anti nausea drugs into my system would help immensely. My loving husband went to a local pharmacy and explained my condition. The pharmacist handed him packets of Ciprofloxacin (for infection) and Lorazepam (for nausea).

Lorazepam is a Benzodiazepine (benzo, for short), a class of drug commonly used as tranquilizers and sleeping pills. Benzos are used to sedate hospital patients but can also cause difficulty with concentration, dizziness and difficulty with walking. Oh and it can cause amnesia. You may be more familiar with other benzos like Valium and Rohypnol. In the U.S., Lorazepam is a controlled substance. But in Cambodia, my husband was able to purchase it for a mere $5.

So yeah, my husband sedated me for two days. I had trouble staying awake, was unaware of what was going on, and couldn't walk myself through the airport. In fact, I have no memory of the photo below being taken, or even visiting that temple. On the positive side, I can say that taking the Lorazepam did stop me from vomiting. So there's that.



  1. I need some of that stuff to get me thru waiting to leave! (just kidding. kind of...)

    Do you generally know what gave you food poisoning? I've had stomach surgery and have protein malabsorption. My one concern about this move is getting food poisoning enough that my stomach shuts down even thinking about eating and I cannot get protein in (I need to eat twice as much as a normal person to make up for malabsorption). I love street food though and I eat almost anything. This is going to be fun....

    1. We think it may have been under cooked egg but are not entirely sure. Other people at the table ate the same food and were fine. I've had food poisoning from nice restaurants on the Bund as well. You never quite know where it will strike.


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