Have you ever had to put your travel insurance in use? I hope not! However, sometimes the so-called shit happens and you end up falling while hiking or you couldn't keep your hands off from the street food or like million other scenarios. I've always had a travel insurance while travelling but I only got to use it once I started travelling to Morocco more regularly.
I don't know what it is that Morocco has but my body can't tolerate the country. In Finland, I am rather rarely sick but once I enter the border of Morocco I start to get the most annoying ailments. I've had several infections, stomach ache, vomiting, flu and sometimes everything at once.
However, none of these was nothing like what happened on my 4th time in Morocco. I warn you, this can be kind of gross. It all started with the old friend, stomach ache. I lost my appetite and felt vertigo. I decided to take some extra bacteria pills I had eaten to strengthen my resistance. Well, the following day on a bus on my way to the centre, after eating a mandarin, I started to suddenly feel very nauseous and well, you can maybe imagine what happens when you are at the back of a moving bus and you suddenly get the urge to let it all out. So it did. That was one of the most embarrassing moments so far. I still feel sorry for people in the bus. So we decided to step out of the bus on the next stop and we run to the closest toilet, which happened to be McDonald's. I pretty much vomited there for a good 15 minutes and then we took a taxi straight to home.
After resting for the rest of the day I felt better in the morning In previous times when I had the same symptoms it had been strong the first day but then quickly it had gotten better. It seemed like that would happen again as I quickly could eat normally again and felt stronger. A few days went by normally. We travelled to Rabat and did a lot of things until one evening we were sitting in a café in the downtown of Fez. I suddenly started to feel very tired and I lost all my strength and could barely move. We decided to go to the street to catch a taxi back to my friend's home. As I stood up from the chair, I couldn't feel my legs so that my friend had to carry me all the way to the taxi stop. I felt a cold sweat raising to my forehead and my eyelids got heavier until I could not keep my eyes open anymore. I still remember I felt so calm and I felt like if I just close my eyes I'll fly away.
In the back of the taxi, I wasn't able to even sit so I was laying down, leaning to my friend who asked the taxi driver to drive to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. In about 5 minutes we were at the entrance of a private hospital where my friend carried me. I remember the first question of the doctor
Is she pregnant?
What? Seriously? The second question was
Do you have cash with you?
My friend explained that I wasn't going to pay with cash as I had my travel insurance that would cover the costs. She shook her head and said that they couldn't help me if I didn't have cash with me. What? Seriously?
So my friend once again carried me back to the street, I was barely conscious and I can't personally remember too much of what happened next. It was already late and there were very few taxis, so it took a good 20 minute to catch one. I remember trying to concentrate all my powers that I had left in order to be able to sit at the side of the road while my friend was trying his best to catch a taxi.
Finally! An empty taxi! My friend told the driver to hurry and drive straight to one private hospital he knew would accept us for sure. It was rather far away, though. The driver was trying his best to drive fast as he saw I was in bad condition. In this point, my friend couldn't get any contact to me. I still remember I could hear some talking but didn't have any power to reply. Suddenly I felt a sudden braking and a big bang. We had gotten into a car accident. The taxi driver had crashed into another car. IT was nothing too severe, no one got hurt but the other car was damaged. Coincidentally there was a police nearby. My friend took me out of the taxi and the policemen helped us to catch another taxi to the hospital as our driver had to solve the problem.
After all that madness, we made it to the hospital where they made me lay down and put me on infusion. The hospital was full so I had to spend the night on the corridor with other patients. They said I'd get a private room the next day. Because of that, my friend could not stay with me and I had to stay alone until the next day. To be honest, I was very scared as I had no idea what was wrong with me, no one spoke a single word in English and I felt like I would die. I truly thought I would. That night was the worst night of my life so far.
It felt like it never ends, I started to feel very nauseous again, but I couldn't move and once I got some voice out of my mouth to call the nurse, she couldn't understand that I had to vomit. So I ended up doing it all over me. The following day, I didn't really feel any better but it was a relief to get my private room so I didn't have to be alone and my friends could be there for me. The day went by, I felt slightly better, then again worse...
On the third day, they started to take all kinds of blood tests. I still didn't know what was wrong with me. No one knew. After the 4th day, I felt hopeless, until a doctor who spoke some English came and told me they'd try one medicine. The evening I already felt the medicine helping me. I also had my flight back home that day, so I ended up missing it.
The fifth day, I felt somewhat better and the doctors gave me permission to get out of the hospital and go rest to my friend's home. I was still very weak as I hadn't been able to eat hardly anything for the whole time. I rested for 4 days in the house of my friend and I was able to fly back to Finland. It took me over 2 weeks to fully cover it.
I never got a clear answer of what happened but I remember hearing something about severe dehydration and stomach infection. As cruel as it sounds, I think that the doctors purposely didn't treat me right from the beginning as the hospital knew that my insurance would cover my treatment so if they managed to keep me there longer they'd earn more money. I was just an opportunity for them to make money. That's, unfortunately, the case in many hospitals around the world which agree to treat tourists.
To conclude all this, please take the travel insurance seriously and never travel without one. Your health is the most precious thing you have and you do not want to risk it. My travel insurance covered all the treatments in Morocco and also rebooked me to a flight back home as I missed my original one. Without the insurance, I don't know what could have happened. And above all, without the support of my local family. I never felt more cared than in those days.