>After months of planning and eager anticipation, my departure for India is a mere 48 hours or so away. I hoped to be leaving on doody firma, but my digestive tract is in open revolt and not negotiating. Yesterday I showed my friend all the prescriptions I had to fill before I left, including a special one that the travel medicine clinic prescribed just in case of extreme diarrhea.

"How will you be able to tell if your case is the usual or extreme?" my friend asked.

"Oh, the doctor said specifically to use it in the event of bloody diarrhea," I cheerfully replied.

"Why are you going on this trip?" my friend asked.

I did ask myself that at one point while I was listening to all the vaccines and precautions I needed to take for the trip. In the injection department, I had two Hep B shots, a tetanus booster, and a polio booster. On the oral vaccine side, I took a typhoid vaccine and will start malaria pills on Friday. I was told to buy special insect repellent with a higher concentration of DEET and to spray my clothes with a special DEET spray that would last up to 6 weeks. In no uncertain terms am I supposed to ingest any unpurified water; Frommer's India even advises travelers "…do not open your mouth in the shower." I could get bloody diarrhea. It is a bit scary.

Still, the opportunity to see and experience India is so going to be worth it. I can't wait. I plan to travel blog while I am away, so my adventures, observations, and complaints will be posted daily. Hopefully, they will not include descriptions of bloody diarrhea.