Sick Abroad? Here’s What To Do

Sick: med mapThe Signs

Believe it or not, no one plans on being sick during their vacation. Why would they? It doesn’t make sense to set aside two hours of sick time between visiting the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. I don’t even know how that would work. Does the clock strike 12, and boom! You’re sick? Besides, you have just spent a couple months organizing a wonderful trip for yourself and possibly a few others. Nowhere in your itinerary did you include a stop to the pharmacy or hospital. Ain’t nobody got time for that. However, there should always be time to make an adjustment if you start noticing a few things.

One, you have developed a consistent cough. It could mean you caught a cold. Two, your sinuses are running amuck. Similar to a cough, it could mean a cold is developing. Hopefully, it is only allergies though. Three, your throat has a tickle or an itch. Personally, this is never a good sign for me. It’s almost inevitable I am about to be very ill. Four, you feel tired or fatigued. People often confuse these symptoms as a byproduct of jet lag. You really need to listen to your body and make the best guess. And finally, nausea. This symptom is more popular on cruises, i.e. sea sickness, and doesn’t always mean you are “sick.” Most of the time, it is something you picked up on the plane or before you left.

When Healthy Goes Sick

Now the undesirable has happened. You are in fact sick. There’s no getting off this train. You just need to ride the wave until it has run its course. This reminds me of when my wife and I visited Rome. We’d been traveling for over a week already. Unfortunately, our immune systems had taken quite a beating. Even though it was fairly easy to overcome our jet lag, too many early mornings and late nights did us in. Our bodies were telling us we needed a break. Both of us had caught a cold. Our itinerary didn’t change too much. All we did was wake up a little later and go to bed a little earlier. It’s amazing what sleep can do for you. Sometimes, we get too excited about seeing the whole world. We need to realize that the world isn’t going anywhere, and we have plenty of time.

The Remedy

The best travel tip I’ve ever received from my wife is bringing as many meds as possible. I’m still waiting for Customs to detain us for drug trafficking. Hopefully, that never happens. Joking aside, always being prepared is more than just a boy scout motto. It may seem like I’m traveling with my own personal apothecary, but she has saved my life more times than I can count. To counteract the symptoms above, here’s what’s in our suitcases. For coughs, we bring cough drops. That’s obvious right? For runny noses, we bring DayQuil/NyQuil and Benadryl. Everything mentioned so far also covers an itchy throat. We use Dramamine for nausea. It works the best. And finally, we sleep more and take Vitamin C every day to battle fatigue. We start this on day one in the hopes of not needing other medications. A proactive approach is best!

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