Monday, October 24, 2011

Departure Countdown: Ka-choo, sniff, cough

londonparisiceland2011 023“Well, better here than on the road,” we keep saying.

Sniff. . .
ka-choo. . .
cough. . .
silence.

Those are the background sounds to our departure preparation activities of late:  gathering clothes, making yard care arrangements, securing the house sitters, and all those pesky other routine pre-travel tasks.

“The Bug” as we call colds and flu in this part of the world, nailed us a few days ago. In my case, the little pest snatched my voice – it’s been gone for three days. (I think even Joel is beginning to miss it – I certainly do.)

Being sick while preparing to travel does dampen the enthusiasm a bit, but there’s also the bright side that it happened here and health may return before we board the plane. 

At least here we know how to find the doctor and the pharmacist and it is comforting to know that both speak English.We’ve each experienced travel maladies and agree such things are much easier on familiar territory. Once in Thailand Joel was stricken with ‘traveler’s tummy’ (to put it nicely).  I remember our frustration when we resorted  to rolling our hands in front of his stomach when trying to buy medicine; then not being sure of what we’d purchased or how to use it. 

A few years ago I had an allergic reaction to mosquito bites while in Mexico resulting in dozens of huge welts (not pretty).  I finally had to show those welts and then demonstrate the flight and bite of the pesky creatures to the amusement of those en la farmacia as I tried to buy relief.

washington wednesdays 005Pack the Drugs

Our illnesses and maladies provide both amusing memories and valuable lessons.  These days our travel gear always includes:

1. Cold medicine with Antihistamines (the antihistamine also can be used to counter allergic reactions to bug bites.)

2. Throat lozenges/cough drops (these can usually be found at magazine kiosks and in tobacco shops throughout Europe, but it is still good to have some on the plane.)

3. Imodium or other anti-diarrheal medication for those ‘travelers’ tummy’ moments.

4. Stool softener – for the opposite of #3.

5.  Band-aids (Peter’s [Travel] Principle: shoes that are fine at home will give you  blisters when you set out sightseeing).

6. Antiseptic cream – for those cuts and scratches that happen when you least expect them.

7. Aspirin or other pain killer (travel can cause headaches).

8.  Prescription medications – We make sure our supply is enough to last until we get home and always packed in a carry-on.

9.  Eyeglass/contact lens prescriptions: We always carry current ones.  (Some take an extra pair of glasses.)

10.  Doctor and optometrist phone numbers:  With cell phones, smart phones and iPhones these days, the doctor really is a phone call away (keep the time zone changes in mind) if something serious develops. 

What about you?  Any suggestions for fellow readers?

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