Take Two of These and We’ll Cut It Off in the Morning

My wife tends to develop minor illnesses on nearly every trip. No matter where we go, she comes down with a bug. Nothing too major, just enough to cause her to have to rest frequently – or maybe take an entire hotel day.

Me, I never come down with anything. Healthy as a traveling horse.

Which means, of course, that when I do eventually come down with something on the road it will be the nastiest something I have ever experienced and I will be completely unprepared to handle it – emotionally or practically.

Several posters in this thread about health scares on the road have dealt with just this sort of thing. And while all appear to have survived relatively unscathed, their stories might make you reconsider what you pack, and what you eat, on your future trips.

Needing health advice in countries where English is not spoken has been unsettling. In one instance, I had an upset stomach and was given a large bag of mysterious pills, which I decided not to take. In another instance, I was directed to a hospital that looked like an abandoned building — with a leaking roof, no sign of anybody upon entering ~auspicious

[In reply to another poster] Your experiences do highlight the differences from country to country in health care and as I was reading them I was thinking that at least I haven’t had to face anything like that….. then I remembered the Turkish hospital with Ian and them wanting to operate on his heart! and our adventures in Italy with daughter Zoe where they wanted to take out her perfectly good appendix! ~traveltalesofawoollymammoth

travel seems to make me miss that last staircase step, zag instead of zig on cobblestones, find the only sea urchin on the reef with my toes, go to 49% oxygen saturation (aka near death) at 5100m, and drink an offered fermented yak milk when I know I’m lactose intolerant. Hey! That’s what travel is all about! ~cabochick

Emergency surgery in a country where you don’t speak the language sounds about as bad as a trip can get to me. Based on the discussion in this thread, I for one will be much more attentive to packing medications, purchasing travel insurance, researching medical facilities (preferably where they speak English) and locating the nearest US embassy when planning for future trips.

What about you? Do you tend to develop illnesses when traveling? What was your worst experience? And how do you deal/prepare for possible health scares?

Read the thread in its entirety: Health on the Road

Image: “Green Cross – Pharmacy – Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence” by Elliott Brown. CC BY 2.0.


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