Getting sick is never fun. But getting sick abroad has the added challenge of trying to track down your tried and true remedies in foreign terrain. Two weeks ago I had an allergic reaction to a bug bite. Benadryl? Nope, apparently you have to go to France, as the Swiss pharmacies stopped carrying that formulation. Looking for a refill for your bottle of Tums? Well, it seems the nearest country you might have luck is England. Somehow fall up the stone stairs in front of your university? (yes, I know, I’m special…) Neosporin is not a thing here. Fall prey to a weird summer flu that wreaks havoc on your stomach? Ginger ale and saltine crackers are a rare find in Genevois supermarkets (a big thank you, Gui, for your perseverance).
Of course, the Swiss have their own remedies for all of these maladies and friendly pharmacists are always willing to help you locate the best substitute. But given that we’re living in a western country with a private health care system, as was the case in the states, it’s been pretty interesting to see so many differences — and we’ve been lucky enough not to have any major health issues thus far.
What about you guys? Any thoughts or stories about getting sick abroad? Share them in the comments section or via plaidshirtdiaries[at]yahoo[dot]com.
Stay healthy, everyone!