First of all, being sick in itself sucks. Especially when you have a fever/common cold combination. But being sick abroad might be slightly worse. You don’t have your normal medicine, a ready doctor or even your mom (or maybe you do; I just didn’t).
A couple weeks ago, I developed a fever as I ate dinner and woke up feeling worse. So much worse, my roommate had to go to the pharmacy for me to get my other roommate (who also felt the same) and me medicine and other essentials to get us feeling better. Considering Ireland doesn’t have the same medications America does, she had to show the pharmacist pictures and hope for the best, and thankfully, they worked. However, it was a pain to be sick in Ireland without the normal things I have to make myself better. If you happen to get sick abroad, here are some tips I found helpful.
- Ibuprofen really does work. If you feel a fever coming on, take three to four Ibuprofen right away. Not only do the pills help headaches, but they act as a fever remedy as well. If you don’t have Ibuprofen, Advil works just as well.
- Find a pharmacy or, depending on the severity, a GP or Red Cross. Americans abroad have it easier than they think when they fall sick. Find any Red Cross and they will help you when you’re sick, or if you have international insurance, find a GP (General Practitioner) in Ireland. However, you can always find a pharmacy within close proximity. Just Google one near you and show up, and like my roommate did, it’s helpful to show the pharmacists pictures of what you need so they can find you the equivalent.
- Forget about FOMO. While studying abroad, FOMO is real. Even when I’m exhausted, I talk myself into doing things for fear of missing out. When you’re sick, though, you have to rest or else you won’t get better and only miss out on so much more. Do what’s necessary to take care of your health and rest as much as possible. This will ensure that you have a speedy recovery and are good to go in no time. It only took me three days to recover because of how much I rested.
- Call your mom. Even if she can’t be there physically, she can comfort you over the phone or Facetime. Trust me, this is worth it.
These are just a few tips to help you when you aren’t feeling your best while abroad. Of course, depending on the illness, follow the necessary steps to ensure you are getting healthier. If that means checking into a hospital, so be it. It’s better to be sick for a week rather than miserable the entire time you’re abroad. Remember to always get enough rest, eat healthy and drink enough water – even when you’re not sick. This will prevent future illnesses, like common colds or fevers, from infiltrating on your wonderful experience abroad. Do what’s best for you and always look out for yourself.