Getting Sick and Getting Better

Getting sick is never fun – even when at home, surrounded by a familiar and comfortable environment. Getting sick while in a foreign country – let me tell you, it’s even less fun. I don’t recommend it. But at least you get to try a bunch of different medicines!


No prescriptions needed in China.

When I first started feeling ill, I didn’t know what I had. I did know, though, that I could whip whatever little bug had me down. Well, I was wrong. It was the flu, and it whipped me for about 5 days straight.

Our client contact was amazing. He checked in on me as often as he could and every time he’d bring me more medicine, to add to the collection of pills I’d brought from the US. Since I had a pretty good fever (101+), we were concentrating our efforts on breaking that. The goal was to sweat it out, but for some reason I wasn’t sweating enough. I tried it all – including boiling coke with ginger and drinking it hot (quite delicious I must say, and classy when sipped from a wine glass).

Coke in a wine glass

Just because you feel ill doesn’t mean you have to lack style.

Once we figured out that I wasn’t going to whip whatever I had, I went to the doctor and got more drugs, including Tamiflu. Within a day I was right as rain again.

A word about the doctor visit: we went to the clinic recommended by our student health insurance. It was ridiculously easy and fast. Tell me about that operational efficiency. The most difficult part, apparently, was the office lady figuring out how to dial internationally to reach the insurance company.

Highlights of the experience: vomiting so hard it burst a blood vessel in my throat.

Key takeaways: GET A FLU SHOT.