Under the Weather

Friday, 4 October 2013

Catnapping in Beyoglu, Istanbul
Sunday morning in Istanbul, I awoke with a sore throat.  I figured it had something to do with the copious amounts of secondhand cigarette smoke I'd inhaled that week until part way through our flight to Oslo.  My ears were popping with every swallow and when the sneezing commenced, I knew I was in for it.  Then, there was the descent.  We fly a lot, obviously (24 flight segments on Star Alliance alone so far this year,) and I've never had a problem with my ears until Sunday night's descent in to Oslo Gardermoen Airport.  My right ear wouldn't release and as the pressure mounted, I was near tears nudging Joe awake hoping he'd have some magical fix.  Despite numerous attempts to rectify the situation, we landed and my ear felt like it might explode.  By the time I crawled into bed after arriving in Stavanger, a fever had appeared with aches and pains to accompany the ear pain & sinus issues.

Getting sick is never enjoyable.  Getting sick overseas isn't any better.  In fact, it might be one of the few times I wish I was back in Canada where I could access a bevy of over the counter drugs easily and indulge in comfort foods and talk shows in English.

I normally keep a medicine cupboard full of familiar and imported remedies in case of emergencies.  Things like Advil, Pepto-Bismal & Reactine are stocked up on every trip home not because something similar can't be found here but because everything is labelled in another language, the branding is different and it requires a trip to the pharmacy.  Deciphering symptoms with a technician who may or may not understand what you're getting at is the last thing anyone wants to do when they're under the weather.

Monday, with my future looking bleak, I stammered into my homemade pharmacy only to discover that all of my cold and flu medications were expired.  Disgruntled, I settled on regular Advil to at least deal with my ear pain but by Monday evening with no ability to breath through my nose, I sucked it up and swallowed the expired medication telling myself that in the grand scheme of things, being expired by a year couldn't be that serious.  Obviously, I'm here to tell the tale so my suspicions were right.

Five days later, I continue to convalesce on the couch.  I have left my apartment exactly one time to walk to the recycle bin one night with Joe but have otherwise sat beside a heap of kleenex and a hard drive full of old movies.  I'm imagining the weekend to look similar.

While I hope you are feeling healthy & well, should you find yourself in a similar situation to mine, here are some links for your weekend...

+My friend JoAnna wrote a lovely piece about getting better with age.

+Even in the midst of my pity party, these Jimmy Fallon videos had me cracking up.

+This New Yorker satire also had me laughing.

+After waiting for this release for weeks, I was happy to finally purchase The Paper Kites new album.

+I'm also reading the novel about Zelda Fitzgerald which has been perfect for this week - light yet interesting and has me transporting back to the 20s.  I don't know how accurate it is but it's entertaining and it feels like how I picture Zelda.

+A later addition - The Pixel Painter. (Thanks Jess)

23 comments:

  1. Get well soon! Being sick abroad is the worst, but at least you came down with something post-Istanbul as opposed to during? I got a horrendous stomach bug while I was there so although I look back on the experience fondly, I wasn't able to appreciate it as much as I would've liked to. Hopefully a weekend of rest will have back up and at 'em in no time. Sending healthy thoughts your way!

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    1. So happy it didn't hit me in Istanbul!

      Thanks Danielle!

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  2. Oh Jay - being sick is the worst. And I also have stocked up on about three bottles of Advil, etc. It brings on the homesickness. So glad you found that book! I thought it was great and loved the narrator's voice. Wishing you a speedy recovery. If you can find it, try to watch the movie "Middleton" - it is absolutely adorable and should take your mind off the sniffles. xx J

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    1. Thank you Jess! I did a quick search for Middleton but haven't found it yet - it does look cute though!

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  3. Ahh :( Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. I'm definitely on the mend Casey. Thank you!

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  4. Awww - feel better soon!! Can't wait to hear all about Istanbul

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  5. Oh, get well soon! Being home ill is so DULL, I am glad you have some good links to keep you busy!

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    1. Thanks Rachel - I'm finally starting to feel like myself again!

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  6. I hope you feel better soon! I just finished Z and really enjoyed it- entertaining and a little bit heartbreaking.

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  7. I hope you start feeling better!!

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  8. Get well soon! There is nothing worse than trying to find a cold remedy when you're away from home. Although drugs are pretty universal, I've always found the aspect of having to talk to a technician and have them give you something that might be what you need (but could easily not be) very frustrating, so much easier just to get stuff over the counter in Canada! I'm thinking healthy thoughts for you :)
    xox,
    Cee

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  9. I hope you feel better soon! Istanbul is definitely on my Bucket List, so I can't wait to hear about it and see photos! Adorable picture of the cat napping :)

    Relatively Offbeat

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    1. That cat was so adorable - I think it belongs to the junk shop as we saw it inside later in the day although there are thousands of stray cats all over Istanbul so perhaps it was just visiting ;)

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  10. i'm so sorry you feel so crummy! i agree, feeling sick overseas is infinitely worse than back home! i too keep a lot of medicine from home on hand, even some prescription medicine for my horrible migraines that i get...only to find out that all of that is expired. i'm glad you didn't get sick off of it, because after i took the chance of taking one of my expired prescription medicines, i threw it all back up. i hope you can get refills so you don't have to deal with the pharmacy next time you're sick! feel better!!!

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  11. Jay, I'm so sorry to hear that you are still unwell and I hope that you will soon be able to enjoy the first days of autumn (which in Brussels gave us an enjoyable Indian summer!). I saw you picture of Istanbul, which has been on my travel wish list forever...I really hope that next year we will be able to go...Take care! Caterina

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  12. Being sick is no good but being sick abroad is a whole other bucket of suckiness altogether! I hope you're feeling better :)

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  13. Whenever I get sick I use something called "Solhatt" which you can buy at any pharmacy.

    It looks like this http://www.vitusapotek.no/Produktbilder/Large/310894_large.jpg and is drops from a flower I believe. It may not work on you, but it works on me every time. One small bottle last for years!

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  14. Oh Jay, you poor thing! I'm very sorry to hear that you've been under the weather, though I hope you've turned the corner and are feeling better now. I can commiserate about the misery of being sick abroad; when all you want are the comforts of home...including familiar people around you, comforting smells, recognizable signposts and all the crap television you can eyeball. Do you have some chicken soup and soda crackers at least?

    Many thanks for the very kind shout out and here's to a fantastic week ahead. Don't ask me how I know, but I have a feeling that many good things are headed your way. Our way. This fall is going to be spectacular...just kick that sickness to the curb! :-) Take care! x J

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  15. awww feel better!! getting sick abroad is the worst!

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  16. Poor thing! From someone who is constantly sick, I can commiserate. It really is the worst! Like you, I get extremely homesick when I am not well here, which usually invites comments about France's healthcare being so great, and how could I possibly miss home.

    I think we all grew up with our own sick day routines which include certain medicines, teas and foods, and want them even as adults!

    Feel better and enjoy your movie fest. : )

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  17. I wish I could drop by some soup, tea and of course some kind of treat to make you feel better!

    nouveau | a londoner's lifestyle blog

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    1. Thank you Amber! You are too sweet!

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