When Illness Strikes While Away

Being Sick While Away

Being sick or injured whilst traveling is horrible for two reasons. Firstly, it ruins your plans, whether you were going to be lazing by the pool or rock climbing being sick takes the fun out of both those options. Secondly, you don’t have your usual support network that you do at home, your local doctor, your own bed, your mum are all far away.

One morning I woke up in my hotel in Madrid to look in the mirror and notice half my face had puffed up overnight and my gum was a little sore. As the morning wore on the dull ache in my mouth had become so painful that I couldn’t fully open my mouth and I realized that one of my gums, which had been recovering quite nicely from getting my wisdom
teeth out 6 weeks earlier, was now totally infected.

I went to a local chemist and soon realized that they didn’t speak English, which I guess is fair being in Spain. So I mimed and gestured to my swollen face and enflamed gums which fortunately must have been clear enough as she gave me dissolvable antibiotic tablets. I don’t know what it’s like in other countries but in Australia you can’t get antibiotics over the counter so this seemed a bit too easy but I wasn’t complaining. By the time I left it was about 80% sure I needed to take 1 tablet twice a day with food, here’s hoping anyway.

Fortunately the antibiotics did the trick and after a few days I was feeling almost back to normal. The only real casualty is that in my insistence the no one take any photos of me with my swollen face I now have little photographic evidence of me ever being in Madrid. I did however managed to eat quite well as paella was a nice soft consistency for my sore mouth.

I definitely survived the ordeal pretty well all things considered and know that getting sick or injured overseas can often be a lot worse then that. But it reminded me why I always get travel insurance which covers doctors and hospitals just in case!


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