Archive | 9:10 am

Sneezing in Shanghai

31 Mar
Yes - Kleenex has crossed the pond

Yes – Kleenex has crossed the pond

I have had a killer cold lately.  The kind that makes me sleep 12 hours a day and go through two boxes of Kleenex in less than a week.  Even after more than five years in Shanghai, there are still some cold remedies that I miss from the States, like NyQuil.

Being sick is one of the toughest things in a foreign country.  As an exchange student in Spain I fainted during a school excursion and had to describe my symptoms to the doctor, which was my first big issue in a foreign place.  I also remember being ill on a trip to Austria over 10 years ago and my friend trying to find a pharmacy to buy me cold medicine.  My first roommate in China had some serious intestinal problems and trying to explain anything to the doctor in another language is tough.

China is especially interesting though because there is both Chinese style TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and western style.  I still am never quite sure how or if the two methods will conflict.  This cold for example I have taken the Chinese equivalent of Tylenol Cold but also am taking a traditional cough syrup twice a day that a colleague recommended.  It’s all mixed up!

The Chinese medicine recommended by my colleagues to supposedly help cough.  One spoonful twice a day...

The Chinese medicine recommended by my colleagues to supposedly help cough. One spoonful twice a day…

I do think that my treatment (and lots of sleep) is working, but it has been a slow process for sure.  Hopefully I can stop sneezing soon and starting to enjoy spring.

Have you been sick in another country, especially one where you don’t speak the language fluently?  I think surviving a doctor’s office or hospital in those circumstances is a true test of language ability, not fun, but rewarding all the same.

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