Being Sick in a Foreign Country

The concept of being sick abroad can sometimes be very scary to a foreigner. Several questions pop into one’s head such as, “How do I get medication? Are the drugs they have available safe? Who can help me?”


Unfortunately, the last two days I have been forced to answer these questions. I caught a typical cold, consisting of coughing, sneezing and a lot of blowing of the nose. Typically I don’t like going to the doctors unless it is a really mandatory situation and this felt just like another annoying cold. Immediately I thought, “Why not just go to the pharmacy?” This time Quinn and I went to a much larger pharmacy in hopes to find the proper medication that would help me get through it as soon as possible.

The pharmacist gave me two types of medication: one was for my sore throat and the other was for my cough. In Nicaragua you can purchase the tablets individually, which is very beneficial as its not only cost efficient but you also are able to only buy exactly what you need. The cost per tablet was 11 and 14 córdobas ($0.47 and $0.61). I honestly had no idea what I was taking, but the pharmacist quickly knew what to give me so I figured it was worth the risk. The pharmacist informed me that the pills lasted 8 hours and to only take one in that time period. I took the pills and I am happy to tell you that after only a couple of days, I feel much better.

The reason I wrote this article is just to simply tell readers that it’s ok to take the risk in a foreign country, even when you are in a vulnerable state of being sick. Of course its important to also trust your gut in a situation like this, I definitely could have had a horrible experience from a irritable reaction from the medication. However, through my experience here with the pharmacies and by also stepping out of my comfort zone (my box), I have been able to quickly overcome a cold. Just another small example of how taking the risk can create the opportunity for a better life. 

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