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Be a prepared patient traveller

Have you ever been in another country when you’re not feeling well and are stuck for words to describe what’s wrong and what you need?

I have.

I was in Paris and in pain. There are some painkillers I shouldn’t take. Yet feeling miserable, I couldn’t remember the name of the organ that’s been removed and is thus the reason for this.

The pharmacy assistant was no help. She made no efforts to join in my guessing and pointing game. If she’d only rattled off (listed) some organ names and painkiller ingredients, I might have clicked.

But she didn’t.

As I was getting desperate, I bought something and went home feeling even more wretched. I checked and realised it was the wrong stuff.

So I looked up the dictionary, found my word and stumbled out again to another pharmacy to get the right stuff.

Luckily, the situation wasn’t more serious.

Later I told my friend what had happened and practised my new sentence for next time. She burst out laughing. What I’d said was that I’d never had this organ in the first place rather than I no longer had one.

Lesson learnt.

Get to grips with the grammar as well as the terms.

Of course my experience was back in pre-smart phone days, but I don’t recommend relying on technology to help you. We all know it likes to fail at the worst possible moments.

If you have any medical issues, prepare the phrases you might need. Such as:

I’m allergic to garlic.
I suffer from gallstones.
I always react like this to insect bites.

And to describe aches and pains, read this post.

Take time before your trip to save stress on your trip.

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© Christina Wielgolawski