Homesick [The Cure]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today I’m getting my first taste of the Hungarian medical system, and I’m going to have to say it’s about as frightening as it sounds. Not that their medical system is bad by any means, but feeling as crappy as I do and not understanding anything that is going on around you is pretty scary. I’ve been close to tears a few times today already, and I’ve only been to the first doctor.

I started feeling sick on Sunday night after I got back from Germany (I promise to write about that later, I was going to Sunday but this blasted illness got in the way). It hit me like a bus, as they say. I was feeling fine, had dinner, chatted with some friends, and had even started on my Latin homework. At about the ninth translation I literally felt as though I had run head first into a brick wall. Forsaking translations for sleep, I tucked myself into bed and hoped it would pass by morning.

I wasn’t so lucky. I didn’t feel better in the morning, but felt like I could make it to school. Bad decision. The bus made me feel woozy, which should have been my first clue to turn myself around and go home. Did I listen to me? No, why on earth would I do something like that? So, I climbed onto the metro and got progressively dizzier and dizzier until we got to our stop. This is when I realized I wasn’t going to be making it to school. I handed my meager attempt at Latin to James with a mumbled apology and statement of illness and turned right on my heal and headed home.

I must have looked really pathetic. I laid down on the bench waiting for the train to come, feet tucked up, trying to fend off the spirals of dizziness that were playing before my eyeballs. The train came, I shuffled my way onto it and took a seat (thank God there was a seat there, I don’t know if I could have made it home if I had had to stand the whole way back). It’s funny, the days you really need to get home it feels as though the train moves at a snail’s pace. Every time I looked up we hadn’t even made it to the next stop. All I wanted was to be laying down in my bed again.

When we finally arrived back at the metro stop and again shuffled my way to the bus stop. There the sign greeted me with the fact that it would be 14 minutes until the next train that I could take home would be there. Thankfully, again, there were seats at the stop available and I plopped down on one and wrapped my scarf over my shoulders. I wasn’t cold by any means, in fact I was sweating a little, but I figured it was probably for the best I stay wrapped up.

When I got on the bus I nabbed a seat and then stopped paying attention. Poor idea. This meant that when I realized I had stopped paying attention I had missed my stop and had to walk back one stop to the dorm. The only good thing to come out of this was that I discovered a nice little fruit stand a little ways from the dorm. I will have to go back there when I feel better and can pick through the fruit a little longer.

When I finally hobbled my way up to my room I emailed the professors of the classes I would be missing and then collapsed into my bed. I literally slept for the next 24 hours. I woke up once to go to the grocery store (bad idea, but I had no food), dinner, and periodically to force myself to drink some juice and eat some bread.

Tuesday I decided I felt good enough to go to school. So I went, and it took all of my energy to make it through one class and a short meeting. Today I thought again I could make it, but halfway through my class I decided it was in my best interest to see the school doctor. Good idea.

But, good idea or not, walking into her office is the first of many times I almost started crying. I know I’m biased towards medicine in America, but her office would not have passed there. It looks like a makeshift medical center in a wartime tent. She looked in my throat, told me basically that it looked horrible, and then told me she was recommending I go to a throat specialist. Cue potential tears number two. Why can’t she just say strep throat and write me a prescription? Why was it necessary to say she was sending me there to make sure I don’t “have an abysses or anything worse?”

So first I needed to wander to the ATM (which is a good 10 minute walk in the opposite direction from the clinic I needed to go to) because the one in the school was broken - yet again. On my walk over I called my mom from my cell (expensive call that was, but sometimes nothing is nicer to hear than your parent’s voice on the other end when you’re having a sick day) and teared up a few times. I get ridiculously homesick whenever I am sick. I just kept telling her I wished I was home and that I didn’t trust the medicine here because I don’t understand any of it. It’s frustrating, because you don’t know if what you say gets heard or not. Oh well, she told me all would be fine and to just get to the clinic and figure it all out.

Please note here that on my walk to the clinic after the ATM there’s an ATM right next to the door to the office. Sigh. You know what, if I hadn’t gone to the far away one, that one would have been broken or something. So anyways, I went in, checked myself in and headed upstairs to wait. I only had to wait maybe fifteen minutes, which was nice.

The Doc was an old grandpa in white scrubs and a doctor’s coat, which would have been quite welcoming back in the states, but I was still quite frazzled. After a quick look at my throat he declared, in his best English, that I have an “acute infection of the throat.” So, yes, I have strep. Please note they never took my temperature, my blood pressure, or a swab of my throat to culture. Let’s just hope he’s right and the antibiotics he prescribed are what I need.

So after paying I left. I stopped back at the school to check in with the doctor there, like she asked me to. She gave me a prescription for a few more things (super high concentrated Vitamin-C tablets and a thermometer) and told me (which the doctor at the Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic told me also) that I am not to come back to school this week. So I went to the pharmacy and then headed home. I stopped at BK to get a burger (as I haven’t really eaten since Sunday), which is proving to be a bad idea as it hurts to even swallow water, but it sounded so tasty.

Sigh, so I’m under house arrest for the rest of the week. Let’s hope I get better and don’t go stir crazy. Miss & love you all.


  1. Ohhhh! That sucks! I hope the meds work and you feel much better after 24 hours! When you feel up to it you should go get some yummy fruit! Good luck!

  2. Oh sweetie, it is MISERABLE to be sick in a foreign language away from family. I've done it in so many different countries in so many different languages I couldn't understand. Stay in bed, drink lots of water and get well. I'm thinking healing thoughts about you.


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