It was a normal day. I ate breakfast with my roommates, said goodbye to my Tico parents, and then walked to school. My class went by pretty quickly, but then I noticed that my throat felt dry. “Hmmm, I really hope this isn’t a sore throat” I thought to myself. Before I came to Costa Rica I had been fighting off a cold virus for about 4 weeks, and I didn’t want to be stranded someplace different without my own medication, bed, bubble bath…

After class I walked home and  made some lunch. “Man, I feel super tired… I’ll take a nap quick…”  I was starting to suspect something when I woke up from my nap with what felt like strep throat. It hurt to swallow, it hurt to breathe, my body ached, and I was cold. “Noooooo!” I emailed my parents. I thought about cancelling my weekend beach plans. I wished I had washed my hands after getting out of that one taxi…

I made myself some tea and told my Tico mom that I wasn’t feeling well. She asked me if I had a temperature (I didn’t) and said that when my Tico dad got home, he would take me to the pharmacy to get some Halls to soothe my throat. She said she would take me right then, but that she had to go to a meeting.

I waited. I tried to do my homework. Everything seemed slow and it was hard to focus. When my Tico dad got home, I told him that I wasn’t feeling very well and that my throat hurt pretty bad. His face looked concerned and he also asked if I had a fever, and then started to get ready to take me to the pharmacy without my even mentioning it. I just about cried. He was so kind and it felt amazing to not have to worry about being sick anymore; he and my Tico mom would help me.

I got some Halls and something equivalent to ibuprofin, and then came home to finish my homework. My Tico dad told me to wear my sweater so that I wouldn’t get cold and then told me to make sure I took my ibuprofen with dinner and then again in the morning. Once my Tico mom got home she rushed into my room to feel my face (still no temperature) and ask how I was feeling. I just about cried again.

If you happen to get sick abroad, please don’t worry. There are people who are here to take care of you and will help you get what you need to be healthy and safe (my roommate was also very helpful in sharing her honey to put in my tea). My cold was already getting better the next day, but my Tico family kept checking on me, just to make sure. Getting sick is never ideal, but knowing that you won’t have to navegate it alone makes feeling crappy a lot easier.

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