Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sick in Berlin

I’ve been horribly sick for the last 3 days with what is most likely a cold turned sinus infection.  I will spare you the details of my sickness, but suffice it to say that I slept approximately 14 hours last night and still feel like crap.  If we were at home, I would have been home sick and in charge of taking care of 2 small children.  Luckily, we aren’t at home and I have the best husband in the whole wide world who has obligingly taken over all care duties for the past 3 days. 

There are 2 ironies in my life surrounding being sick in Germany:
1.  I studied German health care and understand it from a systemic level fairly well. 
2.  If my children were sick, I would know exactly who to call and what to do here.

Ironic because: I frankly have no idea who I should call when I have a ridiculous infection that is really just begging for a simple broad spectrum antibiotic. 

Instead of going to the doctor, I’ve stayed in bed and attempted to rest it out.  If only my body would cooperate by concocting a simple fever to fight off the infection.  Boo body boo—bad form!!

I did send Andy to the Apotheke here to pick me up some Nyquil-type-substance so that I can sleep.  I should have of course expected a teeny tiny European-sized adorable bottle of blue gold.  However, I did not expect the exorbitant price for the stuff.  The tiny bottle of 3 doses cost us €10!  That’s €3.33 per dose! I don't even want to think about the exchange rate on that one.  Below is a picture of the stuff that did indeed taste like Nyquil, but does not contain the same ingredients and was not quite so syrupy as I remember Nyquil to be.  
The Apotheke is a bit like a pharmacy at home, with some fun little differences of course.  When you walk in, 90% of all the medicines are behind the counter where at least one “Apotheker”  is standing.  You tell them what brings you there, and they give you the medicine(s) for whatever ails you.  This is how we have procured several bottles of kiddy ibuprofen, cough medicine, and other fine goodies.  If I could get my butt out of bed, please believe me that I would go there and ask them for an antibiotic.  As it is, my head starts pounding in my ears when I stand up and…again…details…sorry. 

Instead, I sent Andy to the Apotheke for Nyquil only, armed with a few choice phrases auf Deutsch.  Upon hearing his funny accent, the Apotheker did not even wince or attempt to switch to English.  Andy returned €10 lighter with the requested bottle. 

In other news: in the 3 days that I’ve been sick, I’ve also managed to schedule 4 interviews, 1 of which is on Friday.  Must. Get. Better!  


  1. I don't know if essential oils are popular in Germany like they are in some of the other European countries, but oil of oregano is a great natural medicine. We learned in my aromatherapy class that it has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. One of my friends took capsules full of it several times a day for a sinus infection and had great results, but she says you burp oregano frequently. Just a thought instead of traditional antibiotics.

  2. Oh no.... so sorry you are sick...are the symptoms the same as Annika's? We hope she is all better and whatever it is does not "make the rounds" in the Melchiors household!! Love and hugs and kisses to all....Dad & Val

  3. Thanks Marie! I'm also on the hunt for a neti-pot (spelling?) today. I do at least feel good enough to get out of bed.

  4. Neti-pots work as long as you can get water through your sinuses. I've been so congested that the water goes in and just stops :)



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