Estar de limbo: Getting Sick in Spain

No, I’m not bending over backwards, but I’m pretty sure that would be more pleasant than the tos seco, dry cough, I’ve caught. Just like my computer crashing before finals week, my health is deteriorating just before my parents come and the marathon that will be the next month begins. I’ve got lots of things to blame – my hectic schedule, my lack of exercise, my poor health habits, all the germy kids I teach, a house with no insulation and no central heating. But the fact of the matter is, I’m sick as a dog, up all night coughing and miserable, with no end in sight. I’ve had a cold for about two weeks now, and the horrible coughing started last Thursday. My body tricked me into thinking I was all better, but I realized I was mistaken on Monday morning when I could barely speak.

My Tuesday lessons were a little shaky since I was feeling dizzy and hacking up a lung, but I struggled through work at school, then work at We Love Spain. I arrived home and said goodbye to Eva. Senna, the adorable British girl who now lives with us, installed herself (damn you, Spanish!) just an hour later, not giving me much time to think about Eva leaving. I waited and waited for Franco, my intercambio, to call so we could meet up, but he instead went to the gym. Kike came over to plan our trip, but we opted for pizza and Shrek 2. I then realized just how shitty I felt. I spent the whole night keeping my roommates up with my cough, which I’d assume is like smoker’s cough, and the next day looked absolutely dead at my lessons. My poor 3esoG…Anytime I opened my mouth, it was to cough. My wonderful director, Nieves, insisted I went to the health clinic, and she drove me there during my last class period. As it turns out, I have an inflamed throat and a bad cold, so she prescribed me some drugs. I have this weird liquid stuff that smells better than it tastes called jarabe. I have a little shot glass, and I need to put back 10mL every six hours. I also have this soluble powder stuff that tastes AWFUL, too. I can only take this when I eat. I haven’t got much of an appetite, though. I usually line up the shot glass, the soluble stuff in a little glass with as little water as possible and a bottle of water. I shoot the jarabe, gulp down the Algidol and chug my water. Then, I generally take an excedrin to help with the body ache. It’s awful.

I hardly ever get sick in the US, and when I do, I’m not going at 100 miles a minute, so I can recover. I’m not at school right now so I can get better before my parents come this weekend. On Sunday, they’ll arrive about 21:30 into Granada, then we’re traveling around Andalusia and Morocco. They day they leave, Kike and I are flying to Scotland (pretty awesome Christmas present, I’d say). We get back the 8th, then Nance comes on the 10th and Brian and Matt will be here sometime then, too. I’ve got to gather up all the strength I’ve got to make it through the next four weeks and be a good host and traveling companion. Now back to bed all bundled up!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

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