Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Kingdom for a Walgreens

Getting sick is never fun, but it's even more challenging here in UAE where the meds you've come to know, love and trust just aren't available.

Brian can back from Vegas a little more than a week ago with a nasty, nasty cold that turned into an even nastier cough that's kept him from sleeping more than a couple hours at a time. He's moved temporarily to the couch 1) to keep from coughing quite as much, and 2) to keep from waking me up (yeah, he's a sweetheart, I know).

In an effort to help, I've been visiting the local pharmacies to try and get him something that will calm the cough and let him get some rest. There is no such thing as a Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid or even Target here and "over the counter" doesn't have the same meaning. Here, you visit a small pharmacy (there are loads of them everywhere) and explain to the pharmacist behind the counter what you're looking for. He or she then goes to the shelf and picks something out for you.

So that's what happened the first time I went in for some decongestant. I explained the nature of Brian's cold and he gave me a box of pills. And that worked great - 12 hour dosage and cleared up the sinuses quickly and completely. Sweet!

The second time I went in looking for cough medicine. This time (a different pharmacy) the woman handed me a bottle of Thyme leaves syrup. Now, no disrespect to those who sing the praises of herbal options, but I was looking for something a little more ... medicine-y? So, I asked if she had anything else. Sure, she said and brought me a bottle of honey syrup, which also contained Thyme leaves. I finally asked if she had any medicine for coughs and then got a bottle of Actifed something something that sounded latin and more like medicine. We decided to try that one and after paying about $5 for the bottle, I took it home.

And, as you might guess, it didn't work ... at all. I think Brian stopped coughing for about 5 minutes after each dose and he was only allowed 3 doses per day so that was $5 wasted.

So, I went back to the first pharmacy and tried again, this time getting something a bit different, but still with Thyme leaves (must be something about those thyme leaves!) Bought this one and it worked mildly better, but still didn't knock out the cough enough for Brian to get any sleep. Ahhh, what we wouldn't give for a Walgreens!

Good news is that the cough is slowly getting better and Brian finally got close to a full night's sleep last night.

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