06 December 2011

Being sick in Italy

In Italy, everything makes you sick.
Just so you know, I have a cold. Or perhaps it's not a cold - perhaps its one of a myriad of maladies that affect Italians.

Italy has not been good for my hypochondria.

Since the above link established that there are a number of things that can be wrong with you, let's go ahead and enumerate what can make you sick (well, legitimate things):

  1. The pollution level of Roma: It's really polluted here. Which cannot be good for your immune system. I have personal testimonies from people who have lived here for awhile. Well, one testimony. That of my Writing Professoressa. She's been here twelve years and recently told me that my current ear problems could have something to do with Rome's pollution. Which, by the way, has been super high recently prompting driving bans and what not. 
  2. The allergy level of Roma (and Italy for that matter): It doesn't get really cold here, and it stays warmer longer (I'm trying to get a weather widget on here but as yet the how-to escapes me...and yes, part of it is just to make you readers in colder climates jealous). Thus, pollen level and general allergens last longer, i.e. allergy season lasts longer. Which, as one might imagine, isn't good for people with or sensitivities to allergens. 
  3. Stress induced by #studyabroadproblems: You know, no three day weekends left for travel, didn't make it to all the countries you wanted to, four month "study" trip abroad coming to an end, running out of money for gelato (resulting in refusal to use dryers)...really stressful stuff.
    • Or actually stressful stuff like exams, papers, projects, the travel home (or in my case to Barcelona - where I'll be spending seven days - and Mas de Madelena farm - where I'll be wwoofing for 20 days), having no place to live in Ireland....
All this results, for me at least, in snoring, coughing, sinus nastiness, swollen lymphnodes, un mal di testa (head ache), and un mal di gola (which includes, but is not limited to, a sore throat), and ear problems (aka not quite an ear ache but rather an over awareness of my ears. Or that's what I'm referring to it as).

So now I have all natural nasal drops and an antibiotic. I wonder how the Italians feel about over-perscribing antibiotics...(though I think my need is legit). I'm also eating soup from mensa (the cafeteria on campus), drinking tea, and avoiding dairy (consumption of which prompts your body to produce more mucus).

All in all, being sick is making me miss chicken noodle soup and Bob Ross (my personal remedy for illness is laying on the couch eating soup and watching Bob Ross paint). However, I'd much rather be sick here, than back home. 


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