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Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 136
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

September 05, 2011

jayge...

I'm glad you had already decided not to go to China before reading my post.  I wouldn't want anyone to base their decision on just my say so.  I'm just relaying part of our experiences there.  We truly do count the China/Yangtze River as a favorite trip, and we have traveled to many places.  In fact, we had wanted to do the China trip that included Tibet but my physician, eye/ear/nose/throat doctor & pulmonary specialist all advised me not to because of Tibet's high elevation.  They actually were not thrilled about the air pollution in China either.  We know how that turned out. 

During an Alaskan cruise & stay in 1993, I got very sick.  The ship's doctor (I've seen more than my share of these guys!) thought I might have pneumonia but didn't have an x-ray machine onboard so he put me on an anti-biotic.  I followed up with my physician at home & was put through a whole battery of tests, pills & different anti-biotics with little improvement.  After 3 months, an infectious disease specialist determined I had lost over 1/4 of my lung function due to different types of pneumonia...one which was caused by being exposed to BAT DROPPINGS IN AN ALASKAN RAINFOREST.  C'mon, what are the odds of this happening?  True story though.  I'm just wired weird I guess. 

I've developed ashma,  chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis and had 3 different sinus surgurys within 10 years and a host of other ailments.  None of them pleasant. 

And yet, I'm willing to go anywhere.    I would love to go back to China (... and include Tibet)  it was that fantastic of a trip.  I would love to go to Machu Picchu...even knowing I'd have trouble breathing there too.  I want to see the Galapagos (and I'm determined I will!) even tho I've heard the waters are very rough & the zodiacs really rock.  I've been on over 30 ocean cruises and have SUFFERED SEVERE SEA SICKNESS on at least 25 of them.

People often ask me why I still travel because I get hurt & get sick so much.  I tell them it's because there is so much to see, I love it and it's not ALL bad.  I've severed my ACL in Dunns River Falls in Jamaica & had to be carried up 800 feet to the bus.  (I have a reconstructed knee with titanium screws now.)  I've sent my physician a post card to tell him to study spider bites because guess who got bitten in an antique shop in Romania.  It's always something.

My husband says life is an adventure with me...my physician just shakes his head (and trembles!) when I tell him we're off again...and I just say, "I want to go.  I'll be fine.  And, there will be a new story to tell."

Author: uofmich77

Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 43
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2005

September 05, 2011

 rosewards- I'm so excited for you. We went to China in 2008 right before the olympics. I'm the one who mentioned always traveling with antibiotics partly because I'm prone to sinus infections. On that trip we also had Frank Gwo Wei as our Program Director and loved him. He's very sensitive to his charges and responsive as to ATM sites, etc. I knew the name was familiar and then when you mentioned that he said people usualy get sick from the long plane flight I knew it had to be the same Fran Gwo Wei. Almost everyone in our group got sick and he attributed it all to the long plane flight. Love him anyway. That said, I did not start my antibiotic but would have killed for Robitussin which of course I couldn't find. A Pharmacist in Hong Kong offered to dispense a purple liquid into a bottle for me and I refused. I now carry Mucinex plain and Mucinex D (with congestant). It comes in blister packs and has much more of the ingredient in Robitussin which is an expectorant. Works great and won't leak like a liquid. And- no more searches. You're going to love that trip pollution and all. It's one of our favorites. Tell Frank he has two fans in Virginia!

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 150
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

September 05, 2011

Thank you for your interesting travel post about things you have encountered because I, too, have some issues but with chemicals in new things.  I cannot enter a building unless it has aged 5 years.  When I travel I always try to find out if the ships and hotels have been renovated.  On this travel forum someone kindly let me know about the ship I was to be on this past summer and reassured me that nothing was done that would affect me.  It was extremely helpful.

It is a really worrisome problem but I have managed 7 rivertrips with only one hotel incident so I now try to find out in advance what has been renovated and so far it has worked out.

Anyway, you certainly have a wonderful outlook on traveling despite your trials and tribulations.

Jayge

 

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 80
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

Vietnam, Cambodia, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

September 06, 2011

If they still have the same doctor on the river ship as in 2009, he is great.  He speaks english and has degrees in both western and chinese medicine.   My wife had been having pain in her leg and was limping by the time we got the the ship, which about half way through the trip.  She got 2 chinese message and acupuncture treatments from the doctor while on the ship.  When we left the ship the pain was gone and she was not limping.  It cost about $120 for the treatment but it as worth it.   We could never have done all the walking around Hong Kong we did it she had still been in pain.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 06, 2011

I think we're all wonderful, traveling the world and enjoying ourselves in spite of all our ailments.

I went to China in 1998, with a different group, and enjoyed it very much.  The pollution was quite noticeable, although I hadn't come down with my pulmonary problems at that point.  It's partly due to all that soft coal they burn.  The cities, themselves, were probably cleaner than usual because the Clintons were coming, and they didn't know exactly what cities they'd be visiting, outside of Beijing and Shanghai.  So everything was being spiffed up.  The only medications we were advised about was hepatitis vaccines ahead of time.  Although we did take Immodium with us.  I always bring Sudafed, as well, since I once came down with a severe cold on a trip to Alaska.

My asthma was diagnosed in 2002, and it's considered borderline.  I've only had two attacks, the last in 2004, but I always carry Albuterol inhalant just in case.  The bronchiectasis was finally diagnosed in 2008 after many tests, and that's why I take Cipro.  It's chronic and incurable, but not contagious.  Although I carry letters from my doctors, so I don't get thrown off planes if I should start coughing, etc. 

I've decided to find out why I'm paying so much more for my Cipro than you all seem to be.  It may be the strength, which is 500 mg.  It may be the delivery, which is oral suspension.  But it seems to be a tremendous increase.

Hope you all have wonderful times on your upcoming trips.  I'm sure you will.  My next one isn't until June, which seems a long way off at this point.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 27, 2011

I just picked up my Cipro refill from CVS, and I asked why it's so expensive.  Explained about the online discussion.  Turns out that there is no generic for the oral suspension which I have to use because I can't swallow those large pills.  And they can't be split or crushed.

I'll be seeing my new pulmonary people next month, and they may prescribe a lower dosage which might come in a smaller pill form.  Or, possibly, a gel capsule.  Then I could travel with Cipro as well.

 

Author: murphcor

Joined: 1/29/2011
Posts: 9
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

September 28, 2011

I know I'm entering this conversation on the late side but my husband and I just returned from the China/Yangtze River Cruise.  We have travelled quite extensively, but I have to say, this three week trip was by far the most extensive and intensive tour that we have ever been on.  China is a phenomenal country and this tour is exceptional in that it mixes the historical with the contemporary.  Now, as far as the Cipro.  We belong to Kaiser which is an HMO in California.  Prior to leaving on our trip, we called the travel advisory that Kaiser has and we were asked several questions about our upcoming trip.  We then went in and were given a Tetanus and Hepatitus shot as well as a prescription for Cipro.  In addition to Immodium, the Kaiser medical staff recommended that Cipro be taken after you have followed the Immodium regimen if the problems persist.  We were only given three pills each.  We nicknamed the "issue" "Mao's Revenge".  I had a slight case and my husband had a little more serious case that did stop after taking the Immodium for a couple of days.  There was also a fellow traveller who took one Cipro a day as a prophilactic and had no problems at all throughout the trip.  Good luck with your trip and I just know you are going to LOVE it!  It was one AMAZING experience!!!

Author: nursely

Joined: 7/25/2012
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Throughout Europe-multiple visits and the former USSR x 2. I also taught English in Spain for about 6 weeks, in 2006. I've been to Scandinavia several times, including Finland. I've traveled to Alaska x 2, New Zealand and Hawaii x 2. This will be my first trip to the Far East, and I'm very excited about it!


August 18, 2012

Just saw these posts regarding antibiotics...and I am making the trip to China in October 2012!  My MD mentioned I should take Cipro and Z-Pak with me....just in case. Usually taken for Travelers Dysentery and the Z-Pak for any scrapes or cuts...as a precaution. I had problems getting what I needed when I traveled to Russia a few years back...so it's better for me to be safe than sorry.

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 242
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

August 19, 2012

I had never looked at this thread before but did so today, because of the recommendation of taking antibiotics on a trip to China.

Back in Sep 2011, Luisa said she ran out of Tylenol in France and couldn't buy it because they don't have it there.

Tylenol is a brand name for aceteminophen. Europe, Asia, Austrailia have the same product, but the generic name is Paracetamol. Works the same and is same as Tylenol

 I bought it in Canada, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Romania and Germany, at least.  Now I carry my own in sufficient quantities for the length of my stay, an unexpected illness, plus 10 extra days.  For Anti-diahrrea in German/Dutch pharmacies you get Kaopectate instead of immodium.  

The pharmacies are pretty good in any of the countries. Even paracetamol is not always or not usually available in supermarkets, sundry stores, and very few stores other than pharmacies carry aspirin or equiv, or cough medicine over the counter. 

I miscalculated the number of pills I needed for my hypertension, and ran out of pills at the end of our river cruise, and was on our way to a back to back tour for another 18 day. I had one pill left of my HTN medication. I walked into the pharmacy, gave her my prescription list which I had included the generic and brand names, and the pill itself,  and was able to get the exact pill I needed for the remainder of my trip plus a few extra in case....  Was a costly mistake, but better to have the medication  than not.

 

 

 

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 19, 2012

I had my first ever asthma attack in the Miami airport rushing to get to my flight to Guatemala City on the pre-trip extension for that Costa Rica tour.  I had no reason to carry any medication for it, since I had not been diagnosed with asthma and had no symptoms.  Some nice people found a wheelchair person for me, but by the time I got to the gate, the flight was gone.  When I finally got another flight and got to Guatemala and to my hotel, I discovered that the local guide was also asthmatic and he shared his Albuterol with me.  Until the next day when I went to a farmacia and found it was available over the counter, not by prescription as it is here.

Different countries have different requirements.  Somebody recently posted that Aleve is not available over the counter in some European countries.

I have made a little list of all my drugs, with any names they may be known by and my dosages, and I carry that along with my medical cards.  And I have my medical cards with me as long as I am in the US.  Once I'm on foreign soil, those cards get put away with the copies of credit cards, prescriptions, etc.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 177
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

August 20, 2012

Not just for China, but for every trip I take overseas:  Cipro, Z-pack and ProAir (albuteraol) immodium..  "Things" can happen anywhere. An antihistamine would be good too in case you get an allergic reaction to a bug bite, etc.  Keep these all together in a zip lock bag close at hand and you will probably never need them.  (My shaman told me) :D:D:D:D:D:D:D 

Also if the sand is blowing in from the Gobi, you might have use of a medical nose/mouth mask. The Chinese do!  The little blue ones worked for me along with my Flo-Vent and albuteraol. BTW, they are discontinuing albuteraol as such so I have ProAir which works just as well.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

August 20, 2012

And it's always best not to limit the number of doses you carry to just the days of the trip.  Look what happened after 9/11 when people were stuck in Europe.  Or while the Iceland volcanic eruptions were still going on.  I used to add another 10 days worth, but now I just carry the whole bottle from Medco that has all the information right on it.  Fortunately, they're still giving me the smaller three inch tall bottle.

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