Bring me a bucket, or Getting sick on a trip

Ok, grab that glass of wine or whatever and let’s go on a trip.

My brother was in the coast guard many years ago and he worked in the medical side of things. I went to go see a demonstration of him simulating a rescue from the water using a helicopter. It was thrilling to watch my brother hang from a cord attached to the helicopter as he and a basket were lowered to a boat in the water and a passenger was then put in the basket and then lifted up to the helicopter. I was in high school at the time and it was the first time I had seen by brother in a real role as an adult. It was cool knowing he had the skills to actually save a person’s life.

This week there was a video released of a rescue just like the one I saw with my brother, only this one was real. An elderly woman was ill and needed immediate attention and the coast guard came to her rescue.

Bring me a bucket— a famous line from “The meaning of Life”. The actor eats so much that he just can’t even eat a thin wafer without getting sick. I’m sorry, but that was funny.

Let’s face it, no one wants to get sick and especially not while on a cruise or trip, but what happens if you do? Every cruise ship has some kind of medical facility on board, but don’t get all excited. The doctors and nurses are qualified and have equipment to handle a range of treatments and diagnostics, but they aren’t a hospital. This means they can treat you like your regular doctor at home would treat you.

Remember that these doctors don’t have your medical history, so on your tablet or smart phone have a list of all your medications, allergies, surgeries, anything that you would be giving a new doctor. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure and you have a log of these, by all means, take them with you. These are simple apps you can put on your phone or tablet to keep a record of and could help doctors with a treatment.

The ship has an onboard pharmacy, but again it is limited. This isn’t Walgreens, or CVS where we can just pop over and they can get our meds out to us right away. They have simple medications like antibiotics, seas sick medication, and aspirin. They can get you back on your feet for the most part for most minor illnesses.

If you have an ailment that could spread to other passengers then you could be quarantined to your stateroom. After all we don’t want an entire ship getting sick because someone sneezed wrong, or didn’t use proper hand washing methods.

What will all this wonderful treatment cost you? A pretty penny so make sure you have that trip insurance. Just to walk into the clinics could cost you as much as $90.00 and that is billed right to your room. OUCH !! Yeah take another drink of that wine right about now. You pay for the service then you file a claim with your personal insurance carrier and then travel insurance normally covers the rest, but yep, you read that right, you cover it out of pocket first.

So what about if you are so sick you need to visit a hospital? Oh boy, let me take another drink of my wine before I continue.

Some hospitals depending on where you are will make you pay before they will even treat you. We aren’t in Kansas anymore Dorothy. You must file with your insurance after you get home.

Ok enough of the horrible side of things, the good news is that the ship can treat you and get you off at the next port or if an emergency comes up they will call in the coast guard or air vice to get you to a hospital.

If someone dies on board, which sometimes happens, well then we either have a mystery or murder at sea on our hands; or we have someone that was just at the end of their time and they are kept in the morgue until the ship gets to the last port. This very rarely happens so don’t freak out and dwell on this.

Some tips on how to not get sick on a trip would be:

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands – sing the song as you wash them. Oh come on, you know you want to sing the song now. And if you don’t then have another glass of wine or whatever with me.
  • Use hand sanitizer —gern ex wipes these are great because they are small and can fit into any purse or backpack. They also are large enough that when you sit down to eat you can clean off the table and chairs if needed. I’m a little bit of a germophobe and love these wipes.
  • Drink water! stay hydrated
  • Don’t drink water! Unless it is bottled. Don’t drink local water, trust me on this one, your body isn’t use to it. One of the worst times I was sick on a trip was when I went to London and to save money was drinking water, I was sick on the flight home.
  • Use sunscreen, getting a sun burn is never a good idea so just lather up.
  • Take your medication. Be smart and don’t forget to take your medication. Put an alarm on your phone or tablet to remind you.
  • Don’t over eat. They have buckets on board, but just don’t ask for one.


So, for now, have another glass or wine or whatever, and stay healthy so we can see you on that next trip!

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