Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Germany 5: Very slight but critical underpacking

What I did not take that I usually take and that I needed:

1. Anti-itch cream, discarded at the last minute and boy did I regret that. I will not go into any more details on this one.

But let me talk a little more about German toilet paper. One commenter here, A Library Girl, noted that she carries her own toilet paper in Germany. I do that in third-world countries. I didn't think I had to do it in Germany. Perhaps next time I go, I will just buy some Charmin for our room. Dorrie said it is available.

We did have good toilet paper in the Marriott our last night (and good pillows - is that just an American thing - to have a pillow that actually keeps your head more than half an inch off the surface of the bed?*), so it for sure is available in Germany. (Although maybe Marriott flies theirs in. Which would be stupid and wasteful.)

2. Sudafed/antihistimines because you never know. SH got a cold and didn't realize until we went to bed and he put his head down on the awful pillow (Germans do many things right, but toilet paper and pillows in hotels are not among them) that once he was lying down, he could not breathe. It wasn't that he was full of mucus but that his tissues got all swollen with the pressure change.

That's scientific talk from someone who was pre-med for half a semester.

I was prepared to get dressed and find a pharmacy to get him an antihistamine (not for his sake but for mine), which he amazingly enough was willing to take**, but then I remembered that I had an Advil PM sample in my purse, which I always carry with me because sometimes when you are traveling, you have a hard time sleeping. Sometimes, it's because your husband is snoring really loudly because of a cold.

I thought, OTC sleep meds are just aspirin plus antihistamines, right?

I wasn't positive, but I was pretty sure, especially when I remembered that my friend the BRHP Ilene had noted that sometimes, a parent who might want her child to sleep on a long flight could give the kid some Benadryl, which is advice I wish more parents would take.

It won't hurt the kid and your fellow passengers on the ten-hour flight from Munich to Atlanta will surely thank you. Yes, we understand your child is only 20 months old and cannot be reasoned with and is cranky and tired and out of her usual element and schedule and we also understand that you are not happy with the situation either and are trying, but must we be the ones to suffer for it? Benadryl, honey. Benadryl. It will make your life easier.

SH took the Advil PM, which meant he was feeling really, really crummy and it actually worked. Perhaps I should not have stopped being pre-med my freshman year of college. So what that I got a D in calculus? Do doctors do integrals?

3. I guess nothing else. If you remember the previous post, you will know that I packed just about everything but the kitchen sink.

* The French and the Spanish go too far the other way. They have that silly bolster that runs the width of the bed and is as hard as a rock. Your head stays 9" higher than the mattress.

** This is SH's usual attitude about being sick:

Me: Maybe we should stop at Walgreen's and pick up some cold meds.

SH: No. I don't like taking that stuff.*** You're a hypochondriac.

Me: No I'm not. I just don't like to suffer.

SH: You're supposed to suffer when you're sick.

Me: YOU'RE supposed to suffer. I am not supposed to suffer with you. In our wedding vows, I promised "in sicker," but I did not promise to sleep in the same bed with you when you couldn't breathe and your snoring was keeping me up all night.

*** May I note for the record that although SH will rarely take that drug that would actually make him feel better - decongestants, antihistamines, aspirin, ibuprofen, he is in love with the charm and promise of various potions such as saw palmetto oil and distilled shark fin and boiled eye of newt. As my nurse practitioner sister says, he is doing nothing more than making expensive urine.


Rubi said...

When we were junior flyers, my sis and I were often dosed with just the teeniest bit of phenobarbitol, per our pediatrician. We were gooooooood on the plane, and I still have the junior stewardess wings to prove it.

Dorrie said...

most chain hotels, which Marriot is, are usually furnished the same all over the world and since they buy in bulk, the buy shallow pillows because they are cheaper (I usually need two myself). REAL German pillows are 80 cm x 80 cm. I can usually fold them in half and have a nice thick pillow!

Hardly any German's privately buy the scratchy toilet paper anymore, most brands are now nice and soft (again, hotel chains and public toilets use the recycled stuff...yucky). You can get soft paper (like Charmin, as mentioned) at any German super market.

Ah, all these "insider tips" much too late! lol sorry ;-)

John0 Juanderlust said...

Saw palmetto is not a waste. Not sure about the rest. Of course those employed by the "let us fix you" medical community are opposed to anything which may keep you out of their hands, and their hands out of your pockets. The more expensive my urine, the better I feel.