Being Sick While Abroad

Ameer Dunston headshot
Ameer Dunston
February 10, 2019


Unfortunately, this past week I became ill with a stomach virus and food poisoning. This experience was painful for me. Interesting enough, I usually fall victim to becoming ill whenever traveling to a new place, but this was different. I was out of the country and many miles away from home where I would feel comfortable combating such a condition. I initially sensed I was sick when I encountered slight stomach pains and diarrhea. Eventually, the symptoms escalated, and I had nonstop diarrhea, extreme nausea, stomach aches, and feelings of absolute weakness. Other students had been sick before me with similar symptoms and provided me with a list of recommended medication. I went to the pharmacy to purchase medication for nausea and diarrhea. Afterwards, I continued drinking lots of fluids such as water and powerade. Unfortunately, while being sick my body refused to digest any food I had eaten. I tried eating a banana and instantly experienced stomach aches. My inability to consume food and nonstop diarrhea resulted in me not only being dehydrated and weak, but weight loss as well. On the third day, I had enough! I went to the hospital to receive extra care. As a result, I received pain medication, and dehydration fluids ultimately making me feel much better than I had previously. By the fourth day, my energy level had resumed to normal. While the diarrhea had ceased, I had very minor stomach pains. Being sick is one of my greatest pet peeves. I truly do not feel like Ameer when I am sick. While being sick, I became homesick and reflected a lot on the many conveniences I do not have while studying abroad. However, this is great because there is nothing greater than evolving as an individual which is one of the many reasons why I chose to study abroad.

While I laid in the hospital bed, I remember gaining back my energy after receiving the pain medication and dehydration fluids. Now, I was ready to consume food! I began to long for Franco’s Pizza which is the best pizza in the world. It is a famous pizza restaurant in Buffalo, my hometown. I can recall messaging my mom about how much I wanted their large special that I get every time I visit home! Also, I began to reflect on how certain foods I ate while at Howard, are not available at any of the grocery stores here in Cape Town. I must adjust to my new living environment, which is the beauty of studying abroad. Lastly, being sick made me miss the convenience of being home while being sick knowing I am aware of how to properly heal myself in addition to reflecting on my life’s journey thus far leading to this very moment. Even though being sick was terrible, it provided me with time to just think about the world around me because that is the only thing that kept me sane throughout the entire recovery period! So, the next time you feel down, use that time to reflect on your blessings, successes, milestones achieved, and most importantly your why!

Ameer Dunston headshot

Ameer Dunston

I am Ameer Dunston, a junior finance major & television & film minor from Buffalo, NY at Howard University. Additionally I am a 2016 Gates Millennium Scholar and I love to uplift others through any source possible.

2019 Spring
Home University:
Howard University
Buffalo, NY
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