Getting Sick on a Business Trip
Getting sick when you’re at home is bad enough. But to get sick while you’re on a business trip? That’s the worst! You don’t have access to your own bed or your favorite pillow, and you don’t have access to your doctor or favorite pharmacy.
So what should you do if you get sick while you’re on the road?
First, be attentive to your body and your symptoms. If your stomach is sensitive, don’t automatically assume it’s a stomach virus. However, be careful of what and where you eat. Test the severity of your situation by seeing if you can keep down some simple food like a banana, a piece of toast, or some tea without things getting worse. Get your favorite over-the-counter antidote for an upset stomach during the day so you have a potential remedy in case you need it in the middle of the night. Alert fellow travelers or your meeting partners so someone knows to check on you if you don’t show up for the scheduled event the next day.
Sometimes you may think you’re sick when you’re really just overtired. Try to get as much sleep as possible and reassess in the morning. If you haven’t been sleeping in the weeks leading up to your business trip, get as much as you can a couple days before you leave. If you’re too tired, you’re more susceptible to illness.
If the illness progresses and you need to see a doctor, know what your insurance will cover. Don’t leave home without your requisite cards, call your provider in advance to be sure the visit will be covered, and inquire at the front desk or with your in-town contacts to see where urgent care services are located.
If it’s especially bad, don’t power through it. It’s one thing if you have a minor head cold. As long as you avoid physical contact with people, and practice good hygiene, you could suffer through the day and be all right. But if you have something more serious such as the flu, take a day or two off and spend it in bed. You may be able to recover enough to save the at least part of the trip.
If you’ve picked up something while traveling abroad, be sure to follow up with your doctor when you get home. If it’s serious enough that the symptoms progress, persist, or reappear, your physician can help connect the dots and figure out what might be going on.
No one likes to get sick while away from home, but if you recognize the signs early, and can get your favorite medicines, you can salvage your trip and get back to health. Also, when you’re at the hotel, use a disinfectant wipe to wipe down the doorknobs, TV remote, telephone, and any other surfaces that might have germs. This will keep you from picking something up and bringing it home.
Have you ever gotten sick on a business trip? How did you manage it? Did it affect the whole trip, or did you recover in time? Share your stories with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.