Bronchitis in Budapest

Our greatest apologies to our loyal friends who are living vicariously through us, we know it has been a while since we posted. The last few weeks have been consumed with what we are now calling the “Hungarian Death Cold” and while Marc and Julia have had many fascinating conversations pertaining to the rainbow of mucus colors that have been produced, we were not sure that the thrill of it all would be appreciated by others. Julia has persevered with near Tolstoy-ian fortitude. Marc has displayed the grace of a two year old in the cereal aisle at the grocery store (hint…rhymes with shiny).

It all started a few weeks ago when we went out to dinner with our good friends Albert and Paul at Menza. Menza is great restaurant just off Andrassy Avenue. Yes, it is on all the tourist recommended lists, but in this instance there is a reason…the food is good and reasonably priced (try the Garlic Soup!).  By the end of the meal Julia was starting to feel the cold coming on, but little did we know what was still to come. 


It started with two days of runny nose and the basic stuffy head. Marc got to experience the adventures of the Hungarian pharmacy system in an attempt to find basic over the counter cold supplies which would be available at nearly every gas station and grocery store in America.


After a few days of mystery tablets and rest, Julia felt better and we were off to the Mangalica Festival (a Hungarian curly haired pig that almost went extinct but now has its own little cottage industry…and a festival). The festival was great and Forralt Bor (hot mulled wine) does wonders for a head cold.

That night, Julia started coughing, and coughing, and coughing some more, and then some more. After four days of listening to Julia cough, a very kind and understanding Marc convinced Julia to seek medical attention. A call to Tricare/International SOS and we were off to the English speaking doctors at First Med (First Med isn’t necessarily cheap, but they speak English). Julia was diagnosed with a mild bronchitis and we left the doctor’s office with a prescription for codeine, to knock back the cough, and a Ventolin inhaler. And since Julia was feeling better, we promptly headed to Albert’s Kitchen Warming Party (Albert has just finished remodeling the kitchen in his B&B), where Julia proceeded to be a social butterfly and mix wine with her new codeine prescription. Good times!

The next morning dawned about noon with Julia stricken with laryngitis and …still coughing. Three days in bed, codeine, rest, fluids and Julia finally starts to feel better again, so we went for a short walk (less than two miles) down the river front…and now Marc has a runny nose. Luckily, Julia managed to recover somewhat during the three days Marc was sick or we would have starved to death. After two weeks of crud we were finally both feeling well enough that the Garlic Soup at Menza sounded like a good meal, as well as an excellent excuse to get out the apartment. We utilized Budapest’s fabulous public transportation system to get to Menza, had a lovely light lunch and walked home. That night Julia took a severe turn for the worse, and by the next morning she was having trouble breathing… back to the doctor. Diagnosis: Acute Bronchitis. This time we left with antibiotics (and more codeine). The antibiotics were a miracle and the majority of the worst symptoms began to abate…but wait it isn’t over yet…Julia has now developed a severe allergy to the fabric softener we have been using. And since we have been drying the clothes on a rack in the bedroom (on the theory that it helps humidify the air) the bedroom is heavily contaminated. Julia has been unable to enter the bedroom for over a week and Marc has spent the last 2 days washing and cleaning everything.

Anyway, that is the adventure so far, aren’t you glad you are living it vicariously?

© Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS 2013