20 January 2015
yesterday- because, really, you can only hear your parents say YOU DON'T WANT TO WIND UP WITH PNEUMONIA so many times in a one month period before you roll your ass to the doctor- i rolled my ass back to the doctor.
true story: when i went to the doctor in the US, i was given a buffet of drugs. i mean, my parents and i had to fork over a whole load of money because i'm uninsured, so it was a freaking expensive buffet. but we went home with an actual kroger bag full of prescriptions for all of my ailments, accompanied by a print-out of dosages, and i got on a plane and got back to the UK. and then i was well for 12 hours and then i died for a week. then i was well for 72 hours before my cough turned tubercular and i rolled my ass back to the doctor.
i tell you all of that so you will understand that i am now coasting on an illness that has received medical treatment in two countries, a circumstance which casts in very stark relief how differently different countries treat illnesses.
i got a glimpse of this last spring when my ear infection was allowed to heal "naturally," without antibiotics. a bizarre route of care that may explain why it took a solid AGE to heal.
so i knew the UK docs weren't big on antibiotics. but that episode didn't prepare me for the face my GP made when i causally mentioned that, when i was home, i was given a prescription for steroids.
abruptly, she swiveled in her little swivelly chair, and said sternly, WHERE IS HOME?
where o where this place where they're doling out steroids like it was the track state championships at west beverly hills high? oh, america. land of the tiered steroid pack. where it seems totally normal to take six pills in the six hours remaining in the day in which you received them.
when i told her this was the US, she nodded, her smile tight, and said, oh we don't do that here.
apparently my ears are better. a little red but "nothing bulging" (a phrase i seriously hope never to hear again). and my bronchi too. and still i'm coughing, which has somehow led to the hypothesis that i have asthma. probably because my breathing is "severely staggered" and my showing on the weird lung force metometer thingy-ma-do was FEEBLE, for each of the three tries.
curious how this could be, how i could have suddenly developed asthma after no breathing problems ever, i asked if it might have to do with environmental factors, like the pollution or whatever. she said no, no, and then went on to detail a series of possible factors, all of them environmental, including THE AIR WE BREATHE.
i am grateful i do not have TB.
i feel like going to the doctor in the UK always feel a monty python sketch.
and i am reminded of this headline, which is not exactly something you want to hear your doctor say.
filed under: sick in the UK