There has been a hiatus in the blog due to the development of conjunctivitis and feeling pretty sick. I amt on the road to recovery, although eyes still irritated and having to take eye drops regularly to stop the irritation. When the infection was first present it felt like sandpaper scraping over the cornea with every blink of the eyelid. At present it feels like I have been swimming in a pool with too much chlorine, a constant burning sensation, not as painful as before but still annoying.
By far the worst thing about living abroad is the confusion that results from trying to work out the best course of action during a medical necessity. In the first case, as it was on Friday, I was feeling panicky not really knowing (but strongly suspecting) what the issue with my eyes was, added to the concern that i may not be able to drive very far (I have no alternatives from living alone, although a good friend did offer to take me, as I was on my way I didn't take him up on it). I then had to work out how to get treatment, which was not an easy task in itself.
My PCP (primary care physician) was closed for lunch (really? everyone has to take lunch at the same time?) so I resorted to calling my insurance to find out how I could get to see someone that day. Urgent care, but only following referral from my PCP. Right. So bearing in mind my eyes were agonising and I had mucus pouring our of my eyes so much that I had to wash them every 10 minutes or so, I waited about the hour it took until the PCP office was open. Only to be informed that I didn't need to phone them to get a referral. hmm. Then I was told the urgent care was somewhere completely different to the location my insurance told me. Apparently they moved some time ago and the insurance had given my the wrong number and location etc. It was now 2pm. I had to wait until 6pm before I could go to urgent care as a walk-in (no appointments).
Have I mentioned how disgusting conjunctivitis is? those hours were not pleasant, neither was waiting in the urgent care waiting room trying to mop up my eyes every few seconds without a mirror. Awful. I eventually got shown into the examination room.
Now, i don't see the point in weighing everyone every single time they visit the doctors, especially when the condition obviously has nothing what so ever to do with your weight. It really annoys me and I said so to the nurse. Then a blood pressure check. Now, I think how ever designed the cuffs used in the US is a sadist. They don't have to hurt. Uncomfortable, that is a given, bt hurt, no. the nurse put it on and it tightened and took a long time before deflating. My nerves were pinched and so my fingers spasmed. This caused the fucking thing to fail, apparently, so it was tightened even further and was warned not to move. I told the woman that it was very painful and pinching my nerves, she ignored me. At least i stopped thinking about my eyes for a minute.
Another long wait. not a lot to do in those rooms and especially annoying was I had nothing to distract me from my eyes.
Then the doctor comes in with I think is the most inane question in the world "How are you today?" in a really cheery voice and in a tone that is expecting an "i am fine" comment in return. I didn't say what was going through my mind at the time. "Oh, I am fine, I just thought that i would spend a valuable two and a half hours of my life sitting around in one of the most bland buildings I have ever encountered, paying $10 for that privilege, all because i am feeling absolutely normal." Instead I did point out that this was urgent care and i was not actually feeling very good.
There are times in my life i like having a nice accent. This was not one of them. The doctor started off by telling me what a lovely accent I had and how he enjoyed listening to nice accents, asking where i was from etc. My eyes were rubbed raw, bright red and weeping, discussing my accent, lovely or not, is not why I had been waiting for so long. Unfortunately i suspect that the doctor focused on the sound of my voice and not actually what i was saying for the next 10 minutes. I explained how i had a history of developing step throat, that I had identical symptoms and had a strong suspicion that the two conditions were related. I had had strep throat for a week, but was still waiting for my PCP appointment (3 weeks, I don't know why i don't just predict when i will get sick so that i can plan in advance *rolls eyes*) to get treated, however, as my eyes had developed an infection overnight and i woke up like this that morning, that i thought I would get treatment faster.
I counted, 3 times the doctor asked me about my throat. The first time was whether I had a sore throat at all (...?...., had I not just been saying that? To which i replied, yes, for a week), the two other times were about how long I felt I had a sore throat (a week, as I have now said several times). He then postulated it was a viral infection in the eyes. At this point I patiently explained that it was unlikely that i developed two severe infections that were completely unrelated, especially one bacterial and one viral, and suggested he do a strep test. I had to suggest this twice and then insist before he took me seriously, between yet again explaining how long I had had the eye infection. On his way out he again asked how long the eye infection had been in place! Argh.
The result. Yes, I had strep, yes, it moved to my eyes and yes, i needed antibiotics. After waiting for 8 hours before finally getting any medication to help, and going through the rigmarole of seeking medical attention for a diagnosis that I had already been capable of making, i am wondering if i did chose the wrong career path after all.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!