Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seeing the Doctor

After waiting my turn to see the doctor, he took a medical history and noted the medications I take.  The only physical exam involved a listen to my lungs and a look down my throat with a $2 flashlight.  None of those fancy gadgets we pay so much for in the states.  In fact the office was very minimal, nothing on the walls, and just a desk, computer and exam table.

He ordered a couple blood tests and stool exam and I was out of his office and on my way to first pay for the tests, then get the tests done.  The bill for seeing the doctor and getting the tests was less than $30.  The testing was very efficient.  You present your paid receipt with the ordered tests and an attendant inputs the information into his computer and an automated machine spits out a tray with 2 vials and a specimen cup.  You wait in the queue for your turn to get the blood draw.  All very efficient.  I was sent to a bathroom to give the stool sample and placed it on a tray at "window 8".

My instructions were to return room 10 in an hour and a half when test results should be completed.  I sat in a cool breezeway near a small bakery on the grounds and ate most of an apple smoothie and a muffin, read my magazine and went back upstairs to room 10.

The nurse at the reception desk sent me directly to another numbered room for test results.  When my turn came, it was a different doctor and she spoke very good English, but apologized for her weak language skills.  She called up the results on her computer, but they were incomplete and she explained that waiting longer would not be necessary because it could take hours more if there was a backlog.

She went over my symptoms with me again and suggested I might be afflicted with parasites and that one test result showed anemia.  She did another cursory physical exam (and used an identical $2 flashlight to look down my throat) and suggested we treat for parasites and anemia right away.  When I told her I had lost 9 kilograms in two months, she looked more concerned and ordered another blood test and urine to be done in a followup visit two weeks hence.

I paid the $1.50 for the two meds (apparently her visit was included in the original service charge), I picked up the meds at the pharmacy counter and went home to rest after a long day at the government hospital.

To date, I have finished the parasite regimen and there is no change.  We'll read test results in two weeks and I'll take her my lab test results I had done in Maine in November to compare.

No comments:

Post a Comment