The people of Vietnam love to blame the weather for all manner of ailments, the most popular of these, bronchial and cold type stuff. Even I have to admit the weather this week was atrocious. We have had a lot of rain but not what you usually get where it stops after an hour or so. We have had days where it pretty much rained all day. I have not seen that since we started living here. Even the State run newspapers have warned people to bathe their children in the afternoon as it is too cold in the evening. (it drops from 32 degrees to 29.....nuff said). So, I will go with the locals and say i have succumbed to the weather for the first time since our arrival 18 months ago. But I digress....
So with nothing better to do on a Saturday night, I head off to the doctors. Actually, Nick made me. He is right though. Unless you get on top of these things early they can quickly turn into a lingering condition that hangs on for weeks. Best go get some antibiotics nice and early. So, it goes something like this:
Nurse- what's wrong?
Me- I have a chest infection. She proceeds to take my blood pressure and temp and I wait for the Doctor.
Doctor- So, you have chest pains?
Me- no I have a chest infection.
Dr- how bad are the pains?
Me - I do not have chest pains, I have a sore chest because I have a chest infection.
Dr- we need to do an ECG.
Me- we do not need to do an ECG. I am not having a heart attack. I have a chest infection.
Dr- do you have numbness down you left side?
I may be sick as a dog but I can see where he is going with this. I point blank refuse to have a ECG so we move on. Dani 1 Doc 0.
Dr- do you have a fever?
Me - no.
Dr- do you have a runny nose, cough, swollen glands?
Dr- because you have no cough or runny nose we think you have Dengue Fever. We must do a blood test to confirm.
Me- I do not have Dengue, I have a chest infection.
Dr- we must do a test.
After a short wait tests come back negative. Dani 2 Doc 1
Dr- we think you might have pneumonia.
Me- no, I don't have pneumonia. I have a chest infection.Dr- we must do an X-ray.
Dani 2 Doc 2
They call in the x ray dude who has probably been out drinking beer hoi, as you do on a Saturday night. Chest x ray is taken. After a wait the results come back....you guessed it....negative.
Dani 3 Doc 2
Dr- we think you may have glandular fever.
Me- I do not have glandular fever. I have a chest infection.
Dr- we need to do some more blood tests.
Dani 3 Doc 3
Off I go for another blood test. After another wait. Results come back negative.Dani 4 Doc 3
Dr- I think maybe it is reflux.
Ok..... That's it. Enough already. I have endured 2 pregnancies. I know what reflux is AND I DON'T HAVE IT. He can clearly see my exasperation and is probably nervous about the slighty mad twitch in my left eye. He tells me it is a 3 hour wait to get some more conclusive results from the blood test but I have had enough. I ask for the damn antibiotics that were all I came for in the first place and wait for it..... HE SAYS NO! Says it will destroy the good bacteria and sends me away with a throat gargle. (Do not even go there.... I dont have a f^* ing sore throat). Says he will call me later with Mono test results.
So, I'm not even too sure what the final score is myself. What I do know is I left with a few puncture wounds, a nice picture of my insides for the kids to take to show and tell, some medicine for an ilness i do not have, a much skinnier wallet and no antibiotics. I would like to end in a bright note though. This all took place on a Saturday night and all up took just over an hour. I would hate to imagine what the process would have been in Australia. Not to mention the cost. Their thoroughness has had very positive ramifications with a few friends where things have been picked up that would otherwise be missed. It really does not surprise me however, that with any medicine your heart desires available over the counter here, that self diagnosis and self medicating is the norm.
Footnote: he sent me an email this morning stating that the Mono test came back negative. I have no idea what this means or subsequently what I have. You don't suppose it's a chest infection do you?