How we each deal with medical conditions is one of our most basic choices, isn’t it?
Many conform to social etiquette and surrender to whatever medical establishment is dominant in their culture or preferred by their sub-culture. Some seek a spiritual or religious treatment for infirmity and physical dis-ease. It is not uncommon that a few choose denial and/or avoidance.
There is an old saying, “A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient!” That doesn’t extrapolate favorably for laypersons doing what they think is best when self diagnosing or self prescribing, does it?
Yup, gonna talk about my stomach some more.
I had several extremely bad attacks over the last few months. During those episodes, my wife repeatedly suggested that I go to the hospital. I was determined to get the condition under control with what understanding I gleaned online or wait until I saw blood.
Eventually, I compromised and went to another clinic.
Clinics are probably the dominated delivery format for medical aid in Thailand. They are very prevalent; although I have yet to find a doctor that speaks English. My opinion is that they are glorified pharmacies – maybe not glorified in a bad way. They seem to be comparatively cost effective.
In this country, there is also the option of going directly to a pharmacy run by a doctor. I frequent one of those. He doesn’t speak English either, but just by pointing and making certain facial expressions he is able to prescribe.
It’s all an act of faith anyway or at least starts out that way and segues into trial and error.
My H-pylori relationship may be moving off center stage. I finally took a firm stand in wanting to find a place to get a blood test, so I could be sure it was the culprit and after killing it off, I could get definitive verification when I suspect resurgence.
So, I started saying, “Ah cha chi my dhi wanee pi hospital poo nee.” If I don’t die today, maybe go to hospital tomorrow.
Think I’ll skip the soft rant about my wife’s opposition to the idea of going to the hospital. Yes, the same one she suggested when I was double over and moaning.
She wanted me to try another clinic with the prognostication that this one had an English-speaking person in attendance. Nope! More pills – poor results – 450 baht.
When those meds were gone, I tersely demanded that she sit with me in front of the computer. We went through many screens and she seemed to “get it.”
It turned out that her main objection for going to the hospital centered on how long the wait would be. We went on the Queen’s birthday, so the crowds were relatively sparse.
The doctor looked like he was maybe fifteen. He had patients way beyond what someone with such perceived youthfulness would be expected to have. He sat in front of his computer and listened intently. We took turns Googling. He finally understood my desire for a targeted blood test to confirm my suspicions.
I was bummed out that Thailand lacked the laboratory capacity to test blood for H-pylori.
Well, now I know.
He said if I wanted to be sure, he could order a biopsy. I acquiesced on my quest for certainty, opted for our agreed educated guess and four plastic bags of pills.
What he prescribed was exactly what Wikipedia said I needed, although his suggested dosages were lower. I’m thinking that’s because he’s use to dolling out pills to smaller people.
In the future, I will use the hospital. I don’t mind the wait. The fiberglass chairs are better than the clinic’s benches and the people watching is more panoramic. More importantly, they have a good (enough) system of record keeping. My history was readily available, albeit hand written in Thai. Mostly, I was delighted that we got to exchange links and surf. Maybe most importantly, the medications came with a computer printed label in English and Thai.
Oh yeah! The visit was 385 baht and I had once purchased those same meds at the Doctor Pharmacy for 1000 baht. 385 B = $12.75
Here’s another alternative in this culture:
My wife came up the other day and told me she was going to that far away Wat we had visited a long time ago. Her friend Joy was having bad headaches and wanted to consult a certain monk. Naturally, I recommended that anyone with a headache would do well to drink a lot of water. Ponra retorted with, “Yes, good if headache natural. Caused by ghost must go to Wat.”
The report I got was that the monk poured a glass of water for Joy. He said a few things, chanted for a while and gave it to her. She drank it, threw up and is all better now.
Here’s another way of dealing with health challenges.
A villager, around the corner, was planting rice. He scraped a small wound into his left arm. His reaction was that continuing the planting (helping his wife) was more important than taking a break (within several days) to see a doctor. It wasn’t long before the scratch was infected, he fell out and had to be taken to the hospital. He succumbed quickly. A rat had peed on whatever scratched him.
He went to the Wat yesterday. The funeral service was modestly attended.
Ooops! Almost forgot. The sauce is a piquant and adored red chili sauce. It is produced under the Healthy Boy label.
So far so good, I can always quit again; you know – any time. I’ve cut way back. I only use it with breakfast.
I’m staying away from the strong stuff.
I can control it.
No stinking minuscule bacteria are going to dictate how I eat my eggs.
Huh! I have a widget that puts quotes in that column over there. I don’t know how long they visit. The one there as I uploaded this post seems appropriate.
“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.” -Francois Gautier
That’s my query to you.
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