This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The sickness of the medicine culture

As some of you may know, I've been sick for a couple of weeks now. The first week was pretty bad, but the current week is much better, though I'm still coughing and all that. This being New Brunswick, I of course have no family doctor, and so was obliged to go to a day-time walk-in clinic, for which you have to make an appointment.

I arrived a 2:25pm for my appointment at 2:30pm, waited in the lobby till 2:55pm, then waited in the exam room till 3:00pm. I was out of there by 3:15pm with a prescription for a Terbutaline inhaler(something about opening oxygen receptors in my lungs). Apparently I have a “virus” and a touch of bronchitis. The inhaler is for the bronchotis(supposedly) and for the virus, I was to take over-the-counter Advil, which is just Ibuprofen.

Apparently, I'm not dying, as I thought, and do not have pneumonia, as people in the office said I must have. I was very disappointed. All that suffering through the first week, and all I've got to show for it is an unidentified virus and a touch of bronchitis? How... prosaic. How... pedestrian. This, of course, immediately brings up a question.

How can a doctor determine, after 15-minute appointment, that I have a virus? There were no tests, no blood analysis, no weird beeping Star Trek-type devices, other than a new thermometer that they touch to your forehead for a few seconds. Bronchotis, I suppose, I can understand; he did, after all, spend a whole of 30 seconds listending to my clothed back.

And then, why do I have to get all the drug information from the pharmacist? Why won't the doctor take a minute or two to talk to me after what he's giving? After handing me the prescription, he rushed out of the exam room without giving a chance to ask questions. Why put all that extra work on the pharmacist?

And speaking of “viruses”, what's with that generic term, anyway? Is there just the one virus out there and it has no name? Or perhaps it's like the “General Protection Fault” error messages from Windows? “Yeah, we know you have a virus, but we don't know how we know and we know nothing about, so we'll just call it a General Virus Protection and prescribe... well, nothing actually”.

That's the nature of the beast, I suppose. I'll stab it with my steely knife eventually, I suppose, but for now I'll continue suck back on the ol' inhaler.

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