Friday, July 30, 2010

More familiarization with healthcare

Tuesday afternoon I knew it wasn't going to end well when I reread the same line of a story out loud a few times in a row before a student jumped in and corrected me. My cheeks were burning up and I was lacking ability to concentrate. I knew I'd get in a good nap that night and hopefully a real illness wouldn't develop at all.

A coworker spent a few minutes lecturing me that, just as she had warned me, warming my cold fingers in front of a plastic space heating fan would make me sick. Damn, warm air? I figure its a miracle I don't drop dead everytime I blowdry my hair.

I barely made it home before the real heavy sickness set in. I've spent the past two and a half days incredibly sick to my stomach and dipping in and out of a 103.5 fever.

Being this sick is debilitating. Laying in bed so long makes my bones ache, rolling over churns my stomach, standing up makes me woozy, walking gives a headache. And that's just moaning about the little stuff... imagine me trying to sort out my healthcare! (When you're so sick you can't go to work, you still have to get up out of bed and get to the doctor so he gives you an excuse note, and by default, make a sidestop to your healthcare provider's office along the way).

I was too sick to make it far from home, and I didn't have the energy to look for the healthcare folder which might have some information on centers or doctors covered under my plan so I searched the internet forever. Then I called and asked. Despite the billions mentioned when I signed my plan, the lady on the phone had two suggestions, of those I understood one. I called that clinica and they suggested I come in next week! (Yes, thank you, that'd be really convenient...if I survive the wait!), so I walked tortoise-paced to the closest doctor I knew of planning to pay out of pocket. They told me to come back the next day and that they're supported by my plan anyway, so I went and got a bono slip proving I'd made my copayment (along with a Doc list for next time) and shuffled home. Well, I tried to take a collectivo, but after being robbed of my spot many times in a row (because, you know, being at the front of the line doesn't always guarantee you much in Chile), I gave up and climbed. It was a struggle.

Today, after pushing snooze for two hours, I finally got up and made it to the doctor...where I waited another 2 hours to be seen. I did get to see a questionable Mega daytime show on the topic "Is it ok to make fun of people for their defects and nationality?" Defects and nationality paired together there sound ridiculous enough to me, though its actually a decent topic. Fever or not, daytime TV gives me a headache regardless and I preferred to stare at the hole in my shoe rather than the show's content. My boyfriend loooves one of the groups they question, though, Atletas de la Risa.

Speaking of nationality, doctors also get stuck not seeing beyond the foreignness and mine kept talking about adverse affects to my travel immunizations. I suppose its a good thing to rule out, but its also nice to consider I caught something entirely unrelated to my foreignness.... considering I haven't had immunizations in at least a few years.

Lesson I've learned: bureaucracy makes sickness twice as terrible.

P.s. Thrice as terrible, fyi, is cable television providing long periods of time where the most interesting programming I can find is SNAKES ON A PLANE. Seriously?


  1. Oh no that sounds awful! Though back home seeing a doctor was easier, it was so hard to see ONE'S doctor. If you were sick and needed an appt that day, chances were that your doctor didn't have availability and you'd have to see some random.ANd Kaiser was the worst.

    I really hope you feel better soon.

  2. Haha. well the one benefit of living in a new place is that you don't have "your" doctor. They're all randoms, so if one's busy its not a big deal to go to the next.

    Then again, you may or may not get one you line up with much... I've realized I have pretty high standards.

    Then again, I started 3 meds a full day ago and have no relief in symptoms yet. working meds are pretty standard hopes

    thanks. im tryin. if anything my poor mind, vegging out in front of terrible TV programming, is going to will me back to life

  3. JUst discovered your blog and enjoyed it. Thanks.
    I find that you know you are definitely ill when either:
    (a) You can watch daytime cable all day
    (b) You can't.
    The latter means that you are worse than you thought you were!
    Hope you are better now. I was in Chile in June and it was freezing cold then, can't be much better now.

  4. Ugh, being too sick to get up and go to the doctor is the worst. And having to schlep all over the city to go to the doctor anyway (can you not buy bonos at your docs' there? I can) and THEN drop off your licencia at work is the double plus bad worst. Hope you feel better soon!