In Search of the Needle

dr32This present swine flu pandemic threat gives me that eerie feeling that something has gone awry with this world of ours, that a gene mutating virus is out there to kill us or even turn us into monsters. I guess I’ve been watching too much sci-fi movies lately πŸ™‚ The good news is the antidote, the H1N1 vaccine is out to protect the human race from the dreaded virus. The problem is, there’s not a lot of them and priority is given to the most vulnerable among us – young children, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. The rule in this city is everyone must be patient since we will all get our shots before the end of December. Last Wednesday night, by some twist of fate, while at the mall in a nearby town, we unexpectedly got our shots when the H1N1 clinic operating near its pretty spacious food court decided to accept about 60 people more even if the clinic already closed. We were right by the door wanting to inquire about the schedule when the clinic decided to let a bunch of people in, some 20 minutes after the 7pm closing. Our timing was perfect and the elusive search for the magic needle was finally concluded.

images_injectionWhile inside the big clinic, staff with laptops were in one section place taking the patient information from their health cards and drivers licences. I didn’t think the place was chaotic as there were many tables administering the shot but by golly, children were wailing left and right which was to be expected. I saw a 10 year old girl who thought that getting the needle was a death sentence, like going to the guillotine. She was wailing crazy, totally terrified by the injection. She wasn’t agreeing to the shot at all, stalling the process for some half and hour at the table. Finally a couple of clinic staff who may have been psychologists persuaded her to get the shot but man, it was some effort. In the end, the shot wasn’t the murderous axe she was fearing. πŸ™‚ Imagine the stress when you deal with this kind of people the entire day ! I can understand tots but 5th graders ? My horns would go stiff with smoke coming out of my ears and I would yell ” Shut the up you little imp ! This won’t kill you OKAY?” LOL :mrgreen: I would go bonkers if did that kind of job believe me. My wife asked me why her arm bled a bit while ours ( me and my daughter) didn’t. I told her “ that’s because you’re fat and we aren’t. ” πŸ˜† Then I added the punchline ” that’s also because we don’t eat lechon kawale “ 😳 Ooopps.

The 60 second Consultation

Medical-03-juneMy family doc, a slim, medium built middle-aged guy has pictures of his marathon exploits pasted on the wall of his office which gives you the feeling that the man really walks his talk. It would be a little disconcerting to have a pot bellied and cigar chomping doc giving you tips on how to get healthy don’t you think? πŸ™‚ He gives me all sorts of tests you can imagine, some of them I thought was unecessary, all under the scheme of preventive medicine. He put me on blood pressure maintenance pills early because of the history on my mother’s side of the family. One noticeable thing about him is he works real fast, like running in an imaginary marathon, making you incur the feeling that either wants to get rid of you early because you’re a miserable sick puppy or healthy enough not needing his attention πŸ˜‰ So one morning at about 7am I showed up at his clinic, called me to come in when he got my file folder :

Me : Good morning doc
Him : Good morning. Opens my file.
Me : I ran out of my pills doc.
Him : Do you get them here? ( at the clinic’s pharmacy)
Me : Yes .
Him : you okay ? Your blood pressure OK? ( Didn’t take my BP coz it seems to be OK everytime he did it)
Me : Yep
Him : Picks up the phone. Dials a number and speaks out the prescription into some kind of a voice mail service. Looks at me and says ” That’s it. You can go and pick it up”
Me : Thanks doc.

The whole conversation lasted for about 1 minute. I’m one that likes to be served quick and didn’t want to be talking about anything else than what I came for. Besides, I paid him zilch, nada and he bills the government for the service so why should I complain? Might this “indifference” be a negative ramnification of our universal health care system? Naah. I had no illness to report so I’m quite cool with the express service. Hey, I made it to my train on time πŸ˜‰ The next time I return, after 3 months, I may have to time our conversation. I hope to beat the 1 minute mark πŸ™‚

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22 Responses

  1. Your government really take this flu very seriously, isn’t it. Although we have cases of AH1N1here, all they do is put posters and TV ads on proper hygiene but no vacination.

    You’re lucky you came out alive after that “your fat” comment to your wife. Me, I’ll be lucky if she’ll even glance at my direction after two days. >: D

    • I can tell you that businesses here are busy preparing a pandemic plan in case of a full outbreak scenario. I believe the WHO also recommended vaccination to contain a potential outbreak.

      It was just a joke πŸ˜‰ I try to eat healthy but she always buys lechon and I can’t help eating them πŸ™‚

  2. when I was young I was afraid of injections too. You told her she’s fat ? Hope she didn’t get mad at you lol πŸ™‚

    • All of us were scared at one point πŸ˜‰

      No she didn’t mad. I was just trying to stop her from buying lechon ( roasted pork Pinoy style) coz I want to eat healthier food. πŸ˜‰

      • it is because of fear of body mutilation. preschoolers have that so we all did right LOL sorry, pediatric nursing instructor here LOL glad you had the shot na dito sa RP kelan kaya? LOL

        • ugh.. the fear of mutilation.. and perhaps the tremendous pain that goes with it. Funny coz as we become adults we don’t fear to mutilate ourselves to look good ala Michael Jackson 😯

  3. Some people swear they will never take the H1N1 vaccine. They are more worried of side effects than anything.

    Your doctor must be having many patients that’s why he gave you the express service =)

    • there’s always people for have different view of things. My personal take is when the government and the WHO are endorsing the vaccine then theres a definite benefit. Besides, I am used to taking my annual my flu shots in the fall so I’m kinda’ used to it.

      At 7am, there aren’t many patients queuing up πŸ˜‰

  4. He’s such an efficient doc. You came saying you run out of pills and have no physical complaint whatsoever. You got what you wanted–the pills. Hehe.

  5. I’m sorry ngayon ko lang siya napansin, you’ve won an award for blogging? Congrats =)

  6. Even some in the medical field refuses to take Swine Flu shot, which bugs the heck out of me. It’s okay if it’s really proven it causes allergic reaction to others but for some to whine about about something good for mankind is asinine. My sil is now okay but my grandson had the virus but able to fought it out.

    Some physicians listens to people’s illness, others don’t care – keep shopping for a good one if you need to. I’m blessed with good doctors at this point. I’ve already dumped two; they’re in mostly for the money.

    • Hopefully your relatives are OK by now.I know of an officemate who’d face the swine flu rather than get the vaccine. To each his own but I guess he has overconfidence to beat the bug when it comes πŸ˜‰ It so happens we cannot force people to take it.

      My doc is just one of those people who work more and talk less πŸ™‚ If I think he didn’t care about me I’d dump him in an instant πŸ™‚ But you are right, our confidence in our doc matters a lot indeed.

  7. Here in the Philippines, dengue is more dreaded than AH1N1 πŸ™‚

    • we don’t have dengue here more so that mosquitos and flies only thrive in spring and summer here. But we have the mosquito-borne West Nile virus which can be deadly too but hasn’t really reached pandemic proportions here.

  8. this is good news. I hope the vaccine really works. In our area, it is still our great worry.

    I wonder if it reaches our shore at the soonest time possible.

    • The vaccine is made by Glaxo Smithkline, a Canadian pharmaceutical company. The makers of the vaccine has agreed to donate 50 million doses to the WHO. THe agency plans to distribute them to developing countries.

  9. Efficient health care for the citizens, hay… it’ll probably take ten generations before this country will experience the same attention from its government. Or maybe never, with the way things are going…

    • There’s an ongoing debate as to whether health care is a right of its citizens. In my view, it is, as long as the government can afford it. It is also subsidized by its people in form of taxes. Countries can spend between 6 to 8 percent of their GDP to provide universal health care. It also depends on the country’s population – much easier to implement if population is lesser. Taiwan is the most recent country that provides universal health care to its people. It took the best health care practices of developed countries and implemented them in the nineties. Of course, Taiwan is special because it transitioned from a poor country to a very rich one and can afford it. Plus, its population isn’t exploding like rabbits.

  10. Re… your comment to your wife… You baaaad! πŸ™‚

    I travel to swine-flu affected countries all the time and my only defense is that I just pray that I don’t get it.

    • hahaha… I was just joking with her πŸ™‚ You see I have condemned lechon as poison for years now but she keeps on buying it πŸ˜†

      I see you as a cleanliness freak and very meticulous with things your eat and touch so I think you’re safe πŸ˜‰

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