Friday, April 19, 2013

7 quick takes

1. I am sick. On Sunday evening, my throat started hurting. When it kept getting worse and worse, I decided to go to the doctor. He was nice and friendly, but as my first experience (that I can remember) with a German doctor, it was a little bit of culture shock as well. All those routine things like getting your temperature taken, getting weighed, etc.? He skipped them all. He examined me by looking down my throat and asking me if I had been running a fever (and then taking me at my word).

2. With that said, given the number of white spots all over the back of my throat and tonsils, I knew it was something that would require antibiotics, and indeed, it was acute bacterial tonsillitis. Whee.

3. Since there is a pharmacy about a block from my house, I was able to go pick up my prescriptions there. Together, they cost 65E. Ouch. Luckily, my health insurance will reimburse me for them. Annoyingly, they do this by mailing a check to my house, which is hardly helpful to me in Germany. Oh well.

4. The first of the two medicines is a homeopathic natural remedy which is basically like a cough drop but for tonsils. They are very into homeopathy in Germany, but the medicines do seem to work! The only warning label on this medicine is that if you eat an entire package of 100 or 200 doses, you may wind up with a stomachache if you are lactose intolerant. So basically they are completely harmless.

5. This is in stark contrast to my antibiotic, which has some of the scariest potential side effects I have ever seen. Apparently this drug can theoretically cause heart, liver, and kidney failure, as well as psychological problems including suicidal thoughts. Luckily my side effects have been limited to such "minor" things as headaches, exhaustion, stomach pain, and the like. I told a flatmate about how I was feeling sick, and she said, "Oh, from the antibiotics, right?" I guess the Germans just use much higher doses of antibiotics and deal with all the unpleasant side effects.

6. Having said that, the doctor was still concerned about me when he saw me today, and apparently if I'm not a lot better by Tuesday he is going to do a culture and blood test! So I must have a pretty bad case, if he thinks a full dosage of these strong and nasty antibiotics may not cure me.

7. I would be remiss if I didn't devote this last quick take to Kevin, who has been a perfect angel in taking care of me. He went to the grocery store to buy food and sports drinks, which are easier to get down than water, cooked me dinner, kept me entertained while I was too tired to do anything but lie in bed, and watched stupid reality TV with me.

Head over to Camp Patton and read some other, hopefully more cheerful, quick takes! 

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