Saturday, May 20, 2006
... is sometimes not enough. So after a week of sheer denial I had to eventually admit that this cough was not going to vanish with a few generous helpings of vicks cough syrup. So feeling irritated that any bacteria would have the audacity to infect me, I walked into the University Health Centre, made a noise resembling a jet engine taking off and casually mentioned that I probably ought to see a doctor. Today. After repeating 3 times that I was a postdoc (I mean, I know I have an accent, but that ain't a difficult word) and them peering suspiciously at the health insurance card that represented the pile of bucks I'd been feeding in that direction every month, they informed me that they didn't care about dying postdocs, only dying students and anyway they didn't accept my university-administered health insurance. I gaped, coughed (very much in their direction) and went out muttering curses about the American health system (needless to say, I've avoided the building ever since). So I returned to lab feeling almost immeasurably sorry for myself and phoned (yes, it was desperate times) my health insurance company who told me I'd never registered with a doctor. Hmm, oops. To be fair to them, they were very pleasant, tried very hard to help and were also very much based in Texus so didn't have a clue where the nearest place I could go to was. They muttered something about Glencoe. I've never even heard of Glencoe. But really, I live on Manhattan island. Statistically, just based on the number of people, this place should be packed with doctors. All with addresses that start street X avenue Y. But according to my health insurance's records, they are in fact all hobos. So I go hunting on the insurance's website, trying to find a doctor that would (a) take new patients (b) take my health insurance and (c) have free appointments that afternoon. Not very likely? No, I didn't think so either. But amazingly, incredibly, I found one. A lady down on 65th street whose secretary really only spoke Spanish, but that was a small barrier to overcome. So down I went, clearing carriages on the subway with the jet engine cough, and staggered into the surgery, coughed again, gave them my insurance card and bless them all, they sorted it all out! The only final surprise was when I went in to see the doctor she was about 70. However, she did a grand job as she held onto me for support while tottering from my right ear to my left one. Muttered 'bronchitis', peered at my weight on the scales and issued me with a weeks course of antibiotics. Now all is well and I even have a doctor, providing she lives. But then, she only has to make it until October. And the moral of this tale is, as my mother pointed out, register with a doctor before you get sick. But really, who'd have guessed that was going to happen....
at 2:29 AM