Thursday, July 18, 2013


I am sick.  I picked up some kind of disease on my aforementioned business trip.  Work colleagues are joking that I have gotten the next bird flu and are requesting that I stay far away... so insensitive, right?  (Pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow in "Outbreak" keep flitting through my mind.  In perhaps a misguided attempt to entertain myself, I watched that movie on the night before my move to Hong Kong...)

Sickness sucks, but my trip to the doctor was just too amusing for me not to share.

First of all, this doctor is like a pill prescribing machine.  I worry about building germ resistance bacteria if all doctors in Hong Kong prescribe medicine like she does...

When I went to her after having fallen on my right hand and wrist when slipping on the escalators (how lame, but those buggers are damn slippery when it's raining out), she prescribed me a pain-relieving ointment and five pills of Arcoxia.

Then yesterday, I had no trouble getting a very last minute slot during lunch.  My sore throat was killing me, my sinuses were clogged, and my chest was starting to hurt.  She briskly prescribed me not one, not two, but rather four types of medicine.  One antihistamine to take at night, one pill to relieve my cough, one pill to relieve chest pain, another to relieve my nasal and sinus blockage.

Note: Most clinics or doctor's offices in Hong Kong have a pharmacy directly attached - so once your checkup is over, you wait for your medicine to be dispensed.  Then you pay for your consultation and medicines all at once.  Most refuse to deal with insurance companies - you have to pay upfront, and then you have to deal with getting reimbursed from your insurance company yourself (yuk).

So is this a racket or what??  I am almost certain these are free samples that the physicians are getting, which their "pharmacy"conveniently "dispenses" to me, and then they get to make a killing in the process.  Or maybe not, but the physician's eagerness to prescribe medicine makes me wonder.

In this instance I was too uncomfortable to care and promptly took three (different) pills upon my return to my desk.

Second, my doctor's note.  I got a doctor's note excusing me from two days of work!  I felt like I was back in middle school or something.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that no note was going to excuse me from the pile of charts and conference calls awaiting me that afternoon, but it was a sweet little trip down memory lane.

Third, my doctor's suggestion that made my day: no exercise for the next few days!  No physical exertion until I feel better because I need to rest up and drink lots of liquids.  Wooooo hoooo.

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