Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adventures in after-hours medicine, American style

Well, last night after a subtly-more-clingy-than-normal kind of day, Heiko's ear began to bleed. We thought he had probably just scratched his ear in an episode of enthusiastic tired-y ear pulling. But, to be on the safe side, we cruised over to the after-hours clinic that is part of our medical practice. It was a good thing that we did, since it turns out that little H has a raging ear infection complete with ruptured eardrum! Poor little man.
Actually, he is fine. Naturally he really really doesn't like the various antibiotic treatments (yucky smelling syrup plus ear drops), but otherwise seems 100%. And, I have to grudgingly admit that our experience at the walk-in clinic was pretty good. They have this sign in the waiting area which directs patients to see the receptionist if they have been waiting more than 15 minutes. I thought that was a little funny, since I have definitely waited for hours at busy Toronto walk-in clinics. Of course, I can't say that without also pointing out the obvious: the reason the clinic isn't busy is that lots of people can't afford healthcare, which is criminal. OK, rant over, I promise.

The episode also gave us the opportunity to visit a pharmacy for the first time here on this side of the border. It was an interesting experience. For one thing, there are so many more drugs available here than in Canada. For example, while chatting with the pharmacist over the very large bank of "family planning" items, I noticed that there was a paternity test right there on the shelf (next to the "Boy or Girl" pee-stick test to determine the sex of your unborn child). Strange, right?

My interaction with the pharmacist was also funny. Apparently part of the process of obtaining drugs here involved signing a bunch of statements stating that I had received the drugs, been counselled by the pharmacist, and so on. Guiding me through the seemingly endless electronic screens of legal checkboxes the pharmacist told me that the final step would simply be to sing the second verse of the national anthem (it must have been a slow night at the Rite-Aid). Of course I informed him I was Canadian ("But I didn't say WHAT national anthem!"), and he was quite interested in this. As I gathered up the prescription and prepared to leave he was clearly not ready to let me go. Luckily, or so I thought, the phone rang. "Hello, this is the pharmacist at Rite-Aid speaking, I'd love to help you but could you please hold for a moment," he said, in the characteristically slow Colorado fashion. Yes, apparently his pressing questions about the Canadian national anthem were more important than incoming prescriptions. Turns out that he was quite interested in the fact that the French  and English versions of the anthem are different. Hum. True enough. Still, this is the only anthem for me (I think I've linked to this at least three times on this blog!).

So, I just sang both official versions to Heiko. He was amused, which says a lot if you've ever heard me sing try to sing. But I think H is into the Kardinal version. "I'm from the T dot Oh. Rep it everywhere I go." Yes he does, people, yes he does.
In other news, I'm trying to be hip with the times (of like, ten years ago) and I've revived my old twitter account. Why don't you follow me? I'm wheelissa. I'll say more boring, small and irrelevant things from my life, but in a less long-windy way than this.
See? He's just fine.

1 comment:

  1. Poor Heiko. I had a burst ear drum once and it hurts like hell. However, it did get me out of all but 2 of my grade ten winter exams.