Saturday, September 29, 2012

Adventures in Medicine: Part 2

I woke up Thursday feeling just fine. A little fragile, maybe, like dizziness could return. But I wasn't dizzy. Hooray.

The AUN clinic sent an ambulance for me the next morning. I sat up front while he drove me around, first to the wrong place on the opposite side of town and then to what is sometimes called the German Hospital and sometimes the Specialist Hospital.

The doctor was ready for me and ushered me into such a clean, sterilized environment as you would find in the US. The needles were all disposable and in the same little plastic bins. They had little doohickies to help with the blood pressure instead of a rubber band.... The pampered, squeemish little foreigner was comforted.

He also arranged for a second check up with one of their doctors who had a device to look into your ears. So while I waited for the lab results, I sat in the mammography room (?) while the doctor polished his device in rubbing alcohol before gazing into the aural depths. Giving my ears a very clean bill of health, he sent me back to wait for the lab.

The lab results confirmed that the malaria diagnosis had been a false positive, as expected. However, it confirmed the typhoid diagnosis. The doc explained I wasn't feeling the fever or anything right now, but should take the antibiotics so it doesn't spread, then come back in a week for a recheck to make sure it's dead.

Our insurance, CIGNA, is a little odd. I get world class care outside of Nigeria at extremely friendly rates (no copay for one), but they don't cover all that much in Nigeria. So this is all about to come out of pocket. Three sets of lab tests, three hours in an ambulance as personal chauffeur, extra doctor's visit, and the total comes to ... $25. Sweeeeet.

Then we drove -- the ambulance driver has sat napping in the hot car the last two hours -- back to the Clinic where I cool my heels for an hour waiting for the doctor to return and tell the nurse to give me the antibiotics.   The waiting areas had no electric outlets, so I couldn't recharge either the laptop or the iPad which were both on empty. Ah well. They finally sold me the medicine (another $10 with no insurance) and ... ignore me. So the fellow with typhoid walks back to the school (15-20 minutes) to get a shuttle back home.

So all is well. There have been no relapses and all are happy and healthy at home. We were even all able to go on a field trip Friday (more in another post).