20 January 2013

Tanzania: Patient From Hell


I am recovering from a bout of I do not know what as the doctor did not come forthright with what I was suffering from.

But I was feeling awful, a combination of a slight chest pain, a dry cough and generally feeling lousy. Reluctantly dragging myself to the doctors I explained to the doctor on duty what I was suffering from.

I was most delighted he did not ask me to undergo routine tests that require the poking of my fingers. Rest assured we did have an argument over the medicine he prescribed.

Yes I am one of those annoying patients who asks what each medicine listed does. Not amused by my boldness he patiently explained that the medication at the top of the list is for combating flu while the second was an antibiotic while the third was syrup.

I asked him to knock off the first one as I had never swallowed medicine for flu in all my 47 years on this planet and added that such tablets water down the immune system. Wondering where I got such information from he agreed to my request. Then we had a heated debate over how many rest days he was recommending. I wanted five and he wanted to give me two.

I wanted the rest as I was really feeling awful and he thought I wanted to dodge work. Seeing I was not budging we came to a compromise of three days. Trooping over to the pharmacist I got a shock of my life at the size of the antibiotic tablets the packaging made them look like they were meant for treating a horse and not a short little human like me. Seeing 20 of them I asked the pharmacist to confirm if I was expected to swallow all of them.

To my relief I was informed I wasn't. Another time I questioned a doctor over his decision I was asked to leave his consulting room which I did as I saw no logic as to why he was insisting I should down antibiotics for a slight chest pain when he had not asked me a number of questions. He glared at me through his ugly thick rimmed spectacles and asked me if I thought I could teach him his job.

I told him I wasn't but from the little he had asked me about the pain and the fact I did not have a fever I saw no reason as to why he was in a hurry to prescribe antibiotics. Vividly angry he called in a nurse to talk to me and I was asked to seek treatment elsewhere.

Ironically after two days and not taking any medication the pain disappeared. I was gleefully happy to learn after my encounter with the unfriendly doctor that the said clinic was closed down. I never found out the actual reason but I hope it was because other patients complained about their services.

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