Yes, I am still alive. But life has been hectic lately.
I have also been plagued by a health issue that is a bit unpleasant, and leaves me a bit tired from time to time. One of the worst part of health problems, though, is the fact that you have to devote time to solving them.
However, unlike many people in the world, we don’t have issues with getting free medical care. Because my husband was a government servant, I am covered for all normal treatments/operations and common medications, but I do have to go to government hospitals and clinics. And as everyone knows – no matter where you live! – government clinics are SLOW and overcrowded.
So a single visit to a hospital clinic involves driving time (1.5 hrs including return) and a lot of waiting. Waiting to get a number. Waiting to see the doctor (often an intern). Waiting to see another more senior doctor or specialist. Waiting to have blood tests. Waiting to get medicine.
This is not all bad — I get to read a lot! And it is free, which is more than many Americans can say for a start. Even for paying patients, the hospitals here are subsidised and cheap. Another thing Americans can’t say. (And I hasten to say that cheap does not equal incompetent or shoddy.)*
There are no frills. No magazines in the huge waiting rooms. Plastic chairs. Too many patients (and this being Asia, patients usually bring along some other member of their family) has led to part of the corridor being partitioned off for a waiting room annex. Two or three doctors share an examination room, and so do patients. You can listen to what the fellow next to you is saying to his doctor… But the doctors are top-notch. And so is the equipment (though you may have to wait a long while for your turn).
As for my diagnosis? Not certain yet. Possibly an auto-immune disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome. Not fatal. More just an uncomfortable nuisance from time to time. I return in a month for more test results. A biopsy for Sjogren’s actually came up negative.