so I'm probably not suffering from dengue. But after two whole days of sitting in the house, fighting 100+ degree fevers in 95+ degree temperatures, without a television or air conditioning, I'm beginning to get grumpy. And bored.
I went to the doctor today, someone closer. Mistake. As a general rule, I've found Brazilian doctors to be pompous, cold, and elitist, preferring to dictate what their patients should take or do without explaining anything. Doctors know and patients don't. End of story. At the public hospitals, they spend an average of twenty seconds with a patient. SECONDS. You wait in line for hours...and the end result? A person in a white jacket takes a cursory glace at you, asks for your symptoms, thinks for about ten seconds (all without any real examination whatsoever) and then writes a prescription.
So I have my "Where there is no doctor" book and twenty-some odd years of living with my mother, who is the queen of self-diagnosis. I remember when we were kids that she would just call the local doctor to let them know we had strep throat, or ear infections, and could they please send a prescription around? So I've inherited this. I've narrowed my current illness down to two plausible possibilities: strep or dengue. The sore throat pleads for the first option, so my goal in going to the doctor is merely to get a prescription for an antibiotic. Because I have amoxicillin in the house, but I'd prefer something stronger.
I left the house about a quarter till two, and it was beastly hot. I had to shuffle my way to an ATM because I had NO money, having spent my last few reis on a thermometer and lunch. The dang machine charged me R$6 in service fees. Note to travelers: unless your life depends on it, Banco 24 Horas is the worst ATM to do business with in the country.
The doctor's fee was R$30. He was a white haired gentleman who stuttered rather severely. A selective listener, he jumped on my arthritis as being exactly what I was suffering from, spent five minutes flustering over the fact that he'd never heard of my arthritis meds (and therefore, that they were probably ineffective). I explained that what I was suffering from was fever and sudden throat pain. He kept insisting on my arthritis history. He asked me five times if I had had bloodwork done. Five times I told him it was done recently and there were no abnormalities. Each time, he forgot. I didn't even get to tell him I was taking a Tylenol until I forced the conversation back to the real reason I was there, and then he chastised me for not telling him about the medicines I was taking...and in the end, he prescribed? Amoxicillin. Grrr,,,
And to top it off, he ended the consultation with a snide comment about me being religious getting in the way of believing in astrology...
In general, the worst R$30 I've ever paid. And the most unpleasant doctor. Medical care in poverty-stricken areas is a disgrace.
And I'm still feeling lousy. Low fever and boredom. But I hear that Ben has some Seinfeld episodes, so I'm going to brave the streets for a few minutes to get me some quality entertainment!!!