Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sick. Las enfermedades me asusta.

I have been hit hard by a sickness that is worse and more painful than any other sickness of my life! Since I haven't been able to go out and experience Sevilla, I will tell you all about my experiences of being sick while abroad! I am only able to write this post because I have just taken my medicine, and I feel a bit more relaxed. Excuse me if this post is a little sloppy and all over the place!

On Wednesday, I started feeling down with a normal cold and a slight fever. I made it through my first half of the day, but I just couldn't go back after lunch. I felt very bad for having to call off my tutoring sessions this week! So disappointing! I layed down for a siesta after lunch and when I woke up, I had such a raging fever. During the night, my symptoms turned flu-like. I have mostly been in bed since Wednesday.

I wanted to just let this run it's course because I figured it was just a virus. I'm not one to go to the doctor just because I have the flu! But after Thursday night I could not wait any longer. The pain was so bad, I knew it was something other than the flu. I was scared. I went to the doctor on Friday (yesterday) morning and they just gave me three prescriptions for the basic flu symptoms and one that I think is a strong acetaminophen. I was initially afraid to go because of the language barrier. I think I wrote my life story to the doctor on a piece of paper before I went. Ha! I wrote all of my symptoms and what was going on, so I didn't leave feeling like I could not get my point across. Luckily, a worker from my school met me there to help translate and tell me specifically what the doctor said. I am so thankful that she was there for me because I would have been clueless from the second I walked into the clinic! ¡Gracias, Virginia!

If you didn't know, Spain has universal healthcare. There are private and public clinics. I believe the one that I went to was private. I am not one to support nationwide coverage, but this experience has opened my eyes up to the fact that if you need medical assistance, you should be able to get it no matter what. I don't know what I would do if I needed medical assistance this bad, and I didn't have insurance! 

Here in Spain, you can get your prescriptions much faster. You don't have to wait for them to be filled. You just go into the pharmacy with your prescription and the doctor hands you what you need. You can find a pharmacy on almost any street and prescriptions are cheaper (close to or cheaper than the price of getting the generic version of a drug at home).

However, it seems like the waiting times were a little longer here, and patient-doctor visits are much faster and less personal. Another difference is that the doctor just sits in his office and sees patient after patient. It doesn't seem like they get much of a break, whereas in America, a nurse calls a patient into a room to take the vitals and get the basic information. Then the doctor goes from room to room to see his patients at his own convenience. Everything is just so different.

My symptoms got worse throughout the day, and I decided to go to the hospital last night. They gave me lots of fluids and took my blood for testing. My blood tests came back fine- no alarmingly elevated white cell counts. They diagnosed me with a gastrointestinal infection and gave me an antibiotic, some other medications, and a strict diet to follow.

It is now Saturday, so I have been resting for three and a half days! Luckily, I had Thursday and Friday off of school, so I only missed one class on Wednesday. Even after a four hour nap, I do not feel rested. I can hardly walk. My stomach is bloated and swollen. I'm not sure how long this will take to heal, but I'm determined to go to class on Monday! My señora is making sure I drink my limonada alcalina (which is a dreadful mix of water, the juice of lemons, biocarbonato[no idea], and salt), take my antibiotics, and eat only what I am allowed by the doctors. No worries!

That's all for now! (: