Thursday, February 5, 2015

a peek at local medicine

Visiting a general practitioner in a small town (population 4,500) gives you a bit more knowledge about the country's or at least local culture. OK, that was not the main reason I went to see a local doctor for some minor health issues. For visit number one, I called her number, she answered herself and asked me when I wanted to come in. In one hour? Sure, no problem. We took the dinghy to shore, and looked for the pharmacy of the same name as the dr's name. Yes, they are linked. The dr's office was quiet, clean and modern, removed from the louder main street. The doctor was fluent in English, took plenty of time to ask me what was going on, and was not at all offended by my self diagnosis.  No pretense here, no white coat. Some labs were needed, so she told me to take the bus to the next town, and then either wait for the results, or ask them to email it to her. After that, just come back and see me. Oh yes, you can pay at the pharmacy when you come back.

It was one of those few rainy days, so soaking wet I arrived at the lab in the next town. Super friendly locals guided me to the tiny lab. Twenty minutes later I had paid the $10 lab fees, blood results in my hand, and just had one hour to kill before I would see the doctor again.  The bus ride back is one I won't forget in a while. I thought only boats and seas can be super uncomfortable. Wrong. Sitting in the back of this old bus, driving on dirt town roads with big holes, and not much to hold on, made me want to walk back to Barra. Note to oneself: do walk or get out of the bus when the ride gets rather uncomfortable.

At 1.30 PM I'm sitting in the dr's office again. She has received the other labs as well. We talk for another 20 minutes or so, no rush, and then I walk over to the pharmacy next door. Total cost for her 2 consults: $24. Cost of meds $48.

Two days later, I call her again to ask about the treatment of another issue. Without going into much fun detail, it was a problem that my doctors and podiatrist at Kaiser couldn't solve. Or better said, they basically implied, live with it (mhm, even when it's somewhat painful to walk sometimes?). This was after I had  3 visits to see 3 different people.  This doctor suggested an approach that I'm familiar with, and that I had experienced in the Netherlands decades ago. No nurse to help, she just picked up anesthetics at the pharmacy, and 30 minutes later I limp out her office to pay the bill next door. Total cost: $50.  The jury will be out if it's effective, but it seems there was nothing to loose.

Totally unrelated.....Tessa takes down the cloth gate (for protection so she won't fall out while she is asleep) and climbs out of V-berth in the morning, but can't open the door yet. So this morning, we hear knock, knock. We ask "who's there?". She said "your little grand daughter, red riding hood" (her favorite story).

live entertainment for some sort of advertising

loving the water taxi ride back to Lagoon


  1. HI!!
    Sorry I haven't replied in a while, but as I said this blog does not work with my iPad (if tod asks, tell him I tried 3 different browsers).
    Sorry to read about your problem and I hope you managed to resolve, I will keep my fingers crossed for you.
    Tessa is beatiful, and Paola and I always read your posts and are glad to know you are doing fine and enjoying your voyage.
    Big hug,


    1. Hello P &P, thanks! I'm sure in no time i will be chasing Tessa again. We will be back in the US during the summer and love to see you, either on the East or West coast. Hugs, us 3


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