If You Want To Stay Sick, Just Cough

, , | Healthy | January 18, 2019

(Over the festive season, I had become quite ill for a period of about three-four weeks. I visited my doctor, received medication, and got better; then my partner became ill and I became ill AGAIN three days later and had to go back to my doctor. I visited two different doctors working in the same center. Unfortunately, my visits with them have left me a bit… surprised. On my first visit, my doctor is very young, seems a bit spacey, and is new to this practice. My medical aid receipts show her visits are charged at less than half the rate of your standard doctor’s visit, so I am a bit wary. My previous doctor was INCREDIBLE, but had just emigrated overseas, and this is her new replacement that I was referred to.)

Doctor: “So, what seems to be the problem today?”

Me: “I have [symptoms], but I’m most worried about my cough. I’m coughing to the point that I’m crumpled on the floor, until I can’t breathe, and I’m basically just vomiting air.” *I indicate to my ribs* “It’s so bad that my ribs feel bruised from coughing so hard.”

Doctor: “Hmm… All right, I’m going to prescribe you some antibiotics, and some of this [gastro medicine] for your stomach problem.”

Me: “Wait, what? What stomach problem?”

Doctor: “You pointed to your stomach and said it hurts, so I’m giving you [gastro medicine]!”

Me: “I said my ribs are bruised… from the coughing? My stomach is perfectly fine, but I’m really worried about this cough. It doesn’t feel normal.”

Doctor: “Oh… okay, then. You don’t need this. Instead, I’ll give you this.”

(He highlights the cheapest and most generic brand of cough syrup on the market, that I’ve already finished two of in the days leading up to my visit. The next doctor’s visit is almost two weeks later, with a different doctor in the same center. I’ve bought myself generic over-the-counter cough medicine up until I could visit the doctor again. I wait over half an hour for my appointment, by which time their offices should be closed, before I’m called in. At this stage, my cough has returned, and I have hurt my wrist, as it hurts when I put pressure on it.)

Doctor #2: “How can I help you today?”

Me: *explains all my symptoms again* “—and I appear to have hurt my wrist. It hurts when I apply pressure; I’m worried it might be sprained.”

Doctor #2: “Well, that’s simple. Just don’t apply pressure to it, then!”

Me: “All right? And for my cough? It’s really getting worse, and none of my medicine seems to work.”

Doctor #2: *puts a bottle of a smaller version of the cheapest generic cough medicine on the counter* “You can take this.”

Me: “Um… I’ve had basically four bottles of this in the last three weeks, and it hasn’t worked. I even have a bottle of this in my bag still. Do you not have anything more specialized, for a deep cough like this? My throat is now raw, I still struggle to breathe because it hurts, and my rib area is still bruised.”

Doctor #2: *huge smile* “Nope! It’s just for symptomatic relief, anyway. This will be fine!”

(I’m still sick, my wrist is still injured, and I’m moving on to my fifth bottle of cough syrup. I’m planning on finding a new doctor soon. For those concerned, the cough syrup is very generic, suitable for toddlers, with no codeine or DXM in it.)

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