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Monday, 24 July 2006

Hôpital Hopping

Today, I went back to the hospital near my house to get a blood test, as scheduled. Then I met Michelle and she gave me a ride out to the Hôpital Américain. It's a small, private hospital in a far-flung rich suburb (we have those too, it's not all poor kids burning cars) where, rumor has it, Sarkozy lives. The hospital has valet parking, lovely grounds and reminds me visually of a Nordstroms from the outside.

I was directed to the emergency room because I did not have an appointment. I felt somewhat sheepish sitting in an emergency room for indigestion, but given it was terrible enough that it felt life-threatening and they told me to go there, etc etc, anyway. There were far far fewer people waiting there than there were this morning for the walk-in dermatology clinic at St. Louis. Since it's a private hospital, it's not on the French system and it charges about 3 times as much (which is still much less than American hospitals in America), the waiting room was full of rich foreigners or others desperate to speak to anglophone medical types.

I saw the doctor relatively shortly after I arrived. He told me that if I've been taking antibiotics for three weeks, I can just stop and it will be ok. If later I have lyme symptoms again (like late-stage lyme) I can always just take more antibiotics then. I pointed out that the ghostly remains of my lyme rash are still visible and I still have symptoms and Yahoo medical says 4 - 6 weeks for people with my symptom set. Not that he wasn't more knowledgeable than yahoo medical, but I don't want to have lyme forever. So he told me I could do whatever I wanted and gave me a prescription for strong antacids. This is an improvement over my experiences at the pharmacy, where they kept giving me stuff for problems I wasn't having. Last time, the pharmacist gave me brewer's yeast. It's good for you, sure, but isn't it crazy to take yeast while on antibiotics?

So I feel much less godauful having only tried one of the two prescribed medicines. Or, I could just stop taking everything and hope for the best. The blood test I had early this morning was for lyme, but I don't get the results back for 2 weeks, which which time, I will have stopped taking antibiotics anyway. Tomorrow was the day my original course of antibiotics would have finished, if I had not become allergic. Stopping = tempting.

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