Tuesday, November 23, 2010

European Medicine

I'm at home sick.  And this is good, because while I actually don't feel all that horrible, I am just a disgusting human being right now.  I have a lung infection, and as such am just coughing and hacking and wheezing.  Plus my voice is just pretty much gone.  I can sort of croak a few words at a time.  So it's probably for the best that I am not at school.

On Monday I went to the doctor about my illness, where he looked in my ears, made a hissing noise, and then x-rayed my lungs.  I was written several prescriptions and sent home "de baja" or on medical leave.  Now, I also had an appointment with the gynecologist for that afternoon, which I had gone through hell and high water to set up, so I was determined to keep it.  So I stumbled home from the first clinic, started taking all my meds, and headed out to the second appointment of the day.  This appointment was in the nearby town of Villalba, which takes about 30 minutes to get to.  So I walked the twenty minutes down the hill to the cercanias train, then rode the train for the ten minutes to Villalba.  Of course, the train only goes once an hour, so I had the choice of either showing up 45 minutes early or 15 minutes late.  So the receptionist scolded me for being early.  I explained that I had a book and was happy to sit, and she sort of scoffed and waved me away to the waiting room.

Ladies went in and out of the doctor's office with a shocking speed.  They were seriously in there for only a few minutes each, and I wondered what could possibly be going on.  When my name was finally called, I realized what was up.  The doctor's appointment was actually just to sort of chat with the doctor.  Now, I was very sick and my brain was a bit foggy, so I can only imagine how pathetically I managed to pull that off.  So I chatted with the doctor about how my uterus has gone raving mad in the absence of hormonal birth control, and how I would like a prescription for the ring again (I would seriously wear Tshirts advertising the thing, I love it that much).  Then he wrote me out little prescriptions for a pap test, some blood work, and an ultrasound.  I have to return to the same clinic tomorrow morning for the pap and blood test, without eating first of course, and then go back to Villalba, but to a different clinic around the corner, for the ultrasound.  After that, I will have to return to the original doctor and get the prescription for the ring.

It's all just unnecessarily complicated, even with the private insurance provided by my school.  If I wasn't already de baja, I would have had to miss one and a half days of work for all this.  That's assuming I can go to the first clinic after getting the ultrasound tomorrow afternoon and get the prescription, but of course there is a good chance I will have to first make yet another appointment.  Which will make my fourth one-hour-plus round trip in this endeavor.

No wonder women have unwanted pregnancies!  Granted, I'm using mine to prevent insane uterus shenanigans.  But still.  The number of loops that I have had to jump through to stay on birth control throughout my life have been, frankly, insane.  And this is with the privilege of health insurance and jobs that allow me to take time off to go to appointments.  Plus when I eventually do get the prescription, it's going to be a fun 20 euro a month expense, which I make little enough to notice.

If this little rant made you feel uncomfortable, I do apologize.  But I find it just so frustrating that I have to make such an effort to live a life where I don't spend 3 out of every 19 days feeling like I'm being stabbed repeatedly in the gut.  And that so many other women have to do the same to have simple, responsible control over their own bodies.  It's just rant-inducing!


Dad said...


Lauren said...

Oh come on, Dad.

anita said...

Hi Lauren, in the past year I found out I was gluten intolerant and since going on a gluten free diet, I have had absolutely no pain at that time of the month. poof, like magcic. it still amazes me. maybe could be worth a shot for you to try?

Anonymous said...

Lauren Sorry about your problemsand doctors and clinics will be worth it when you feel better just say I can do it love and miss you grandma xoxo