I FINALLY made it to a doctor this morning. Two days ago I'd arranged to go (you turn up and wait at most doctors, as I understand it, and don't make appointments) but stupidly changed my mind. Yesterday wasn't practical, and today I finally went to see a doctor at one of the hospitals (which operate like drop in centres).
Now, for the record, I hate going to doctors and will avoid them whenever possible. In the past, I've tended to use doctors for repeat prescriptions of drugs I've needed or for referrals and that's about it. I have my reasons, amongst which is little faith in the medical system.This isn't my only reason though. My preference will always be for homeopathic treatments, or using aromatherapy or acupuncture to cure things. I only take painkillers when I absolutely have to.
But, I'm not stupid and do accept sometimes it is necessary to go to a 'real' doctor. Like when I believe I have a chest infection.
I was at the hospital an hour and a half. A lovely English speaking admin man spoke to me at reception and said he wasn't sure if there was an English speaking doctor there right now. I'd filled in a form and ticked lots of boxes already, but asked nice admin man if he'd mind writing down, in Japanese, what I told him so the doc could read it. Nice admin man sat and waited with me for ages afterwards and chatted and then went off, coming back 10 mins later to say they'd found someone else in the hospital that could help by phone when I saw the doc, if necessary. Nice admin man kept me updated on how long I'd need to wait, etc.
As it turned out, doc did speak English. I had to wait in another area after called, saw the doc for about 2 mins, (note: at no stage did I have any kind of physical examination) got panicked by him using 'pneumonia' and 'xray' in the same sentence. Waited somewhere else. Had two xray techs reading from a book to tell me to take my clothes off - I saw the words 'take your shoes off', saw a gown, and kind of guessed the rest - to their total relief. Waited somewhere else, and then somewhere else. Saw doc for another two minutes and got a prescription for three drugs and his agreement with me that it was probably bronchitis. If I'd said I had plague, wonder if he'd have agreed with that.
Whole exercise, plus drugs cost me about 8,000 yen (£40). Luckily, I can claim all of that back.
And I got to school 7 minutes before my first lesson, but cobbled together a really good class. Was pleased :D
But, my point is - it seems all too easy to get drugs from doctors, in the UK and, it would seem, over here. Oh well.
Oh, and I get totally spun out of antibiotics, so I've a fun few days ahead!