Day 2, and already gone to see the doctor. T_T
Let me start out by saying that I’m okay and it’s nothing serious! But turns out that traveling is fairly stressful for the body. Even more so when you’re packing up your entire life to go travel.
I think it started with the cold that I got the week before, which never quite went away as I scrambled around trying to finish everything and see everyone at the last minute. My body hung in there until my 11 hour layover in Shanghai (in between a 15 hour flight and a 6 hour flight), at which point it went, “what?? It’s still not over?” and warmed itself up into a light fever. With the help of some rest and Advil, thankfully it cooled itself down over my first night in Sri Lanka.
However, the next morning I woke up with sore lymph nodes. And all of the little cuts on my body were somewhat swollen, particularly my thumb, which was already dry and cracked because of the winter. No big deal, I thought, it will all probably get better by itself within a day or two. But throughout the day, it just got worse.
This morning, another day later, my parents convinced me to see a doctor by casually but seriously mentioning blood poisoning and the possibility of death or at least losing my hand. Allllright then.
I found the closest hospital, though I didn’t know quite what to expect. Could I just walk in and see a doctor? Would the doctor speak enough English for me to communicate my symptoms? Would it cost me an arm and a leg?
Surprisingly, it turned out to be downright easy. I walked into the outpatient department, paid for a 350 SLR ticket ($2.40. It only costs $2.40 to see a doctor here? It cost me $189 to book a travel appointment with my doctor in the US, when all she did was open the CDC travel lists that I had already looked up on my own to tell me what vaccinations to get), and was led directly to the doctor. She was an older, stern woman who spoke broken English but understood “lymph node,” and within 5 minutes I had a prescription for antibiotic pills and creams. She didn’t even seem to mind (much) when I barged back into her office twice to confirm if I really HAD to take antibiotics and to ask if she could prescribe a different cream because none of the pharmacies carried it.
All in all, 350SLR/$2.40 to see the doctor and 2800SLR/$20 for the medicine. I can’t even imagine what the ordeal would have been like in the US. The difference in cost aside, I don’t think I would have seen the doctor right away and she certainly wouldn’t have stayed around long enough for me to ask any follow up questions. Of course, the ultimate benchmark is whether or not I feel better. Here’s to hoping I can bend (and feel) my thumb again and my lymph nodes return to normal!