Monday, July 16, 2007

Is There A Doctor In The House?

Today instead of missing root beer, which I pine for nightly, I am missing pharmaceuticals that I know and love. Lovely sounding things like Phenergan and NyQuil. Oh how I miss those beautiful gel caps. But since I am thinking about the health care system, I decided to write about it as well.

As we were planning to move here my sweet mother-in-law expressed concern for our health. I told her she had nothing to worry about, so many of the good doctors in Arizona were from India, it would stand to reason that there were good doctors in India. The thing is, I wasn't sure I believed it. So before we left the states we took care of all the medical things we could think of. We single handedly paid for our pediatric dentist's Christmas vacation, I am sure. We also took care of glasses and an ingrown toenail and anything else we could think of. Once we got here we quickly learned that we had wasted a substantial sum of money!

Our first brush with illness was our 8 year old, Star On Stage. We called a popular pediatrician expecting to be put off until the following week. He said to come in that afternoon. When he heard we were from Arizona, he said, "I practiced in Phoenix for 10 years!" (What do you know, I was right!) At the end of the visit he charged us 600 Rupees or about $12 for the visit! This was our "initial visit", a phrase which usually costs an extra $100 in the US. As if that weren't enough, later in the week the doctor called to make sure Star On Stage was doing well. Since then we've had: A midnight emergency room visit for an asthma attack - $16; a doctor visit and x-ray on arm after a spill down the stairs - $19; a consultation, surgery and follow up visits for the previously mentioned (and "fixed") ingrown toenail - less than $150; and the most expensive..... ER visit, x-ray, MRI and 6 physical therapy sessions for a painful back injury - $290!

Now we are trying to think of all the things we could do before we go back to the US. How many kids can we get through braces in three years? What about Lasik for Mr. Smith and I? Does anyone want a nose job? Tummy tuck? Face lift? This is the time!

My favorite thing about Indian medicine is that medicine is cheap and you don't need a prescription! There is a family that used to live here that still comes back once a year for business. Before they leave the US they get a list of all the things their friends in Delhi want. In return, their friends procure a year supply of all the prescription medication this family will need. During the visit they swap goods and money and everyone is happy.

Now that I think about it, I could probably get something with codine in it....See Ya! I'm off to the chemist!


shauna said...

Oh, I would review a list of procedures and make appointments, one by one. Cosmetic dentistry would make my list, along with Lasik, and that's it because I'm too chicken to get plastic surgery. sigh. If I could order a perscription of courage I'd get a complete body makeover...

Aunt Carol said...

Count me in for a perky boob job and a tummy tuck. Oh yes a chin lift and what ever else I need hehehehe

Hunnydu72 said...

You know, over the years I've thought about plastic surgery because I always thought my nose was too big, my teeth weren't straight enough, everything started drooping when I, but if I went there and had the choice of anything done for dirt cheap I keep thinking there is a patch of popped blood vessels on my right leg that only I would ever notice that I hear they can flush the veins with water and they'll go away. It's strange, isn't it? The one thing I really would want to fix is something only I would ever notice.

Well, that and I have my mother's big, German arms that always look like I should be kneeding dough, probably also something only I would care about. No one else would even notice.

Hunnydu72 said...

Also, I want you to feel better, and not just better, but shiny new Amy.

Anonymous said...

Amy: Thought I would write in and let you know that you deserve any award you can get.
I enjoy your writing and the twist that you put on everything you write about.Keep on keeping on and I wqill keep on reading your blogs.
Tell AAron Grandpa said keep on being the boy he is, he is so much like his Dad and Uncle Bill wee.
Grandpa Smith