You've probably got more chance of seeing a penguin swimming in the Adriatic than spotting me waiting in a doctor's surgery. Even though my entire family works, in one form or another, for the health system I avoid anything to do with white coats like a vampire avoids a ray of sunshine.
So when I found myself sitting and waiting in front of the doctor’s door this week I was on unfamiliar ground.
It isn’t that I don’t trust doctors here, far from it. Every experience that I’ve had personally with either the hospital or nursing staff in general has been first class, I couldn’t fault a thing, even the food was edible. Now clearly some investment is needed into the infrastructure side of things, but the staff are doing a great job. So as I was waiting to see a doctor there must have been something wrong, and something that neither I or Google could fix.
The older you get the more things start falling off
You get to a certain age and you start worrying that things are going to start to fall off. I guess the human body is like a car. The more miles on the clock the greater the chance of a breakdown.
I’d had this God awful cough for ten days. Every morning my body tried to eject my lungs from the rest of my body. Luckily it didn’t succeed, however it did manage to eject a whole mix of rather unsavoury things. But let’s not go into that now.
“Are you sure it isn’t Covid?” said my wife. That’s one of the problems when you have a global pandemic, you blame everything on the virus. Did Covid kill everything else? I was 99 percent sure that I could rule the virus out, but just to keep peace at home I tested myself. Being double vaccinated I knew there was a good chance that it wasn’t the virus, and as I didn’t have any other symptoms I was even surer.
“It’s like a pregnancy test,” said my wife. “Do you stick a pregnancy test up your nose then?” I laughed. Negative! I was neither Covid positive or pregnant!
My energy levels were low, I’d wake up with 20 percent battery level and after a few hours I’d be needing a recharge. Of course, I awoke every morning hoping I’d be better so I wouldn’t have to seek medical attention.
When you're sick Google will finish you off!
Google killed me! As I typed in the symptoms I had I was greeted with a whole range of possible diseases from cancer to pneumonia and yes of course Covid-19. I don’t know why I even ask Google, I know I shouldn’t, but my curiosity gets the better of me every time.
A week went by and my cough was still throwing out a bucket load of sticking stuff from my body. If you want to make yourself a social leper in one easy step, then start coughing uncontrollably in a supermarket. I had people looking at me as if I was a mass murderer. I thought about printing a T-shirt – “I don’t have Covid just a terrible cough.”
In spite of gulping down a cocktail of syrups and homemade concoctions it seemed that something stronger was required, something I couldn’t get without a prescription.
“So what symptoms do you have?” asked the friendly doctor. I released an almighty cough, “that!” She smiled. More questions followed and then the listening of my lungs which I had presumed were barely alive.
Some tapping into her computer and the blessed words that you want to her from any doctor, “You seem fine.” Of course bed rest and a stronger syrup were recommended but the good news was I was on the road to recovery. “You probably won’t be running a marathon any time soon, but you’re fine,” she added. That was fine by me as I had no plans to run a marathon ever. I waved goodbye, not planning to see the doctor (touch wood) for the foreseeable future.
I gulped down the syrup and did as the doctor ordered and went to bed, the best doctor’s advice ever.
And just to raise my spirits here is my favourite medical joke, a short history of medicine - “Doctor I have a headache.” - 2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.” - 1000 B.C. – “That root is a demon, say this prayer.” - 1850 A.D. – “That prayer is a superstition, drink this potion.” - 1940 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.” - 1985 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.” - 2000 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”
Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to