Doctors and dentists

I don’t like doctors and I don’t have much time for dentists. When I’m sick, I usually grin and bare it, thinking that this is a lot more preferable to visiting the local quack.

My grandfather, who I never met, didn’t have much time for Western medicine either.

When he contracted yellow fever in the Sudan (the “the” seems to have been lost since we gave up the colony), it was the local medicine or witchdoctory that saved him. He was then looked after by some nuns and thus became a Catholic. So the family legend goes.

This morning, I woke up with a chronic earache. I seriously thought I had gone deaf. It was an absolutely terrifying experience.

My disdain for doctors is such that it really would take such a terrifying experience to actually haul my ass there. But so terrifying was the experience that I did grit my teeth and take myself to the doctor, just round the corner.

It was here that my gripe with doctor’s might be elaborated upon.

The treatmenet itself seemed initially to work. He peered in my ear, saw that I had a shedload of wax in there and promptly syringed it. Suddenly the muffled audio world in which I had lived for the duration of the morning sprang back into clarity, and I was extatically relieved.

What was not so cool was… well, two things really.

First the price. €25! For no more than 10 minutes work. Look in the ear, quick syringe. It made me seriously consider becoming a doctor. Until I realised that I would have to be looking in people’s ears and syringing wax. Yuck.

Then there was the exact diagonsis that the doctor made. He ummed and erred about writing me a prescription for eardrops, since my ear seemed slightly inflamed. He should have written me one, since now, as I write this, I am still in agony. I can already feel the wax building up again, and will have to pay another visit to him tomorrow. I will walk out if he asks me to pay another €25.

Damn doctors.

And then there are the dentists.

It looks as though I may have to have one of my teeth out, because of a cyst that is lurking just behind it. But this I only managed to deduce by much toing-and-froing of dentists, both Dutch and British, with none of them seeming to agree on the best course of treatment – or whether in fact there was actually any problem.

In the end, thoroughly fed up with the impossibility of the dental profession to talk with one voice, I fired up the Internet and did the research myself; and ended up telling the dentist what I needed doing. For which he took a nice £20.

My wisdom teeth are another story altogether. About 40% of dentists say I should have them all out, 20% say just the bottom two and 20% say just the top two. The other 20% say leave them in. More or less. Give or take a percentage.

So I’m confused.

The Dutch hospital wanted a grand to remove them, so this might explain their eagerness, whilst the treatment is free on the NHS.

Unscrupulous bastards, these medical professionals.


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