Friday, 7 March 2014

Doctor's tales

I went to the GP (the Irish term for doctor) yesterday. It was just for a prescription but I knew I needed to get my blood pressure checked so I REALLY had to go. At 60 Euros the consultation, trust me, I don't go to the doctor for a broken nail. I think French people don't realise how easy they have it with almost free visits to their doctor...

As expected, my blood pressure was a bit high, so my GP asked if I was a bit stressed lately... Well, having two young children and working full time can be a bit stressful don't you think? So this is the advice she gave me:

"You should really take some "me" time. I know it's hard with two kids, so even if it's just locking yourself in the bathroom for a while"
Err, what ? Locking myself in the bathroom is not really going to work. The kids will come banging at the door, and who knows, probably switch the light off from the outside, which will increase my blood pressure even more...

Doctors have strange advice sometimes. A few weeks after my first child was born, he started to cry a lot. In fact, every time he was awake, he was crying. Being a new mum, I got a bit worried. Maybe there was something wrong, so after a few days of non-stop crying, and before I lost my sanity (and my hair), I decided to take him to the doctor... and this is how it went:

"He's been crying almost non-stop for the past 3 days, I'm worried there's something wrong. He might be in pain or something"
" Does he cry when you carry him?"
" No, when I carry him he stops crying"
" Just carry him all the time then!"

60 Euros to tell me to carry my child?? I won't be back any time soon...

I've also given up on going to the doctor if I have a cold or something related because I know what the diagnosis will be: A chest infection. It's ALWAYS a chest infection. I had to bring one of my kids to the hospital because he had high temperature but no other symptoms (except maybe a runny nose...). Do you want to bet the result ?
In France there is a specific name for everything that can happen to you: Rhinopharyngatis, bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis (and a lot more...). It seems Irish doctors  like keeping things basic in comparison. 

There is one thing that is a lot better in Ireland though. The doctor will only give you a prescription for a set amount of days and the pharmacist then give you the exact amount needed, so there is definitely less waste here than in France.

What has the Irish health system taught me ? There's no point going to the doctor for every little cold because they're going to tell me to drink lots of fluid and take paracetamol. Oh, and according to some Irish friends, flat 7UP cures everything anyway, so really, there's no point going to the GP... Maybe the French should re-think their relationship with the doctor and the the Social Security deficit would be a bit smaller...