Friday, July 23, 2004

Interesting observations concerning medical treatment in an international comparison: USA has the highest standards and great doctors. Best medical care in the world, unfortunately unattainable for the people. Korea medical system takes care of basic needs. And because the doctors find that taking care of basic needs doesn't pay enough they like to do something extra, while you're in the office. For example take out your appendix. Japan has been efficient and pretty cheap, UK as well. Germany has seen some changes in recent years. Strange things have happened. The insurance pays for all kinds of strange treatments and procedures, but doesn't cover the basics. So while in the US you will be given pregnancy tests before x-rays, in Germany you don't even get one at the gynecologist. Pregnancy is not an emergency. Some might disagree. Also not covered are teeth cleaning and none mercury fillings (but they pay for as much mercury as you can stomach!). In fact, most prophylactic measures are not covered. I think I mentioned the melanoma type things on my back. The doctor said she'd look at one or two, but if it were more than that I'd have to pay extra. I said I thought it was only two (but who can be sure about stuff going on on one's back).

Excuse me if I'm not my usual brilliant self, I am currently preoccupied deciding whether my back hurts more than the ex-wisdomtooth spot. Part two of my medical observations involve actual procedures: While pulling teeth seems to be done pretty much the same way (brute force) dermatology follows different schools. In New York removing a mole was a minor cut, the annoying thing being the twice daily dressing of the wound (between my shoulder blades). Here I had to make an extra appointment. I don't know why, I still had to wait over an hour. Then I was put on a heart monitoring system. I must say that I got a weird feeling in that room.....The sweet smell of rotting flesh samples was in the air, the white curtains seemed speckled with something red....
While the doctor injected the anesthesia, she explained that she was all alone in the office today, nobody to help. But in an heroic act she went ahead with the surgery anyway. She removed the moles thoroughly. But while she was putting away the samples and labeling them, I felt something dripping down my neck----towards my chin----simultaneously something was running down my back, reached my butt----
The doctor reappeared to put some stitches. I asked her about the dripping. She said not to worry, just blood. She hadn't been fast enough, working all by herself. Later a girl appeared to help get me cleaned up so I could leave the office, she said:"Can you see blood" I said: "Yes, everywhere!" But that wasn't what she meant.
I'm trying to think if there is a point to this story. Maybe not. Maybe when the results are back. But there is good news also, in these painful times: For good luck a 7 inch grasshopper has moved into our house. It was sitting quietly in the corner until just now. Now it's gone. Are grasshoppers poisonous?