January 3rd, 2008

me

more unwell person ponderings

How long do you "need" to be ill for before you go to the doctor? That's the question I'm currently pondering.

I've been ill since last Thursday. Struggled on working on Friday & Saturday, and have been basically in bed or sitting on the sofa in a sleeping bag ever since. I don't seem to be getting any better. Have snot & a sore throat & a cough & a slightly raised temperature - I don't think it's anything other than a virus, but I'm just not getting better. If anything, today I am worse than I have been because the cough is so bad. I feel crappy & chilled & wheezy and - the thing that never happens - my peak flow is down. Not by much, but enough.

The thing about living in a country with free state-sponsored healthcare is that I can in theory just walk into a doctor's tomorrow for nothing. But because I live in a country with free state-sponsored healthcare, I'm aware that it's a limited resource. If I had to pay for each doctor's visit I'd be broke by now, but at least I'd feel entitled to have them look at me and go "Yup - it's a virus. Nope, we can't do anything." Whereas, as it is, I feel guilty if I go to see the GP with anything less than full-blown bacterial blergh. Free healthcare is great for regular maintenance of a chronic health condition & preventing it from getting any worse. It's not so great for feeling that you have the right to have your sore throat examined and declared to be just a virus.

Or maybe I'm just too public-spirited for my own good.