Thursday, 8 October 2009

On matters embarrasing

In case anyone who might be sending stuff to my real name is wondering why I might not be answering email, it's because I haven't been at work for nearly a week.

After being in a great deal of pain, I am now hobbling around like an old man, but recovering fast. It's just muscular, which is much better than my original fear that the massive and sudden back pain had to do with my kidneys. My blood pressure is fine, and my pee is free from excess glucose, nitrates or blood, lo, pure as the driven sn- well, pure anyway.

To note:

i, Diclofenac sodium (aka Voltaren) is the bomb. Weeee. I thoroughly recommend this cheeky little painkiller. However, be sure to follow the instructions about food and a good quantity of water. I especially emphasise that for those of you who may have no appetite due to pain; the last thing you need is to be reintroduced to what little you've eaten over the last few days.

ii, It is possible to lose 6.2 kg in a week without exercise. It is not recommended. I suspect that as I start sucking down more liquids and stop sweating them out this may correct itself.

iii, A good time to join the gym would have been a week before I actually did - it would have been nice to be aching pleasently from an upper body workout rather than whimpering in agony from my flabby body stuffing itself sitting down. Oh well - should be able to get into the first session next week accoring to my doctor. And I'm still on track to tackle the Rimutaka Rail Trail again at the end of summer.

iv, In US$, costs were as follows:
a) One walk-in (hobble-in) consultation with emergency physician on a Sunday evening, 40 minute wait after initial assessment by nurse, $61.
b) One inspection by the GP I choose four years ago, with an appointment within 24 hours of phoning up, $41.
c) Drugs - 20 x d. sodium 75mg slow release, and 100 generic paracetamol 500mg, $5
d) Sick leave - around 5.5 to 7.5 days fully paid sick leave, depending on how I feel next week, no cost. I have a contract with an "unlimited sick leave" provision, on the assumption that I'm an adult, and the point is to get well first.

Of course, if I had been poor ("community needs"), all but the first would have been free to me. And if I *had* had kidney problems, I'd probably be in a free hospital bed right now.

Oh, the oppression of socialised medicine. Well, single payer medicine.

Embarrassing things to find for the NZ male:

i, Having relative strangers compliment you regarding weight loss over the last couple of years.

ii, Having your more distant friends expressing so much worry about you being sick in your Facebook status reports.

iii, Having your close friends txt you about it.

iv, Having family cite you as an inspiration to them personally.

v, And finding that "I'm a librarian" while reading graphic novels is a great way to sneer down ridicule after hobbling to the local branch library.