Thursday, 2 July 2009

Swine flu strikes...sort of

A recurring toe injury surfaced from an active few days early this week, so yesterday I dropped into the local hospital to end my misery.

Despite suffering extreme pain with every step I take, almost on arrival at the hospital, the Missus and I performed an immediate about-turn and headed straight back home. We stopped in at our regular private hospital and, as before, we swiftly headed for the exit moments after our arrival.

What was responsible for these two wasted journey and my continued discomfort today?

Swine flu.

Well, technically not swine flu itself but more the hysteria around it.

Each hospital and surgery we visited or drove past, was rammed wall-to-wall with patients sniffing, sneezing and coughing themselves into a frenzy.

Coincidentally, we are experiencing a mini 'outbreak' of The Cough right now which, combined with fear of swine flu, is overwhelming hospitals and keeping me 'off sport' for the immediate future.

For those who don't know, Thai people are major hypochondriacs. Just the slightest hint of the sniffles gets them reaching for a nasal inhaler and using it every 15 seconds throughout the day. And then there are the flu masks, the copious numbers of children off school.

The Thai nasal inhaler is a major accessory as important as the mobile phone or wallet [credit]

Perhaps I'm just being cynical (and bitter as my foot continues to trouble me) but the Thai attitude to health makes me smile. Perhaps its the comparison with home where gunpoint is often the only method to get a man to visit a doctor.


Mike said...

Jon you are right about hypochondriacs, which makes me laugh a little since it costs a few Baht for a visit to the doctor anyway.

Recently both MTF and Doy have had a cough, not very pleasant but hardly life threatening. This involved two trips to different clinics and a stack of useless medicines including anti-histamines.

Talen said...

So true and well said!

The first time I saw an inhaler in Thailand I thought the girls using them were snorting something else.

My girl has an inhaler out every 10 now he brain must be mentholated.

The swine flu doesn't help with the normal hypochondria of Thais that's for sure. Hopefully the hysteria will be short lived.

Jon said...

Mike, anti-histamines? Sometimes I think the doctors give medicine out for the sake of it. We always leave with a new bottle to add to the collection.

Talen, it's true the inhaler are so used here it really is quite something on first sight.

Sadly things aren't dying down here, it looks like we may have problems.