Monday, November 29, 2010

The unbearable sickness of being.

I'm suffering right now.

I knew when I came here that I would have to suffer through this thing called Winter. But I was totally not expecting this thing called Eczema From The Very Dry House Because Of The Heating.

My whole body is affected by little mosquito bite looking thingies, which keep me awake all night because they're so bloody friggin itchy. But the worst part? The worst part is that it has also affected my face! My whole face is dry, red and itchy. When I wash my face, my hands aren't touching what is called My Face, but what is called The Gravelly Road.

Which brings me to a point that I hate about this country. What's new, you say? Well, I've been gradually getting used to and accepting the way of life here, but this point is really, really annoying.

The doctors.

First, let me point out the good thing about going to the doctors here is that you can walk in and out without paying or sitting around for medicine because it's all covered by a mandatory medical insurance (which you have to pay for, of course). And they send the prescription straight to the pharmacy near your house, where you can pick it up for no cost either.

The bad thing?

You have to call to make an appointment with the doctor, which you will usually only get at the shortest, 3 days later. I called two Thursdays ago, and found out that the whole clinic was away for a convention and I could only call on Monday if it wasn't an emergency. So I called on Monday and could only get an appointment on Friday. This is 9 whole days after I needed to see the doctor!

I should explain that this visit is actually a follow-up visit. I saw the doctor 4 weeks before to check a rash, and she gave me a cream for it then asked me to check back in 4 weeks. Three and a half weeks later, the rash has grown and is even worse. So I was actually pretty worried and desperate to get it checked out again.

Anyway, I finally saw the doctor on the Friday, and she took photos of the old rash to send to the dermatologist. When I asked her about the new eczema itches, she barely glanced at them and just pronounced that it is eczema and said she'd give me cream to moisturise my body with. All fine and dandy.

But 3 days later and 3 sleepless nights later, I'm getting really annoyed, because I don't see or feel any improvement. Makes me really REALLY miss my doctor in KL, who would have, first of all, got my first rash fixed or at least diagnosed by now, without it growing so serious and bothersome. And second of all, she would have prescribed not only moisture cream, but anti-histamines to take away the itch and maybe also a cream to calm the eczema. I've barely slept in the past 3 nights! I'm just guessing here, but I think because the medical is covered by insurance, they only prescribe the bare minimum that they have to. Well, I don't want the friggin bare minimum, I want to be cured!!!

When your whole body is red, lumpy and itchy, your face is rough, dry and ugly and your eyes are small and swollen, believe me, there is nothing about the medical system in this country that you can feel you will ever get used to or accept.


Melissa Chan said...

Aaron has had the same problem for awhile now. Not on the face but on the body. Has been to 2 different doctors (both dermotologists) but still hasn't cured. The doctors in Malaysia are pretty much the same la, usually not much help, based on my experience (not just for rashes, but for other illnesses).

I know 2 other persons with rash related problems as well and the Malaysian doctors can't figure out what they are or how to cure the problem.

Have you tried seeing a specialist instead? Straight to the dermotologist, maybe?

frachely said...

sounds really horrible! The bad thing about 'prepaid' stuff!

Did you try to ask for sth to ease the itch? I can totally relate to the "itchy" part! shud show u my swollen ankle photo!

elleLee said...

Your eyes could never look small. I thought your KL doctor was a he? Who is she?

I'm so sorry you're going through that, though. :(

shoobaba said...

hey mel, i had a small patch of eczema several years ago on my leg, and that was cured pretty quickly by my doctor. hence me feeling disappointed that the doctor here couldn't do the same thing.

when i finally reached the doctor to ask for anti-histamines and told her my problem, she actually said she was surprised that i was itchy and had it all over my body. i was just thinking to myself, well if you had just let me finish my sentence and show you the spots, instead of giving my wrist a glance and pronouncing "eczema"... :S

shoobaba said...

elle: i'm referring to mrs selva :P

rachel: yup i finally got anti-histamines yesterday, and it made the sleeping experience a whole lot better!

Melissa Chan said...

Maybe the doctor's had not much experience with skin problems. Whatever the reason, I hope you are feeling better. It does sounds pretty awful, what you are experiencing.


shoobaba said...

thanks mel, my skin is definitely improving. the anti-histamines also work like a dream and i can finally sleep the whole night through.

shoobaba said...

thanks mel, my skin is definitely improving. the anti-histamines also work like a dream and i can finally sleep the whole night through.