Irish medical

Well shortly after I posted that one about my little fall I was feeling pretty crap – back was starting to get sore and so was my neck, in fact my neck was quite stiff indeed. I put my hand up and felt a lump – eek!

Asked one of the girls at work, who said that she could see it, went to the bathroom to look in the mirror and sure enough, a big lump sticking out of the base of my neck at the side. Not good.

Now I haven’t yet bothered to find a "family doctor" in Ireland, I tend to not really get sick so when I need some doctoring I just head to a walk in service down the street from work, trouble is that they’re only open from 10 to 3 or something.

A quick check of the Golden Pages (where else?) turned up a few clinics nearby, but it was starting to look pretty dicey when the 8th one in a row was fully booked up last night and couldn’t see me until the follwing day.

Finally found a "late night" walk in service – open until 7. However, Jon said that he didn’t think that would be a good idea, seems my own walk in service is unusually good compared to the norm here. And no, no such thing as a real late night clinic.

So there was nothing for it. Off to the local hospital emergency ward.

Now I must admit here that the last time I was in an emergency ward for myself was well over 10 years ago, and to tell the truth I can’t remember if it was for me or one of the times I took Gary there, so while I can look at some comparisons, they won’t be scientific.

When I first arrived there was a queue to sign in and register. I waited for 15 mins standing in line – as I was on my own I didn’t have the benefit that others had of getting their companion to wait for them. Anyway I signed in and was told to wait for the triage nurse. The chairs were wooden backed, and there was no reading material around, so I figured I was in for a hideously boring time – thank whoever you believe in for google talk on the blackberry!

Anyway it was only about 10 minutes until I was called in to the Triage nurse who decided I needed to go to Zone 3. So back out to the waiting room and a call to St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne to see if mum happened to be working – she was so I chatted to her for about 15 minutes until I got called into Zone 3.

Once in my little cubicle in Zone 3 (minor injuries and illnesses) the doc came past and chatted and then had a look at the lump on my neck – the verdict, nothing to do with the fall. Instead a pretty nasty lymph node infection. He had a look at the movement in my neck and decided that it would be OK, but if it gets worse I’m to go back. I asked about the location – turns out there’s more lymph nodes in my neck than I thought, and given that I’ve never really been a sicky it’d quite understandable that I wouldn’t know about those ones. Doc was quite adament that I was right to come in rather than sleep on it.

All in all I was in emergency for about 1.5hours – pretty damn good for someone who wasn’t actually about to die. I’ll get a bill for 60 euros, which to be honest is only 10 euro more than a standard doctor would have cost me. All in all a pretty good experience with the Irish health system. Although Jacqui from work waited 14 hours to get treated for pneumonia last year so I was clearly very lucky.

So, I got myself home and today went in to work but had to leave early – now the infection’s really hitting and I’m feeling absolutely terrible. Not sure if the aches in my back are from the fall or from the sickness. Guess it’s time for me to actually rest up. I so hate getting sick!