Monday, September 14, 2009

Doctor, doctor!

Today I paid my first visit to a regular American civilian doctor. Well, actually, he is a Russian, but he's lived and practiced in the States for a long time, and he was my doctor in 2001-02 when I lived here. I gave him a bottle of Sicilian wine and he told me that you should drink half a bottle of wine every day to increase your life span 10-15 years. OKAY! You gotta like a doctor like that.

I prepared for my visit by writing down the current prescriptions I have from my Navy doctors in Sigonella. This last year, in particular, I felt I had really good doctors and good care. So, this doctor, Dr. Gorachov, looks at the list and says, " Okay, okay, okay, I have no problem with any of these. They are all old treatments, but if they work for you, you can stay with them."

I asked him what he meant by old. He elaborated by telling me that these were all very old drugs, rarely prescribed anymore because they have replaced by newer ones. I became slightly alarmed and explained that it was a military hospital and they probably had a very small pharmacy and selection of drugs.

"But this one," he said, "is too strong. You shouldn't take it this strong or very long. It can ruin your liver." Oh, great! But hopefully the wine will not.

Besides the chat, weigh-in, blood pressure, and lung check, I had an EKG, urine sample, and blood sample taken. I left with a fistful of prescriptions, a free sample of something, orders for two more (routine) tests, and the offer of a flu shot (I passed). My co-pay was twenty dollars. No checks, only cash or credit card. The two assistants who worked with me were from Moldova and Uzbekistan. That's why I love this place.

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