Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The doctor will not see you now

What might a nomad such as myself do when a non-life-threatening-but-still-annoying ailment dares to intrude upon one’s idyllic existence? Your chances of having a local primary care physician are next to zero, and even if you had one you wouldn’t be able to book an appointment in the foreseeable future. A hospital emergency room is unnecessary, too expensive, a long wait, and a pile hassles. You have Medicare, though, because you’re an old fart.

So you ask Google Maps to locate a walk-in clinic. Since Yuma is a good sized town, you’re informed there are three to choose from. In order to shorten your wait you arrive as the doors open, flash your Medicare card and ID, do a bit of paperwork and the next thing you know they’re weighing you and taking your blood pressure.

Urgent care facilities keep their prices down by using physician assistants and nurse practitioners instead of MDs. That’s fine for what I suspected ailed me: an infection in my throat and ears. If that turns out to be the case, and if they have the authority to prescribe antibiotics, I’ll be happy. Considering.

And, yay, the nurse practitioner confirmed my self-diagnosis and sent me on my way to the drug store for a week’s worth of Amoxicillin.

Afterward I thought, you know, the medical industry could use much more of this. So often you just need to see a trained person who can tell you whether you need to take matters to a higher, much more expensive, level. Sometimes all you require is stronger medication than you can get over the counter. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you it’s nothing serious. And sometimes you just want someone to shine a light in your mouth and say uvula.


  1. I have a good primary care doctor but I like to use physician's assistants and nurse practitioners when that is appropriate because they treat me like a person rather than an illness more than most doctors do.

  2. Amox is one of the drugs I pick up in AlGodones. Very inexpensive and handy for just what you went through.

    1. I considered that, but a friend got in trouble with Customs when they tried bringing it back. I don't know why. Mine was only $10.18. Since parking at the border is $6, and there would be a wait in line to return, this was a good deal.

    2. Some people take amox marketed for fish. Been doing it for years. Real cheap. This article by Smithsonian says why it's a bad idea. But in the comments, you hear from people talking about their positive experiences with taking fish amox and why they do it. Lots of them are conspiracy ranters, but some have important things to say. Very interesting.

    3. Interesting and I can't argue with your economics. It may have been that he exceeded the amount you can bring back. The pharmacies in Mexico can advise you what you can and can't bring across.

  3. Some insurance companies are trying online doctors, nurses, etc. that you videoconference with from a phone on your app. They can prescribe meds. Great for us for some kinds of ailments or even just to renew a prescription. For your infection, I think you did need an in-person appointment, though, to look at your uvula.