In a word:

2/03/2007 09:57:00 am


Ah yes, I've always liked to do things differently. Before I go on, allow me to explain one key thing: Chlamydia are a whole genus of disease causing bacteria; Chlamydia trachomatis is sexually transmitted, Chlamydia pneumoniae is not. And right now, we're talking C. pneumoniae. Also, just let me warn you that this post gets all micro/immuno nerdy towards the end, but then kinda funny again, so bear with me.

Those who have known me for some time will know that I'm generally a sickly kind of person, the on-going sinus problems, anaemia (thank you to Scott, whose comment on hearing that anaemia was the cause of my persistant lethargy was "...(pause)...All this time I just thought you were a stoner..."), and the all-round reluctance to go to the doctor etc.

I started feeling a bit off on Monday, and had a few white spots on my tonsils, swollen glands, and a fever by Tuesday, but figured that it was probably just viral tonsillitis and that I could wait it out. But, when I woke up in severe (read: SEVERE) pain last night at 4am and couldn't swallow properly because my throat had become so inflamed, I decided that it was probably time to go to the doctor... never again. I would rather die than try to navigate my way through the Swedish healthcare system. First of all, you have to justify your illness to a nurse over the phone before you can get an appointment, but you have to call about eight different numbers and get told different things by each person you speak to until you are actually talking to someone who will help you. And then when you do find someone who will answer your call, they can't understand your accent and all matter of strange things end up happening. We got lost just trying to find the place because the directions I'd been given in garbled English were bordering on ..I don't know, something other than adequate. Sigh.

Anyway, the whole healthcare in Sweden in probably a story for another time, since by two o'clock in the afternoon I was getting desperate and was ready to throw myself on the floor of the hospital screaming "just give me antibiotics!!!!".
Finally I made it to a doctor, twenty minutes after my appointment because I'd been lost in downtown Uppsala (see above), so I then got chastised by the doctor for being late. By this stage I was really ready to just sit down on the floor sobbing (the only reason that I'd even made it to the doctor after getting lost instead of giving up and going home was that one of my friends had come with me) but I just sorta looked pathetic and perservered.

Since you can't distinguish viral and bacterial tonsillitis visually, the doctor poked me a bit, then sent me to another room to have my CRP tested (C-reactive protein, under 50 for viral, over 100 for bacterial), and a throat swab. Twenty minutes later he tells me that it's all very odd because I'm negative for Strep, my temperature is normal (damn, I should have gone earlier in the week when I was having mild hallucinations), but my CRP is 66. Answer: mycoplasma or chlamydia.

This does sort of make sense because mycoplasma can fool your immune system because they don't have a cell wall, and chlamydia can hide from it because they're intracellular. I never thought that either were implicated in tosillitis, but I did some reading and apparently they are in about 5% of cases where is tonsillopharyngitis which makes more sense in light of the throat swelling.

Almost exactly twelve hours after I'd made the descision to actually go to the doctor, I still couldn't swallow and had run out of painkillers. But I did succeed, I had a prescription in my hand for tetracycline (heavy artillery eh) and was on my way to the pharmacy.

Quote of the day:
Doctor- so take two today and then one everyday after. Do you understand?
Me- yes, I understand.
Doctor- oh good, because I don't think I've really understood anything you've said today *GUFFAW*

Oh god, I'm going to bed before this day gets any worse.

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2 comments on this post

  1. Anonymous11:54 am

    i can tell you miss our bulk billing script farms.. i mean asian doctors... actually i dont know what i mean really but the doctor sounds dumb...

  2. Anonymous11:51 pm

    oh, poor ellie.. trust you to get the clap! hehe.. but no, its good to see things are going so well for you in sweden so far. the laundry, falling over in the snow, sickness.. laughs all round. for me at least.


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