i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

The U.K. Family Doctor

July 22, 2005

Today I found out firsthand about the differences between the U.S. medical system and that of the U.K. I've been sick for the past couple days. It's always miserable to be feeling sick but especially so when you are in a (quote, unquote) foreign country on vacation. I thought I was better yesterday but when I woke up this morning and was unable to stop coughing for about half an hour, I realized I was still ill. ick. So when I finally made it downstairs, my aunt suggested that I might need to see a doctor for antibiotics.

She decided to call the doctor to see if I could come in later in the evening or tomorrow, but the doctor told her to bring me in "straightaway" so I could see the locum doctor. So we got dressed and rushed over. My aunt explained that the way the system works is that each locality has a certain doctor. So unlike at home where you can shop around, the doctor you see is based on where you live.

Also, the doctor's visit costs nothing. The last time I saw a doctor at home it was literally a five minute consultation that cost $60. The doctor today listened to me breathing, told me I had a nasty cough, and asked if I would be travelling soon. I told him I had a little over a week left and he prescribed antibiotics. The prescription took about two minutes to fill at the local chemist's and cost me 6.50. A similiar course at home would have easily been $15 - 20, maybe more than that.

Also, I had a great experience, one that probably no one will relate to, except maybe Neha who is also blessed with an unusual name: when the pharmacist called my name when my prescription was ready, he said my name correctly without an ounce of hesitation. At home it's usually "um... (pause)... ms. richardson?" or a mangled version of my first name. Here it's said correctly, the British way which is "Moy-rah" and not my Americanized "More-ah." That was cool.

In other news, I am currently looking at a black and white photograph of my mother sticking out her tongue taken when she was no older than 14. How cool is that? Last night, I saw pictures of my great-great-great-grandparents, including a range of photographs from the mid1950's to pre-1900's. It was neat searching each photograph for signs of family resemblence.

Considering that my only family in America are my mom, dad, sister, and brother, the long linked connection back into the past is a pretty novel concept for me! It's been so wild finding out how much I have in common with people I've heard about all my life and am only meeting now for the first time. Family. What a cool concept. :c)

Moira at 07:53 AM :: Comments (3) :: ::

Moira, do you want us to say your name the British way? I always just called you what other people did because the consensus was that your name was pronounced just the same as "Maura." If you want it to be the other way, just say so ;-)

So cool to look at old pics of family!! I also just saw a picture pre-1900s of my great-great grandmother's wedding. The really interesting part of that picture is that it is a group of my family members--including my great-grandmother, who was born out of wedlock, which was quite scandalous (and is still looked down upon somewhat). It was my great-great grandfather that stepped up to father her when the -real- father bailed out before marriage. Fascinating! Funny that I'm technically not even related to the guy... and that I have -real- family that I don't even know about, now! Crrazy!

Posted by: Karissa at July 22, 2005 07:14 PM

I saw a pic of my grandfather on my dad's side, who died at the age of 81 due to Alzheimer's. He was full-blooded italian, came over when he was 3 in 1903. Amazingly when this particular photo was taken (1921-when he was 21), he looks very similar to me-tall, fat, and slightly handsome. Its uncanny! It's like seeing a black and white photo of myself.

I saw my great-grandmother and great-grandfather on my mother's side. My ggrandmother was full italian, my ggrandfather was a cherokee indian and italian. I'm truely what makes america so unique, lol

Posted by: Lou Gagliardi at July 24, 2005 11:41 AM

Thanks, Karissa, but I figure I'll be "More-ah" in the states cuz that's what all my friends call me and I'm used to it. My family's always called me "Moy-rah" and in high school and earlier, I was called any number of variations on my name... ick! ;c)

One of the family shots from early 1900's featured a young black man, which I figured was practically scandalous considering the prevaling attitudes of the day. Turned out he was the adopted son of one of my distant relations but no one could remember his name (apparently, he'd been, no pun intended, the black sheep of the family - no one remembered the scandal either.)

Lou, I know what you mean about the family resemblences - many of the women in the photographs I've seen have similiar features: you can definitely tell we're related. My grandfather was quite a looker back in the day but pretty short, shorter than my grandmother anyway.

Posted by: moira at July 25, 2005 05:00 AM
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