Lara and I have a few free loaders from South America. In Miami , Florida we developed hookworms in our left feet. Double YUCK! They are not dangerous as we are not their ideal host and they get trapped between the layers of skin, but they are itchy and they move and quite frankly you just want them gone!!!
We went to the Doctors in Florida and were prescribed Mebendazole pills for ten days. We had photos taken (our feet are now famous) and saw three different Doctors at a medical centre. The last one a 30 year Emergency Doctor couldn’t believe his luck. He’d never seen them before! It made his day.
When he heard what we had seen traveling already, with David resigning and us just taking off to explore the World, he confessed to us he had dropped down days considerably, as he was so stressed, and said he thinks he needs to try what we are doing too! See some of the World and give back to himself!
“It’s not all about the money!”
“A brand new BMW doesn’t always cut the mustard!”
Unfortunately, the pills didn’t work! We tried the urgent Doctors in Flagstaff – another U.S. $125 each and we were prescribed a cream this time. I have to say medical care feels like a business here. It’s been a strange feeling sitting in the waiting room and spoken to sharply about filling in forms and paying first. They are obviously used to turning those away that don’t have insurance!
It doesn’t feel good to me at all. It’s been interesting to be an observer.
The doctors are lovely when you break through the admin desks and get to see them. But you even have to sign forms saying you won’t sue if they make an error! It makes me concerned to be honest. There is no integrity.
I feel sorry for the Americans who can’t afford insurance! For six 100mg Mebendazole pills we paid U.S.$37 each, and then with the repeat another U.S. $33. So many people can’t even afford the medication they desperately need!
Finally we had someone take an extra step for us – a kind pharmacy assistant tracked down the Doctor as the cream he’d prescribed was no longer available! She got hold of him and he prescribed Mebendazole in a crushed up form to apply four times a day. She gave us her card to keep in touch, as she wants to know if it works in a week!
We are actual guinea pigs!
Another U.S. $85!
So far we have spent U.S. $739 or about NZ $1,000 on all of this. Our travel insurance covers US $102 of it as we have to pay for the first $100 and not medication. Hookworms are absorbed through the skin. You can’t feel it at all. Many of the people on this planet Earth have to live with them continually without medication!
I do believe everything is always in order, so there is a reason Lara and I had to experience this first hand! If this doesn’t work we will just keep swallowing itch pills until they die – another six weeks perhaps!
This system is not good. It is hard to believe this is a first world country!
All you kiwis, Australians and Pommies reading this, be grateful that we live in countries where everyone is cared for. Working or not. You would not want to be sick here!
I started out writing about our lovely time in Flagstaff, but it seems this is a story that needs to be told!!!