Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Doped by the Brazilian Universal Health Care System

I almost refused the corticosteroid shot, but then in the end I took it. I was feeling a bit better tonight (after taking ibuprofen), but I was just horribly sick for the past four days, so my mom and I thought it would be a good idea with the trip coming up tomorrow.

It was my mom idea to take me to the small public local health clinic -- they call them "Postos de Saúde." Many are open 24h for emergencies. Mom wanted to make sure I didn't have a viral case of pneumonia, so she wanted a doctor to check my lungs. Of course the lungs were clear, but the doctor heard my croaky voice and saw my bruised nose & lips (from 3 days of constantly runny nose) and ordered the shot.

I think that maybe it's weaker than most steroids given in the U.S. since I'm not all awake, I think I'll be able to sleep ok. The weird thing is that it was the very same corticosteroid that the doctors gave me 35+ years ago when I was a little girl suffering from acute asthma attacks in a small town in Paraná. A couple of years later when my family moved to the state capital my mom learned that continual use of steroids are very bad for small children and I never had it again... until tonight, that is.

I will have to come back and tell you more about Brazil's universal health care some other time, but the best thing was that my mom had called ahead and the clinic was empty, so we hardly had to wait! And it didn't cost a penny.

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