Karen experiences the Danish medical system

Sep 19, 2006 • Karen

Normally, I am a very healthy person. So when I came down with a sore throat Friday night/Saturday morning while visiting Sweden (which I will blog about soon, I swear), I figured it would go away quickly on its own. Sore throats usually do.

By Monday night, I was still suffering. Major pain in swallowing, earaches in both ears (I'm pretty sure this thing went up my eustacean tubes), and intermittent headaches. And no medication to speak of except aspirin and some really crappy tea. Out of curiosity, I took a flashlight into the bathroom and peered at my throat. Or rather, the back of my mouth, since everything was too swollen to see much further.


The next morning, I asked at the office where I could find a clinic in Hillerød. They pointed me to one about a block from the train station. I got there at 10:10. Their open consultation period turned out to be from 9 to 10 (oops) but after an hour they managed to squeeze me in. The doctor wasn't used to treating English patients, though her English was plenty sufficient. The strep test came back negative, but she was pretty sure that my sore throat was bacterial. She prescribed me a round of penicillin, pointed me up the road to the pharmacy, and said to come back if this didn't go away in a day or two. The clinic visit was free; the drugs had a co-pay of about $6 (which I can get reimbursed at DIS). Yay socialized medicine!

Today is Wednesday, five days after the initial onset of symptoms. I still feel like hell; the headaches seem to have partially subsided but they've been replaced by the constant feeling of choking on one's own throat. I've been making myself get plenty of sleep, but I can only get it in two or three hour increments; my throat keeps waking me up. And I'm just wondering if I'll have to take another day off of class (or two!)...

Spot of advice, kids: don't get strep. Or pseudo-strep.

[Edit: Okay, add a 100.5°F fever and vomiting (once) to the list of symptoms. Pre-chewed banana up the nose is not an experience I ever wish to repeat.]