“Just got back from the Dr. I have pink eye”
Of all the text messages to get on a Friday evening from someone you saw on Thursday this is not one you want to get.
Now everything I know about Pink eye I learned from an episode of South Park where everyone was turning into zombies a’la “Night of the Living Dead”. So at this point I’m afraid to touch my eye for fear of becoming a brain-eating member of the undead horde, as those are the only symptoms I’m familiar with.
As it turns out the actual symptoms are red crusty eyes, and the feeling of sandpaper under your eyelid.
I had none of these. However, because everything I know about medicine I learned from Scrubs, I decided to endulge my inner hypochondriac. So Saturday morning I made a visit to the local Urgent Care, just as a precautionary measure.
The nice thing is that the center opens at 9:00 and I got there around 9:15. By 9:30 I had a nurse giving me an eye exam. Ten minutes later the doctor was trying hard not to laugh at me for coming in without symptoms and by 10:00 I had received a prescription for the eye drops I don’t need.
All this cost me forty dollars, which is my insurance’s co-pay, and probably exactly what the doctor made in the ten minutes I talked to him.
Now what if there were free healthcare available to me? I would walk into the same urgent care as led by my inner hypochondriac only to find that every other inner and outer hypochondriac in the Dublin/Powell/Worthington area has come to the same clinic as me looking for a cure for their runny nose, sneezing, coughing aching and all the other typical stay-in-bed-and-rest illnesses.
I would not have seen a doctor until at least noon, and been exposed to a lot of stuff much worse than the pinkeye I didn’t have!
Eventually the amount of work made for the one or two doctors on call at this facility would be so immense that no doctor would be willing to set foot therein. The facility would close causing a lack of a medical facility in the greater Dublin/Powell/Worthington metro area causing people who actually need medical treatment to not get any.
If you don’t believe me look at what’s happening in Canada when there aren’t enough beds in Canadian hospitals and pregnant women are being life-flighted to the US to deliver their babies.
Oh, as it turns out this person I was exposed to had the bacterial form of Conjunctivitis and outside of sharing contact lenses there’s no real way to transmit that to another person.