In one of her latest blogs, Kate La Vie talks about this tweet which says January was a ‘free month trial’ and February should be considered a s a New Year. Seriously, I do not understand how it is February already. I feel like I have not seen January at all and its gone nothing as planned.
The start of this year has been something else for me. Like everyone else, I had super killer plans for the new year and the new start. I was never that resolution kind of girl. But for the first time in so many years I had few resolutions and few plans. Which did not include fifteen solid days of fever and pain and sickness. I never get seriously ill. But this January was one with too many “firsts”. First doctor visit in United States of America, first flu (which turned out to be false diagnosis), first kidney problem, first IV (which is Intravenous Therapy – Indian translation Saline). Yeah! Pretty much went through hell. But, going through these I learnt few things. I learnt a bit more about American medical system, got familiar with how my medical insurance actually works. So, I thought why not share little of what I went through.
You may have heard it thousand times but here it goes for thousand and one – you must have a medical insurance in USA. Otherwise, things go way too expensive. You never know when and what may happen so DO buy an insurance for yourself. Now the whole insurance system is so complicated, I am still struggling understanding it, I must admit. But I know one thing for sure that I have an insurance and that saved me a lot of money this January. There are types of medical plans – HMO, PPO, HSA , these are the once that I know of. HMO is cheapest but with more restrictions and strictly in network services. PPO is costlier than HMO as it has yearly deductible. But it is more relaxed. HSA is better when you have family and regular medical needs. Of course, this is how I understand these. I have chosen PPO for me. Wherever I went, hospital or pharmacy, first thing I was asked for was my insurance.
PCP stands for Primary Care Physician. It is something like a family doctor. And everybody must have one. Its been six month I have insurance, but I had no idea about PCP till I fall sick. So, when I’d fallen sick, I was clueless as to where to go and whom to contact and how to proceed. It turns out , you are supposed to have your PCP and whenever you need medical help, you can contact him. As soon as you have an insurance, it is best to research nearby physicians which are suitable to your needs, and take their appointment if they are accepting new patients and request them to be your PCP. And not to wait until last hours.
urgent care vs emergency room
As I said, I didn’t have PCP, so I was suggested to go to an urgent care. Urgent care reminded me of clinics in India. You don’t need to take appointments to go to an urgent care. It takes 1.30 – 2 hours wait until you see a physician (doctor). However, urgent cares have limited medical facilities and it is good when you have minor non-life threatening conditions. Emergency rooms (ER) are well equipped and mostly for life threatening situations. Emergency rooms cost way too more than an urgent care. The waiting time is more or less the same. But in ER you will get better medical treatment if you have serious sickness.
So, it started with a sudden pain on right side of my back. The pain increased in the night forcing me to take a painkiller to help me sleep. The next day I woke up with fever which lasted for two days when we decided to visit urgent care. The doctor diagnosed it as a flu based off of symptoms, without any tests. I came home and started very expensive antibiotics course for flu. On the side I was suggested to take fever tablets. As long as I was taking my tablets fever was in control but as soon as the tablet effect reduced the fever was showing back. And the fever was in highs of 3! In the struggle of fever, my back pain was still there. I was complaining about it but it was ignored. But after completing flu antibiotics course, fever was still there and so was my back pain. When we decided to visit ER. We went there, and immediately were taken for triage. I explained what happened in urgent care about flu about pain everything. After and hour or such wait, a nurse took me in. She gave me fever medicines, and explained me the number of tests that she will be carrying. Other nurse took out blood from both of my arms. I was asked to give urine sample and meanwhile swab test was taken to confirm flu. After taking all the samples I was asked to wait for the test results. After an hour and a half wait, I was called inside again. the nurse explained that the flu test came negative. I never had flu in first place. this was something else. Which explained why the flu medicines didn’t work. The nurse went on explaining presence of white blood cells in the urine sample which indicated kidney infection. And apparently I was carrying that for 13 or so days because of the wrong diagnosis of flu in urgent care. She gave me a pain killer and put me on IV. I was given an antibiotics through saline for the infection. Which dripped for more than an hour. I was transferred to different rooms. And finally the physician visited me. She explained what happened to me and what has she treated me with and also gave me antibiotics course for a week. As soon as my IV was finished I was released. With the correct diagnosis I am feeling better and fever is in control so far. And I am happy with the ER experience except for the excess fees. Also, I have taken appointment for full checkup and PCP.
Oh snap! its about January
I wanted this post to be about January, but as we are seeing most of it is about my sickness :/ . Most of my January went in to sickness as you can tell. But I did do some stuff. To round up the fun outings in January, we did watch The Arrival. The movie was something else, definitely not entertaining. And I feel I have read and seen better alien movies. Because of the fever, I had to miss Kabil and Raees and I don’t regret it 😛
Restaurants wise – we all friends went to an authentic Mexican place called Cafe Artemis in Campbell. I really enjoyed my margarita. The other weekend me and my boyfriend went on a date in a Burmese restaurant called Rangoon Ruby in San Carlos. It was not first time there for both of us, but this was first time we went there together. I really really like the tea leaf salad.
The most fun thing we did this month was the Amazon’s after holiday part at Levi’s stadium. That Saturday I took good rest, and had no fever. After so many days I got to get ready. We took total advantage of the photo booth set up at the party. The casino set up on the fields of Levi’s Stadium was super impressive. Food was okayish with pizza, chicken wings, salad and some Chinese options. Brownie on the dessert and cocktails were my favorites. And then we danced on the DJ. (Which turned in to sever back pain later as I still didn’t know I was having kidney infection).
Other than this, California is been raining badly. One day even though I was feeling sick, I was too bored of my bed and my room so I requested for a ride. And we went to Top of Sierra Road Elevation 2018 Feet up the mountains in the rains with risky roads and crazy sky.
Lastly, the book of the month was “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook. I was too late to watch her TEDTalk. I watched it in 2014. Since then I wanted to read this book and now finally I did. Even though its old now, I feel many of the girls where I am from might not be knowing about this. Every girl in tech, every girl in general and every guy must read this. Theres lot been said, discussed about this book already, I am not going to. Just if you haven’t read it, you must !
What are your January highlights?
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