Getting shot.

18 08 2007

I really thought this only happened in the movies, getting a shot in the butt. But apparently, that’s the preferred place to take a shot of medicine in Brazilian hospitals. In fact, what the nurse told me, is that they don’t do it in the arms because of the risk of inflammation, but since the butt is already huge (case in point with my own) it won’t show inflammation if a shot is taken there. So today I had my first shot in the butt to cure the virose I have going on, which I could have sworn was bronchitis.

When the doctor, who spent a good deal of time looking at my chest–not examining it, mind you, but looking–asked if I felt a cat’s meow in my chest, I just shook my head “no” because for the life of me I couldn’t translate the Portuguese words he said to anything recognizable. It was something about a cat, but I couldn’t understand what my chest had to do with a cat.  And even in English, “a cat’s meow”? In my chest? What the hell does that even mean? When he demonstrated what he was talking about by making a wheezing noise, he was trying to say something like, “do you hear weird strained noises when you breathe” (which, for the record, sounds nothing like a cat’s meow) that would be a symptom of bronchitis. But I didn’t, and I don’t, and now I’m just glad we’re not talking about my chest anymore.

As far as the shot is concerned, which I’m still fairly nervous about because since when do you get a shot for a sinus infection, it felt ridiculous, me all bent over the hospital bed, my pants tugged down a little bit, and the nurse behind me telling me it was almost over. I laughed the whole time, picturing how it must have looked. I asked her for the name of the medicine she’d just shot into my butt because I wanted to find it online and see what the hell it is. R$228 later and I’m back home. It was a dream come true emergency room trip; I was there for 30 minutes, tops. I barely had time to read two pages in my book the whole time. Not to mention the fact that I went alone, managed to get myself through the whole process in Portuguese by myself, was confused only about the cat’s meow thing in my chest, and received several compliments about my language acquisition, I’m pretty sure I left not only with an inflamed butt from the shot, but a slightly inflamed ego. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.


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6 responses

19 08 2007
Jennie

One of my friends used to get shots all the time when she had sinus infections. I obviously chose to go to a different doctor. Shots are not my friend.

21 08 2007
ginacoggio

They really, really sting! And for a while! No, I much prefer pills.

14 01 2008
John Jones, M.D.

Yep, most IM antibiotic shots are a bit painful. But they work, and in a hurry.

John Jones, M.D.

14 01 2008
John Jones, M.D.

Oh, an re: the cat’s meow thing, I’ll bet he was talking about the heavy purr sound that cats sometimes make. He wanted to know if you’d had rattling in your chest/lungs.

John Jones, M.D.

14 01 2008
ginacoggio

Hey there, MD–why is it we don’t have more shots in the US? I mean, I just took an antibiotic pill for three days. Why didn’t the person administer a shot rather than prescribe a pill? If it’s that much faster and better, wouldn’t it make sense just to give shots?

14 01 2008
ginacoggio

And related to that, the success of antibiotics relies upon people remembering to take the entire course of treatment and not giving up when they start to feel better, right? So if that’s the case, I’ll bet waaaaay more people are getting sick and for longer because they’re not taking the entire course of treatment, meaning they often need to return to the hospital to get pricier meds, which then contributes to pharm companies making more money, and might even complicate the strains of the sicknesses becoming stronger and more resistant to medicines. Does this make sense? If an illness can be taken care of with a simple shot, shouldn’t more doctors be giving shots to their patients instead of prescribing pills that may not be effective?

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