Panama Souvenirs & Ontario Health Cards

12 September, 2012

Half my husband's salary gets deducted towards Canadian taxes (I wish I were exaggerating). The taxes are meant to sponsor our healthcare & child benefits, which is funny because I can't remember the last time I saw a doctor in India, and I don't plan to have kids in the near future. 

So it's kind of ironic that the day my (much resented and hard earned) Health Card arrived in the mail, I had to use it. Turns out I brought back a heat boil from Panama - one that morphed slowly and painfully into an aching, huge abscess.I don't recommend Googling that, they're not pretty. 

I waited patiently for it to go away by itself but woke up this morning feeling like I'd been fighting all night and was barely able to sit, so given the Health Card was in the mail, I figured I may as well put it to good use. Plus, it's the prettiest picture I've seen of me on a Government-issued card (I have a low bar, clearly) and I was eager to show it off. I take my kicks where I can get them.

I finished an entire novel by the time the doctor called me in, but except for the wait-time of about twenty minutes, the whole experience was remarkably smooth (and I say that despite having been injected, cut open, and then drained). The doctor was friendly, went straight into action, and warned me when things were going to get painful - and may I just say, as someone who's gotten a tattoo on a very bony finger - this was way more intense. She did a pretty good job distracting me.

Same story at the pharmacy - I'd to wait ten minutes while the prescription was scanned and sent to my insurance company, but at the end of it I was handed over a bag of antibiotics with incredibly detailed instructions on how to use them (I love my family pharmacist in Chennai, I do, but I can't imagine him having the time to sketch things out for me that clearly!) and no bill.

I'm happy to see the taxes are being put to good use. It's going to be hard cribbing about them if I can get a good night's sleep.

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