A different slant on Thursday Tech Talk…the technology of disease diagnosis. Today I received the best update this year on my health – I do not need to book a follow-up appointment with my Tropical disease Doctor, Dr. Andrea Boggild. I previously wrote about the terrific experience I had with Dr. Boggild. You probably never want to have a tropical disease in your life, but if you do contract one, you sure want to be in the care of Dr. Boggild or someone like her.
It has been a long road from my India trip through illness and back to health. In this journey, I learned about the many different types of mosquitoes in India, various tropical diseases they carry, and which ones can be prevented with medication and the ones that can not.
I also learned that our white blood cells tell a lot about us. They were able to tell I had mono two times in my life, with two different strains. One of these bouts was when I was 10 years old and my white blood cells told the story. You can’t hide from your white blood cells!
I am humbled by the many medical professionals who study, and care, and diagnose people every day. I thanked them each time I saw them, from my doctors to the people who run their offices (including the efficient and friendly Stephanie) to the nurses who took my 50+ vials of blood. I talked to every one and made sure they knew I appreciated them. I was telling one nurse I felt lucky we live in a time and place where they can take blood and find out things about us that will help. I said I hoped she realized how important what she does is, and that her kindness to me (I am deathly afraid of needles so appreciate people who talk to me) was important as I traveled through the weeks of uncertainty and knew the blood tests would help the process. She said nobody ever told her that.
I know there are things to complain about – waiting rooms, and doctors who don’t treat you like a person, and making sure you get the right diagnosis and the right help.
The next time you see a doctor or a nurse, remember to do your part. If you treat them well, maybe the will do the same for you. And if they don’t, try to find someone who will. And then thank them.
If you live in Canada and have reason to suspect you have contracted a tropical disease, remember the Tropical Medicine Clinic at Toronto General Hospital. They consult over the phone and via test results for family doctors who have patients in cities too far away to be there in person.