Friday, June 30, 2006

Egyptian Medicine



For me going back to Egypt is a walk in the park, I go where I please and navigate through the country like I've been there my whole life but there's one thing that scares the crap out of me whenever I go there.....Egyptian Doctors! Its an 18 hour flight and I spend 17 of those hours praying to God that I don't get sick because an Egyptian Doctor is more likely to kill me with his University of Cairo education than cure me. However because I am the unluckiest human being to ever live, I get sick each and every single time I go to Egypt. Let me categorize my adventures...

Egypt 1996-Vicious Stomach Virus.
Over night I went from healthy to laying on my death bed, every muscle in my body ached, it felt like Wolverine was giving me a full body massage. My temperature was SO high that I was hallucinating about monkeys with human faces dancing on the balcony, at one point I was laying on the bed and suddenly felt like I was falling through all the floors of the building from the 13th to the 1st. I had so little energy that spiders were crawling on me and I didn't have the strength to brush them away but I did have strength to run to the bathroom just in time to feel my bowels fall out! I was throwing up so hard I thought I was going to turn inside out and when I ran out of liquids I dry heaved like a house cat. Gross. Jokes aside it is the closest to death I have ever been. I refused to let a Doctor or anyone claiming to be a Doctor even look at me. However I still had to settle for Egyptian medicine, I was force fed charcoal pills to calm my stomach, literally pills made of charcoal to calm my stomach! As soon as they touched my stomach they came right back almost in a bouncing motion.

Egypt 2002-Abscess.
While trying to sleep in the oppressive heat I got bit by two mosquito's in my arm pit. I scratched them and by the time I got back to the U.S. they had become infected. I had to go to the emergency room to have them drained, I could have filled a value size mayonnaise jar with the amount of puss that came out. This time I got lucky I wasn't exposed to Egyptian medicine.

Egypt 2004-Cellulitis.
I get a mosquito bite on my ankle and it turns into a red ring. In less the 2 hours it turns into a completely swollen ankle and it hurts so bad that I finally concede to receive medical attention but not like you might think. I agree to see a Pharmacist who my family insists on calling "Doctor" which really pisses me off because I don't even like American Pharmacists. Think about it, this guy has the best gig you could possibly come up with, he gets paid 6 figures and a signing bonus just to put pills in a bag. At first I thought maybe I was just being critical and that there really is much more to his job than previously thought, but no. Apparently the hardest part of his job is putting your prescription into a computer which tells him if any current prescriptions will conflict with the new one, prostitutes work harder! My Grandfather used to refer to the Pharmacist as a "Baa'al". In Arabic a "Baa'al" is the guy who fills a bag with peanuts or pistachios. Grandpa was a Genius!

Anyways, so I go to the Baa'al, he looks at my ankle and gives me a cream for BED SORES!! What!?!?!?! He also gave me this extremely affective pain killer, this stuff was like Vicodin but better! Still though, every time I took one of those pills I thought I was going to die. You might think I am being dramatic but I could give you a list of people whose death certificate says "Cause of Death: Egyptian Doctor".

Its not till I get back to the U.S. that an American Doctor tells me I have cellulites and that without anti-biotics will spread to my whole body.

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