Sunday, January 6, 2008

Trust me, I'm a doctor

Baghdad street dogs relaxing in the morning sun

Iraqi medicine really winds me up. I had one of the contract guards come to me with what I easily determined was a mild sinus infection. He had previously visited one of the local "physicians" who had given him some tablets and offered to give him an injection as well. I looked at the tablets and discovered that they were diuretics designed to make him urinate, reportedly lowering his overall fluid level and making the pressure in his head go away. I told him that was probably the stupidest thing that I ever heard and advised him to throw the tablets away. Buddha only knows what the injection was supposed to be for. I did find out that they have to pay cash for pills and injections, which now starts to make sense.

If you're ever sick in Iraq, or any other similar country, be very wary of someone that is calling him/herself a "doctor". For me, I'll go to the ends of the earth to seek out a current or ex-Army Special Forces medic in whatever county I happen to be in. They're always superbly equipped and their medical skills are the best in the world.

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