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Sunday, June 06, 2010

All quiet on the western front

My sister visited us over the long weekend. It has been four long years since we met face to face. Phone conversations and video chats go only so far to bridge the gap!

It was great to see the four kids play together and see them ask questions like "why can't they stay longer?" , "when can we go visit them?" , "Can they move to California?" etc. etc.

We toured a few local sites (all day trips) and before you realized it, they were off to their routine.

We were glad they came last week instead of this week, what with the heat being downright unbearable here this week. Two weeks ago we had the heater on because the temperature was 46 F in night. Last night the cooler was on and the house temperature read 89 F!

The plan is to powder some amoxicilin and put it in a pepper grinder. We can then put amox powder into our chai, sambar, etc. etc. Just went through a prescription for 1000 mg twice a day for 10 days. That is 20 grams of the stuff in 10 days to cure a sinus infection.

With the weather and pollen levels here, it is just a question of time before going for the next round. Unlike India where you can get this stuff from your nearest pharmacy, here in the US, you need a doctor appointment (co-pay=20$), then wait in the hospital with other germ spreading folks, be seen to confirm the sinus infection (that part always cracks me up when the doctor pronounces "your sinus is infected" and I respond with "I know"), then wait for 30 minutes for the prescription to go to nearest pharmacy, go wait in that line for 30 minutes to get the thing (you pay 10$, you save 76$ because you have insurance!!! yippeee!! Now that part is irritating) and finally after half a day is wasted you are on your way to a temporary recovery.

A tablet that is generic that costs 4$ and is Over the counter costs 20$ + 10$ to the patient and costs the system 160$ (that is original doctor's bill to insurance company) and 86$ for the tablets (of which we pay 10 and insurance pays 76).

If Pseudafed and Amoxicilin were made OTC in the US, that alone would significantly reduce healthcare costs. Maybe they can come up with a little <5$ test kit for checking if a sinus is infected? Stick a swab into your nose and put it in a liquid CSI style and go "yep. Infected!" and you take that to your pharmacist and he can give you the tablets.

Again we dream. Today we saw the pollution as we drove to the airport to pick up FIL and it was something. My FIL keeps asking me "why cannot this country have a decent public transportation system?" and I go "then America will become a very poor country and the roads wont be this nice"..

He asked me to explain and the rest of the ride back from the airport was a long monologue on the American economy being powered by Automobiles that run on gas...

You will get a transcript of the monologue soon... when I get some type time.

Maybe it is time to start a movement of sorts at a grassroots level. Start a bus service that covers the bay area and at least have Desi's and Chinese folks who are used to better public transportation try it out?




I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:41 AM, Anonymous A-kay wrote...

I have thought about this many times - but then my commute is about 22 miles. If I drive, (non-carpool hours), it takes me about 25-30 mins door to door. I was carpooling till about 6 months back and when I stopped carpooling, I was seriously considering public transport system. But then realized the current PTS will require 2 hrs each way for me to go door to door. I was willing to spend about an hour each way but 2 hrs was way too much. But even if I think of a PTS, unless we have to point to point service (chennai style), I don't think we can do any justice here, given the distance we cover. But still, I dream...

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:37 PM, Anonymous prabukarthik wrote...

very reminiscent of our conversation during uvas canyon trip :)


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