Wednesday, March 18, 2009

L'Hopital's Rule

Well, I haven't gone yet, but a surprising number of my friends urged me to go to the hospital yesterday. It seems the Wolf Mary was not as trustworthy a steed as she at first appeared, and after a serious technological failure, I, and my sack of groceries, were thrown over the handlebars and somersaulting through the air. Yippee.

But what is remarkable is the readiness in which the word Hospital came out of their mouths. I've done this sort of thing before (twice in fact, both times featuring more blood), but never in America has anyone blurted out "hey! you should go to the Hospital!" Perhaps I am just in a "In America, we ..." state of mind, but I am drawn to the comparison because the willingness to go to a doctor has significant influence over the quality of one's health care, and I cannot help but wonder to what extent an entire generation of Americans has been subtly taught that health care is outside of their reach.

While I'm almost certain my ankle is just sprained, I don't know, and can't know until a doctor looks at it. And since seeing a doctor here costs all of 3kuai (less than 50cents), there's absolutely no need to. In the U.S., I could pay a couple hundred at the hospital (yes, with insurance), or save money by making an appointment with my primary care physician. Of course I'd have to wait a week.


  1. At the same time compare the healthiness of me, who is downright resistent to go to the doctor's, to julie, who goes much more.

    I trace it all back to John Wayne. And then Tobias doing an impression of John Wayne decades later.

  2. And compare that to my British friend who thinks that older Americans are weird for going to the doctor when they get sick. He says in Britain if you're old, and you get sick, it must just be your time to die. (I will note that I have not yet heard independent confirmation on this fact).

    That being said, even if it's a sprained ankle, it might be worth going to the doctor. If you can walk on it as is, they probably won't do anything to set it. But whether or not it's broken you may have to take it easy for a bit to avoid getting tendinitis, which would be no fun.

  3. P.S. I thought this was going to be an insightful post on diff eq's and their relation to Chinese politics.

  4. I know! Total let down on the math angle

  5. I stopped having every-day mathematical revelations a long long time ago.