Us Brits love a good moan and a favourite topic to whinge about is the NHS from "I can't believe it took me so long to get an appointment to see my GP" to "My local hospital is not going to be able to operate on me for 3 months". The reality is though, that despite its short-comings, you know how it works, how you get referred to secondary care and where to go to. Moving abroad, you realise that you are going to have to quickly negotiate your way around an entirely new system. And, inevitably you are going to park this thought until you genuinely need medical advice.
This week, for no reason, the ball of my right foot has swollen up dramatically, making it painful to walk on and almost impossible to wear shoes. Having done a bit of self-diagnosis online, I have short-listed my issue to:
Naturally, I would rather it wasn't gout as that would make me a 50-something fat ruddy-complexioned posh man with a penchant for port, ales and steak. However, I can't rule it out so I am basically treating myself for all three issues simultaneously in the hope that something works and I don't have to resort to navigating around Hong Kong's unfamiliar healthcare system. My current treatment plan involves:
1) Sitting on sofa with foot elevated on cushions
2) Regularly administering ice-packs and tiger balm
3) No alcohol or meat
4) Drinking lemon juice and eating cherries
5) No exercise
So, I am firmly glued to the sofa, snacking on fruit and vegetables and feeling ever so slightly sorry for myself - while praying that something cures my fat right foot!