Going to The Clinic in Thailand

Soi Bukiow Clinic in Pattaya

There is one medical malady that has plagued me my whole life and it’s name is tonsillitis, not just any old tonsillitis but normally acute tonsillitis.  Even since I was kid it has been in the background just waiting to jump me at any conceivable moment. The day the space shuttle blew up in 1985 I was hospitalized with the flu, pnemonia, strep throat and it was all brought on by acute tonsillitis, not fun. I can actually mark the periods of my life by this dam curse.

It would be easy to think ” he should have had them removed as a child”, that would have been nice but the symptoms have to be completely gone before any operation can be considered and money was tight when I was a kid. Besides most times it was a bad swollen and infected throat that would last for a week after some antibiotics. Being older it would be easy to get the operation now but the operation is much more dangerous for adults.

Living in Thailand I am reminded constantly about my curse. In and out of air conditioning, the cold bugs being passed around, hell all someone has to do is look at me sideways and my throat begins to swell. One week into living in Pattaya and I found myself at the local clinic I have been going to for years; the doctor just smiled and said “you know the routine”. Up on the table for the inevitable shot of penicillin in the ass and a few bags of antibiotics to take home. Usually within 2 days I am completely fine.

Antibiotics in Thailand Antibiotics in Thailand 2

Sunday was yet another of those days, a little over a month later and my friend was back. I’m beginning to wonder if my tonsillitis friend is starting to think he is a female curse. This time it’s a bit stronger so I got a return visit the next to turn the other cheek as it were.

There is no doubt that Thai doctors love to over prescribe antibiotics but at least in my case the doctor knows me and changes up the prescriptions. Best of all within 2 days I am back to my normal self. I just hope this isn’t a monthly occurrence.

Now, if I were in America this trip to the doctors office would have cost me $100 minimum and the drugs prescribed would be another $100 easily without a prescription plan. In Thailand the doctor at the clinic not only prescribes the medicine but he also dispenses it. Not only is this efficient but economical as well, the clinic visit with 3 prescriptions cost me 800 baht or roughly $26.

I guess I can live with my friend as long as he’s being a cheap date.

Postscript: Turns out this was one of my more friendly attacks as I had to visit the hospital for some IV antibiotic loving…I might just start looking into the surgery.


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10 Responses to Going to The Clinic in Thailand
  1. Oneditorial
    October 6, 2010 | 4:16 am

    What is this? I don’t understand. Aren’t there any other ways to cure this tonsillitis thing, apart from removing them? I hope you are feeling better soon.
    Oneditorial recently posted..Never Let Me GoMy Profile

    • Talen
      October 6, 2010 | 8:46 am

      Thanks One, I don’t know what can be done other than taking them out.

  2. Paul Garrigan
    October 6, 2010 | 5:44 am

    Hi Talen, sounds like you might have to try something else alright. My guess would be that you have developed a resistance to those particular oral antibiotics – this is the problem with taken antibiotics repeatedly.
    Paul Garrigan recently posted..Middle Aged Muay Thai Episode Podcast 2 – Muay Thai and MeditationMy Profile

    • Talen
      October 6, 2010 | 8:51 am

      Paul, it’s been this way my whole life. I have no doubt that it has become resistant to some antibiotics but for the most part I’m just more susceptible to to tonsillitis than most…and here in Thailand conditions seem to be just perfect for recurrences.

  3. Mike
    October 6, 2010 | 9:30 am

    Talen, although I don’t get tonsillitis I do have a reoccurring problem with my feet getting infected here, the doctor reckons its the climate. I personally reckon its having to enter lots of buildings without shoes(including the doctors)!

    Anyway he always prescribes antibiotics and within a few days its gone. However the effect of the meds on my system is not so pleasant since oral antibiotics really upset my stomach. It takes weeks for the gut flora to get back to normal.

    Do you get the same problems?
    Mike recently posted..Thai Visa-Volunteer ThailandMy Profile

    • Talen
      October 6, 2010 | 10:28 am

      Mike, I’ve been lucky that most of what has been prescribed to me has sat well with my stomach but every now and then I’ll get an antibiotic that wreaks havoc with me.

      I definitely think climate and air con play a big part in my tonsillitis too. I guess it’s a small price to pay for now. I’m hoping that living here will acclimate it more and I might not have as many episodes.

  4. Catherine
    October 6, 2010 | 6:23 pm

    Talen, I hate to say this, but they need to be chopped off. Both.

    I’d like to send flowers when you do, so please say where you’ll be.
    Catherine recently posted..From the Diplomatic Bag- Parting Shots at ThailandMy Profile

  5. Megan
    October 7, 2010 | 7:17 pm

    Geez, I have got to find a cheaper place to go. I went to see the doctor after my appendix surgery at Bumrungrad, and a 5-minute visit where he snipped the stitches and gave me some cheap medicine cost me way more than your visit did. Plus, I had already given them a LOT of money for the surgery. Sigh.

    Good luck–a sore throat is just the worst!
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  6. thomas
    October 14, 2010 | 10:18 pm

    I always seem to get sick this time of year in Thailand, but remain very leery of the smaller clinics and their loose packed medications. The tendency to over prescibe here is also worrisome.

  7. Pete
    October 15, 2010 | 12:44 pm

    I usually get a bad head cold or sinus infection every time I visit Thailand – no where near as serious as tonsillitis, but trying none the less.

    I’ve heard from a few guys that blame it on the dirty filters in the aircon, and have recommended I give them a clean wherever I move into a new hotel – might have to give it a try this trip.

    I was also amazed at the low cost of medical care and pharm in Thailand…makes me wonder why I pay so much in the States. Then I look at the balance sheets of the insurance companies and remember…
    Pete recently posted..Spraining An Ankle In Pattaya – Making A Visit To The HospitalMy Profile