As politicians eagerly point out, about 40 million Americans do not have health insurance. I am among them. As a self-employed and generally healthy writer health insurance is not affordable, unless I don’t mind not eating. So I don’t have health coverage and haven’t for years now. No big deal most days.
While ringing in 2009, there was also a ringing in my ears. It was coming from a sinus infection that I picked up recently while on the Mainland. It’s winter’s gift that keeps on giving. Now back in Hawaii, I am taking a litany of over-the-counter remedies–from antihistamines, to cough medicine, to tea tree oil–but the infection is getting worse. My cough has become productive, which in medical speak means that I’m coughing up yellow stuff. Gross.
Rather than shell out $5oo for an emergency room visit last night or $200 for an urgent care appointment today, I rummaged through my refrigerator to see what leftovers I might have from previous health crises. I hit pay dirt when I found my dog, Poky’s, extra bottle of 500-mg amoxicillin capsules. (His vet suggested keeping a bottle in reserve because of all of his curious adventuring, but that’s another story.)
I compared the label on Poky’s green bottle with an older, empty orange bottle of amoxicillin that I still had from a tooth infection a few months ago. The instructions were nearly identical, except that Poky was to take one capsule twice a day versus three times a day for me. A quick Google search revealed that the generic manufcturer, Teva, made them both. My dog’s prescription had cost $5 plus a $50 vet visit. My Rx, now long gone, had cost $8 plus a $100 dentist visit.
I’ve already taken two capsules of my dog’s amoxycillin. So far, so good. No ill effects, and I am beginning to breathe a little easier. In case you’re think of doing the same, I don’t recomend it. This is not medical advice. However, it’s cheaper for my dog to get health care than it is for me. And in 2009, this will be an issue to watch.