My father is a doctor, and in our family, any scrape, cough, rash or other minor ailment was dutifully examined by dad, who usually gave one or more of the following prescriptions: don’t get the cut wet, take an antihistamine, drink more water or get more sleep. Usually, the advice was and still is: “Get more sleep.”
When I attended college 3,000 miles away from home, I still felt the need to consult my father about all health problems/issues. According to his protective instincts, anything and everything could potentially be fatal if not closely monitored. During my junior year at university, I noticed a strange bump on the back of my head. My dad advised me to visit the university health clinic, worrying that since the bump wasn’t a bruise, it could be a lymph node gone wayward or even a brain tumor. The university physician felt the bump, asked me a few questions, and took my vital signs.
The diagnosis? “You have a bumpy head.”
“I’m asymmetrical?! That’s it?” I exclaimed.
“Yes,” the doctor assured me. “Everybody is.”
Being away from family and navigating an unfamiliar healthcare system is almost always a daunting task. In the November issue of beijingkids, Kaatje Schreurs Harrison, a mother of two, gives the lowdown on healthcare options for foreign families in Beijing. Melissa Rodriguez, another mother of two, outlines the differences between traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic methods and Western medicine. And because there’s still so much misinformation about the H1N1 pandemic, we investigate what you and your family need to know about staying healthy or recovering quickly. Hear what doctors at SOS and Beijing United Family Hospital have to say about the H1N1 flu virus.
We all hope that a doctor will tell us that we’re fine (or perhaps hurt our false sense of symmetry) rather than give us a scary diagnosis. It’s better to be safe than sorry – as the saying goes. We hope that this issue of beijingkids helps put your mind to rest. In any case, it never hurts to wash your hands (advice from the physicians at SOS and BJU) and get more sleep (advice from my father).