Sanity v. Money

The other day I went to the doctor to get some shots for my upcoming trip to India (Pulao and I leave Xmas day for a long vacation to her parents’ homestead in Delhi). Although there’s not much risk of malaria in Delhi, my doc says its pretty standard to take some kind of malarial prophylaxis when visiting India. OK, I say.

“There’re two drugs that are good. A cheap one with side effects, and an expensive one with none.”

This sounds to me like the intro to a parable, or a joke. “What are the side effects for the cheap one?” I say.

“Well, some people have gastro-intestinal problems. And some people go batty in the head.”

Ooo-kay . . .That’s the medical term, I’m guessing. From the Latin “batum”.

The expensive one, I find out — the sans-insanity one — is five bucks a pill. And you take one a day for a month. (For the math-addled or lazy, that’s $150). The cheap ones are only $20 for a month’s supply. I guess you can’t expect a prescription drug to keep you safe from malaria and psychosis for the price of a large pizza.

How much am I willing to pay for my peace of mind? You know, literally? Or all the pieces of my mind?

In other medical news, I got a couple of shots-in-the-arm vaccines, but also an oral one for typhoid. “This is a live, weakened strain of typhoid bacterium,” the doc said, holding up four pills. “So you have to take care of it. You have to take it on an empty stomach with lots of cool water, to make sure it lives long enough to get into your small intestines.”

Are you sure, Doc, that we want typhoid flourishing in my intestines? You know, if I took it on a full stomach, and the typhoid died, would that be so bad?

As a person who is already pretty batty, without medications, I tell you — it was hard for me to swallow that prescription typhoid. I wanted to wash my hands after I touched the pill but, you know, that would have been crazy.

4 Responses to Sanity v. Money

  1. Pulao says:

    FYI, “batty” actually comes from the Latin “Baetum” which means “a desire to ingest known bacteria while under the influence of a white coat.”

  2. Anirban says:

    What… and nothing for Bird Flu? Don’t tell me you opted for the cheaper consultancy programme instead of the more expensive “all disease warning” one…

    Too bad you’re on medication. Typhoid’s a lot of fun actually. I was treated for it 5 years ago when I actually had Viral Fever. Pretty weird 3 weeks of my life. Anyway you have a shot at making it to the list below ( courtesy Wikipedia….. you may also want to read how typhoid is transmitted…. please wash your hands before we meet.)

    Famous typhoid victims

    * Alexander the Great
    * Pericles
    * Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
    * Franz Schubert
    * Margaret Breckenridge, highest-ranking Army nurse under Ulysses S. Grant
    * Evangelista Torricelli
    * Benjamin Harrison’s wife Caroline
    * Robert E. Lee’s daughter Annie
    * Mary Henrietta Kingsley
    * Herbert Hoover’s father and mother
    * Mark Hanna
    * William McKinley’s daughter Katherine
    * Wilbur Wright
    * Will Rogers
    * Leland Stanford, Jr.
    * William T. Sherman’s father
    * Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, British prince consort, Queen Victoria’s husband
    * Ann Rutledge, alleged fiancée of Abraham Lincoln
    * William Wallace Lincoln, third son of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln
    * Tad Lincoln, fourth and youngest son of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln
    * Stephen A. Douglas
    * Louis Pasteur’s daughters Cecile and Jeanne
    * President John Adams’s wife Abigail Adams
    * K.B. Hedgewar, founder of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh
    * General Stonewall Jackson’s mother, father and daughter
    * John Buford
    * Charles Darwin’s daughter Annie
    * Joseph Lucas
    * Ignacio Zaragoza
    * Dr. John Hamish Watson A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle.

  3. Kris says:

    I would be honored to be counted in the ranks of these illustrious typhoid-sufferers (including Anirban, honorary member since the dr.s THOUGHT he had typhoid.)

    And I may be typhoid-ed yet, since I couldn’t seem to master the empty-stomach, no alcohol portion of the typhoid vaccine taking.

  4. Matt says:

    Dude, take the expensive one. Or at least google the cheap one and find out how many people go nuts on it before you take it.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *