Saturday, April 01, 2023

More medical misadventures


One of the better things I did was to become the resident troll of a BBS called Lothlorien. Basically, it was a gathering place for geeks and outcasts who owned a decent modem. 

Last Friday, we had a small gathering and they straight-up told me that I lost a lot of weight and this could mean that I might have cancer. Fortunately one of the gang is now a doctor and we reduced this to the possibility that my hyperactive thyroid has relapsed. This was really helpful as I have a medical appointment that afternoon to get my problem resolved once and for all. I've had dry lips and lost 4kg of weight and get tired very easily when exercising. 

Unfortunately for me, I was the last patient at the government hospital on a Friday evening and there was no way anyone could administer a blood test and wait for the results to be out. My doctor was apologetic and suggested that I go into A&E which I was highly reluctant about because of the long waits and the possibility of getting something else if I get hospitalised like pneumonia. So sadly, even though I suspected I had a relapse of Graves disease, I can't confirm it and cannot get medication.

It was at that time, I had an epiphany. I told my doctor that it may be time for me to go private and there is not much a public hospital can do for me at this point. My doctor kindly a very long letter to summarise the situation I was in.

The question is how can I get an appointment in the private clinic on such short notice?

I was desperate so I decided to pop in early in the morning without an appointment. The clinic is packed, but if any patient is late, I will get to see the doctor. 

The private clinics are truly very efficient. 

Within 10 mins of reading what my govt doctor wrote, she eliminated the possibility of Diabetic Keto-Acidosis, which was such a huge source of relief. They sent a runner down to draw my blood and I was out of the clinic with my thyroid meds by the afternoon.

Was this really expensive?

I think the $400+ plus consultation and blood test was cheap because it got to the bottom of what I've been experiencing for the past half a year, where I was feeling extremely tired for no reason and felt that I lost my zest in life.

I think what happened so far is really the power of social capital. I'm glad I have a doctor friend who can just help me narrow my problem just before my official consult. My introduction to the private sector was through my ERM student who is an insider in the private hospital system and has spent months asking me to switch to a private clinic.

I'm finally convinced that a significant part of my dividends will end up going to a private doctor. 

If my meds work and I get my smile back, I'll stop contributing to the queues in the public clinics.


  1. This is why most locals (who can afford it) will have the most expensive IPs and hospital insurance, cos everyone knows public hospitals are like sweat shops even during the pre-Covid era.

  2. These tests & outpatient stuff aren't claimable via shield plans unless it leads to being warded. And insurers these days tend to reject wardings if they're deemed to be "frivolous" or gaming the system .... unlike in the good old days.

    Anyway most sinkies will be priced out of private shields in their 60s or 70s.

    Ultimately you still need sufficient portfolio size generating enuf cashflow whether thru actual dividends/ coupons/ interests or systematic harvesting of capital gains.

    1. Yup. Don't think any insurance would have been useful for my outpatients visits but my dividends sure came in handy.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Did your doctor recommend you to go for radioactive iodine treatment last time when you had hyperthyriodism? Shouldn't have a relapse if you went for one last time.

    1. The last round I was young and had decades of work left in me so I refused to nuke my glands. If my drugs don't work this time round, I would do it.

  4. You pay for responsive service with private service. Better to eliminate life threatening risks than to leave with uncertainties. Tests can be administered timely.

  5. This is why I am vested in ParkwayLife REIT. The public hospitals have horrendous long waiting time. All the best to your recovery.

  6. Hi Chris,

    Take care. I wish you a speedy recovery.