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English speaking medical help in Valencia - Can you help??

English speaking medical help in Valencia - Can you help??

Old May 10th, 2005, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Oh my, here I was up late, and now, up early also...

Yes, I am a physician (neonatology, or newborn intensive care - - I like to call myself "semi-retired:, though most of the time you couldn't tell it, by looking at my schedule!)

Anyhow, I do not consider myself competent to dispense information for most adult ailments... so view my postings as more like that of a "well-informed, interested layperson". Of course, even if I were a doctor to adults, no sane person should give (or take) specific, individual medical advice to/from someone else without them talking to, and preferably, examining the patient.

Quite often, I shake my head at the failings of (American) education to teach high schoolers a LOT of basic information about the human body and common illnesses. I feel like I could put together an excellent course, smply called "medicine" for high school seniors. I'm not saying that it's more important than Beowulf or Gandhi or Stravinsky... but increasingly, it is an important part of what you need to know to be an informed adult citizen. I might even agree that the medical profession(s) would answer "guilty as charged" to hoarding the information we acquire, and keeping it somewhat inaccessible to the public... like "you can't handle it" (in contrast, thanks to the internet, the US government does make a lot of very high quality medical info available to the public; as physicians we ought to disseminate this, every time we can).

But I digress...

"Parasitic infection" (or infestation) probably sounds a lot more scary (especially to Americans) than it needs to. Perhaps because it sounds like something that only happens in poorer less developed parts of the worl, and we associate it with high risk of death and suffering. That's only true where medical care is poor, not because these are particularly dreadful diseases, nor difficult to treat.

Your son may indeed have a parasitic disease, and it may go away even without specific treatment. That's a wonderful thing about a lot of infectious illnesses, and the immune system(s) of our bodies. Evolution has assured that a lot of the time, we can get over a lot of fairly bad infectious illnesses (in fact, the microorganisms which cause the worst infections are poor candidates to survive; can't propagate forward if the "bug" kills off all the susceptible hosts!)

So, what should you... and your son.. and all travelers who visit here... know about parasitic diseases (since I think there is this deficiency of what we earn about medicine in high school!)?

First, know this excellent internet resource, for learning/teaching yourself about medical topics; http://medlineplus.gov - - you pay for this with (way less than one hundredth of one percent) of your tax dollars. It would be a lot better world if Americans spent even a tiny fraction of the time they spend on... say, watching American Idol... and used it to learn from this website. It is solid, unbiased (in my opinion) and understandable. It also has links to other trusted websites with high quality "lay medical information". Travelers might also want to explore http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm but I am less impressed with it.

There are long lists of possible parasitic diseases your son could potentially have. But it's appropriate to just focus on three (not just you, but all travelers would do well to learn this info): giardia (giardiasis), entamoeba histolytica (amebiasis) and cryptosporidium (cryptosporidioisis). Of these, giardia makes the most sense to read first.


I won't try to repeat any of the excellent information listed there... though it's worth saying that metronidazole (Flagyl) is also a "right" treatment for both giardiasis and amebiasis (as well as "turista"... mis-spelled in my posting earlier). And this is crucially important for anyone taking this medication: do NOT drink alcohol. Repeat. Not ANY alcohol. The combination will make you as sick as the illness being treated.

So, this is as much for others reading this thread, as for you and your son.

Hope his adventures in Spain are better from here forward.
rex is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 05:21 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,227
I'm glad to know your son finally wemt to the ER ! Hope you feel much better now too
kenderina is offline  
Old May 10th, 2005, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
as far as looking for work.. going down to the club nautico where the america's cup teams are based, might be a good place to leave a resume.

lincasanova is offline  
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