Socialised Medicine, Part 1

I am writing from a London train, on my way to Waterloo station. I am full of anxiety and worry and loathing. No, its not because of work.

Its because my ears are messed up and I need medical attention. Which means I am about to try out socialised medicine for the first time. Which means that I'm behaving in a typical American way and am scared shitless.

What's funny about this situation is that if it weren't for Michael Moore, I probably wouldn't be going at all, or at least not until I passed out and Will dragged my unconscious body to the A & E. I have heard many horrible stories about socialised medicine in America and I can't imagine voluntarily subjecting myself to its evils! And seriously, how can it be any good if it’s free?! Nothing good in life is free, or so I have been brought up to believe. Despite my hearing going bad, an increase in pain daily and about 3 consecutive weeks of ear "issues", I have yet to see a nurse or doctor. And I was resolute in my decision not to do so until this weekend.

Sunday night I watched "Sicko" and Mr. Moore made me see how silly I am being. The NHS is not evil and it appears that my fears of it being sub par because its free is a misnomer because its not free - we are taxed out our asses here to pay for it.

So now you must be wondering why I am still filled with so much dread as we draw closer to Waterloo medical centre? Well, first of all, I'm going to a medical centre located in a TRAIN STATION. Seriously, how weird is that? Convenient, sure, but is it sanitary? Secondly, although Moore raised my confidence in the UK health system, it totally lowered my confidence in not appearing like a buffoon when using it. In a way I'm thankful that Moore asked all the typical American questions in the film, eliciting bewilderment and laughs from confused Brits.

Saves me the embarrassment I suppose. I mean who WOULDNT ask about co-pays back home? Apparently here its a foreign concept, which lends credence to my fear of feeling foreign.

Almost there now. Wish me luck. Tell my mother I love her should I not return.

To be continued....

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