Monday, May 14, 2007

How can I help?

I had a visit from a patient last week. She is in her 30's and overweight. Last week she was sick and sent to Douala to see a Cardiologist (we get one once a week in Buea). She had to pay so much money just for the hospital stay and consultation that when the doctor told her she should take what I assume to be GTN. The drug however will cost her 15 000 CFA (which is £15 but is little more than she gets in a month) so she cannot afford to buy them. She is a widow with 6 children, one of her daughters has HIV and is at a special school where she receives treatment. This takes most her money so there i little left for herself.

She comes to see me because she still has the pain in her chest. She wants to know if there is anything else she can do. I suggest eating healthy and exercise. Also buying aspirin could help and should be cheaper, however she has gastric trouble so they will not work. Really I am at a loss of how to help her. She needs to buy the drugs but has not means to afford it. People always moan about the NHS and you just cannot compare it to the third world country but come on. If you had angina in the UK you would not have all this added stress of travelling to see the doctor who tells you to buy a drug you cannot afford as you have spent all your money seeing him in the first place. What can she do, I fear for her. I fear she will have a heart attack, then who will look after her children?


Clare said...

Hi Hev,

I really feel for this woman, especially as she is so young. Diet and exercise are the best advice that you could have given, in these circumstances. Is garlic available where you are? Its supposed to have anti-platelet action (similar to aspirin) and also helps lower cholesterol. Also keeping an eye on the BP would be a good idea.

Hope this helps.

Hev said...

Thanks Clare, I did her BP, an amazing 120/75! I told her we would keep an eye on it though. Thanks for the garlic tip I will use that.


alison said...

Is GTN nitroglycerine?

Hev said...

Alison, yes GTN stands for Glycerine trinitrate