Those who don't want to hear about my health issues should skip this post, it's nothing but boring stuff about doctors and hospitals and antibiotics.
So, I got a negative test result for Campylobacter jejuni last week. Yay! The course of antibiotics I was on seems to have done the trick. I will soon (one more test is required) have the Magistrate off my back, I hope.
However, this does not mean I'm off antibiotics! I got two insect bites on my legs a week and a half ago. I thought initially that they were mosquito bites. Then I thought they were really big mosquito bites. Then red rashes started spreading out from them, and I started paying attention. The rashes got bigger and bigger, the larger one peaking at about 4-6 inches in diameter (it's not round). They were really quite red, a mild flushing of the skin but with brilliant red speckles on top. I asked a friend who is a doctor about it, and he said it sounded like it might be Lyme disease. I had figured it for a bacterial infection, but Lyme disease hadn't crossed my mind, and so, full of alarm, I zipped in to the hospital's urgent care that evening, since there is, as I understand it, some need to treat Lyme disease early, and I had already been sitting around just watching it progress for a week.
Shelled out 150 euros up front to see the urgent care dermatologist. He didn't think it was Lyme disease, but he did think it was a bacterial infection in need of antibiotics. He was also insufferably smug and condescending, and stated that although Lyme disease does not always present in the same way, and he wasn't really sure of his diagnosis, there was no need whatsoever to worry about it, because there was no urgency at all to treating Lyme disease early. He said that was a myth, and when I said I had just read otherwise on the internet, he sneered at me. When I said that I wasn't comfortable with a "wait and see" diagnosis because I was in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language and didn't have decent health coverage, he completely misunderstood my concern and went off on a long tirade about how Austria's health care system was better than that of the U.S. (which I have no doubt it is) and so I had nothing to worry about. I ended up not trusting him or respecting his judgement at all, so I demanded that the antibiotic he gave me be the one that would be used to treat Lyme disease (20 days of doxycycline) rather than the one he wanted to give me (a couple of days of some broad-spectrum antibiotic). This way I have my bases covered, and won't have to go back to the hospital again, and have some assurance that I won't get sick while hiking in the Alps.