We’ve gone on and on about being sick here, and it really is quite bad. I think I’m starting to feel slightly better, though, so that should make it slightly less than killer to go to work tomorrow.
In related news, I did go to a National Health Service (NHS) Walk-In Clinic Thursday. It was recommended by a colleague at work, and promised to be completely free and without need for any sort of registration or identification. I was intrigued and expected the worst – dirty with a line miles (or kilometers) long. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. First, it was located in the heart of Westminster, not far from the big lady herself, across the street from New Scotland Yard (famous home of the Metropolitan Police, for those Agatha Christie fans out there), and close to Victoria Station. I got there about 4:30pm and found one person in front of me in the waiting room. They asked for my name and a few other simple details on a very short form that took 30 seconds to fill out; I didn’t have to show any ID, give any number (such as a National Insurance Number that is normally used for National Healthcare here), or anything else.
After waiting for maybe 3 minutes they called me back to see a nurse or nurse practitioner. The place was spotless and warm, certainly cleaner and nicer than some doctor’s offices I’ve been to in the US that were far from cheap! Anyway, the nurse talked to me, did all the usual stuff (looked up my nose, took my temp, listened to my breathing, etc.), and concluded as I suspected that it was a viral problem. She said it usually lasts 10 days to 4 weeks (yikes!), and that I really just have to wait it out; she did recommend some behind-the-counter meds for me to get, though. She told me I could come back if it got significantly worse or didn’t get any better after another week or so. Overall, though, I was quite impressed with what my tax dollars here will be buying in terms of National Healthcare.