I got in to see a doctor in about 30 minutes, then was examined, diagnosed, and prescribed in about 10. A very brief stroll to the chemist’s procured my antibiotics, and a call to the b&b owner got me a ride back to my room, where I could begin taking my medicine and try to make up for some of last night’s lost sleep.
That was my Thursday morning in Headstrom, Ireland, a tiny town in County Galway on the shores of Lough Corrib where my family and some friends were spending a few days exploring Connemara and Galway. Well, they were exploring Galway. I was being seen for a screamer of a sore throat that followed me from Scotland to Giant’s Causeway and then out west. Last night was intolerable; swallowing was torture. Serious antibiotics were called for.
It’s a joke how kind and helpful the Irish are, especially to strangers. The owner of this b&b told me just where to go and to call her once I was done so she could collect me. The doctor called ahead to the chemist to let them know that “an American gentleman” was on the way to pick up 21 tablets of Augmentin. He even pronounced my last name correctly; nobody does that on the first try. The chemist came out from the back to deliver my prescription personally and wish me better health.
Those few hours arrested a slide into misery and set me up to enjoy my last few days of holiday. Also, it doesn’t hurt that Ireland has a healthcare system that allows a person to be promptly seen by a primary care physician without an appointment and for modest cost. The visit and medication cost me 70 Euro.
Helpful, welcoming people and access to affordable, effective healthcare: more than Guinness or Aran Wool, these are the important things I got on my Irish vacation.