Beautiful day at Wareham, Dorset, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Keinton Mandeville, Somerset, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Birmingham, England on May 19th!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Off to the doctor... again!

Boy, it seems like we've been in a lot of doctors offices the last while! 

I wasn't even going to tell this story because it may be nothing... but as travelers, it's always interesting to hear how the medical system works in other countries. So, here it is...

Almost a week ago, Ruth began to think she was getting another kidney infection. She seems to be predisposed to this sort of problem, and when she started feeling the lower back pain that is usually the first sign of an infection, she figured that's what it was.

And she carries some cipro with her just for these situations because that has quickly solved the problem in the past.

But after four days the lower back pain was still there, and getting worse. However this time, it's not accompanied by the typical fever and other symptoms that go with a kidney infection. Other than the pain, she feels fine. She thinks it feels more like a muscle strain, although she doesn't remember doing anything that would have caused it.

By yesterday morning, we were starting to think a doctor visit should be on the agenda. Fortunately, we are staying with Helen and Tony and so they know their way around the medical system here. Helen was able to send a message through a UK medical system called Ask My GP, which communicates your needs and someone calls you back. In our case, Helen had said that she was calling for her cousin from Canada who is staying here, and we got a call back within a half an hour. Explained the situation, and the caller asked for the typical information to start a file in the system. They never asked about insurance, or said that there would be a cost.

We don't currently have medical insurance and we are prepared to pay out of pocket if necessary.

We had given them our phone number, and shortly afterwards received a text message saying that she had a 1:00pm appointment at a nearby clinic and would need to provide a urine sample upon arrival.

So, Tony drove us over there and Ruth checked in at electronic screen when we arrived.

Nobody in the waiting room!

It was very strange to us that there was nobody in the waiting room. And, Ruth was called in at exactly 1:00pm. It was a nurse that saw her, not a doctor. But, based on the exam, Ruth thought she was what we in North America would call a "nurse practitioner".

They did a quick urine test to say that there is no indication of infection. However they are also sending it off along with blood work for more investigation. At first, the nurse said she wasn't sure that they would do the blood tests because Ruth is from out of country, however she checked with some colleagues and they decided it would be fine. We should hear back in two days.

Otherwise, there wasn't much she could do other than prescribe some over the counter pain medication.

In the end, there was never any mention of payment.

So, we were pretty impressed with our one time experience with the medical system here in the UK. Especially considering that we are visitors.

Hopefully that's the end of it, but we'll keep you up to date as we know more.

Record low deal on this Apple iPad.

And in Canada...

Nice price drop on this ECOFLOW Power Station.


  1. Let's hope she's fine now. Nurse practitioners usually have more up-to-date information than doctors.

    1. Thanks Chris, unfortunately there is no improvement! :-( I am starting to think that it is some kind of muscle issue and it will only take time and pain killers to improve. I hate medication of any sort but the pain is bad enough that I have to use it.

      This nurse was very good and you would almost think she was a doctor if you weren't aware that she was only a nurse. She very very thorough ad knowledgeable and caring too.

  2. Hope it's nothing to worry about. Be careful with Cipro, though! I took it last year for a UTI, not realizing until afterwards, when friends alerted me about the danger it can cause to the Achilles tendon. Apparently it can cause problems with the tendon even a long time after taking it. I only took it for three days and never experienced any issues, but as avid a hiker as Ruth is, it would be terrible if she had any problems with her Achilles. You can google for more info if you aren't aware of this connection; it's well-documented. Cipro worked well for my infection, but I would never take it again knowing this. Fortunately, there are alternatives that don't have this potentially serious side effect.

    1. Whatever it is it hasn't got worse but it also hasn't got any better. The pain is bad enough that I have to take painkillers which I hate doing and I can deal with pain pretty well but not this time. The pain also makes it hard for me to do very much. :-(

      Yes, I am aware that Cipro is not a good antibiotic to use and has this side effect with the Achilles tendon, even the nurse mentioned it but it is something that I rarely ever take but it is the only antibiotic that seems to work when I have a kidney infection. I have tried other ones and they just don't work. Thankfully I have only ever used it about three or four times in the past 9 years.

  3. Holding you in my heart and on the light Ruth.🙏


There are more comments on our facebook page at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.