Thursday, October 14, 2010
A Visit to the Doctor
For the first time in nearly 4 years I had to visit a doctor. I was rather nervous about the whole thing because most doctor's don't speak English and this was a visit of a very personal nature. I waited as long as I dared before making an appointment and yesterday I bit the bullet and had my husband call the doctor. We were told to rush in right away unless we wanted to wait another two weeks. I dashed out of the house in a very sorry state and we drove to the doctor's office straight away.
I waited nearly two hours before being seen. During that time my husband had to leave as he had an appointment that couldn't be missed. I paced back and forth in the waiting room, worrying about the appointment and wondering how I would get back to the house, wash my hair (it was wrapped in a scarf to disguise the terrible bed head) and gather my materials for my 3:00 class. Anxiety mounted with each passing moment. It occurred to me I could have done all that needed to be done before rushing off to the doctor's office and still have had time to see the physician. Oh well. Could have, should have, would have.
Finally, I was called into the inner chambers. I was directed to step onto a scale which I was loathe to do, especially with the extra weight of all my clothes. Thankfully, the number on the scale wasn't nearly as formidable as I thought it would be and I breathed my first sigh of relief.
In horrible and halting French, I tried to tell the doctor my problem. She nodded and proceeded with her examination. By U.S. standards, everything was rather, well, basic I guess you could say. Expedient is another word I would use. I'm not at all sure what the diagnosis was (is 'banana' a medical term????) but I do know I had to spend nearly $100 for the treatment. Yikes! My prescription pad had 6 separate items on it and of course I don't understand what's in any package nor do I know exactly what to do with any of it without the help of a translator. And of course the translation will only tell me what to do -- not why it's being done. Some medicine I am to take before eating, others after eating. There are creams, suppositories (how very French) and there's even some powder to add water to and use every night. Ten days of treatment and I think anything wrong with me (besides the original problem) should be vigorously attacked by all the medication.
But that's not all. The next hurdle is filling out the paperwork to get reimbursed for the fees and prescription charges. Every box of medicine is to be saved along with the instruction sheets within and attached to the form which need both the doctor's and the pharmacists signatures. Geez, and I thought it was tough in the United States. All I can do is blindly follow instructions and put my faith in the expertise of others. No answers to my queries of "why" or "what does it mean?" Just do what you're told to do and don't ask any questions because no one has the vocabulary to tell you. Or rather, I don't have the vocabulary to understand.
Posted by Water Dragon at 2:27 PM