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2007-06-01 - 6:38 a.m. stuff...

Wednesday was my first doctor's appointment. Sort of. I walked in the door and the assistant handed me a dixie cup and asked me to produce a sample. Uh huh. And I couldn't freakin' believe it. I've had to pee ALL THE TIME for the past two weeks. But when confronted with the little paper cup with the flower on the side of it, my bladder froze. I remain 'unconfirmed,' according to the nurse. Thankfully, my doc believes me.

Lesson #1 was beaten over my head yesterday when I told blighty this little story....Always be ready to PEE (which is absolutely the opposite of my field geologist instinct that tells me: "when in doubt, pee first.")

There were a couple of "unfortunately's" at this particular appointment.

Unfortunately, I am still adjusting to the peculiarities of a new health care system, which of course has managed to produce ways of doing things that are unlike those experienced in three other countries. That is, everything takes freakin' forever to get done, and always requires multiple appointments. It also partially explains why there are doctor shortages in this system because it takes two appointments to accomplish what could be accomplished in one.

Yesterday I showed up, failed to pee, sat for 10-15 minutes with the doc while she wrote up another list of tests for me to get. Now I have to go find the lab where the blood tests are outsourced, wait in line, get the tests, and then make ANOTHER appointment to actually get to have my first exam. So in other words, I will have had to wait a full five weeks to get to point A.

Now, I do see some advantages of outsourcing blood work to labs (specialists extracting the samples, close to location of analysis, simplifying on site procedures). But it seems to me that it would have been a lot more efficient - since I have to wait at least two weeks to get an appointment with my doctor ANYWAY - to just send me for the blood tests right away so that less of our mutual time was wasted. Anyway, it's consistent with a slower way of accomplishing things that seems to prevail.

So, I've made my REAL doctor's appointment for one week before I leave, at which point I will arrive ready to pee, and I will be prepared to make ANOTHER set of appointments for the next set of tests and then another appointment for the reading of said tests.

The next kind-of unfortunately is that my doctor doesn't "do" babies. So I'm being switched to a different doc. This is unfortunately because I actually lucked out on the doctor front. REALLY lucked out. I mean, if you live in a city where it is nearly impossible to GET a regular doctor assigned to you...then what are the chances of finding someone you LIKE? Well, my current doc assures me that I will get along with the other member of her practice. She assures me that she's very good, and then I will have the advantage of having the same doctor from near beginning to end of my term.

yawn - this is a wee bit boring, eh?

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