Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Social Medicine

We took our girls to the doctor for the first time since we've lived here in Austria and let me first begin by saying it felt like a social, 3rd world, inner city nightmare from a scary movie, you may laugh and think I am exaggerating, I'll let you be the judge of that once you read on.

We arrived to the building where the appointment was on Brunnerstrasse 190 1/8 to find that they had no designating parking for patients, needless to say we parked about 2 blocks from the high rise apartment building where the doctor's office was located. As we walked in the misty rain and cold with both girls I thought to myself "I can do this, keep a good attitude and open mind, remember this is not America".

We walked into a freezing dark hallway to find 7 strollers parked, not knowing that they all belonged to families who would be waiting along with us to see one doctor.

Upon our arrival, the receptionist thankfully had a small vocabulary of English words stored up, she took down our information and told us to go wait in the waiting room which was not bigger then a 100 sq ft room. As we entered into the long hallway, there were 10 crying, coughing, snotty nosed, children side by side with their desperate Mommy's. As I sat there I could here at least 3 different languages being spoken, "Arabic", "German" and "Russian"! Charles, Aleia, Brienna and I stuck out to say the least.

We all waited with patience and anticipation....although I couldn't help but notice each empty, poor and helpless expression on each face. All's I could think is "This doctor better be worth this wait", I was nervous of all the uncertain feelings I had, it was the mother instinct coming out in me and I whispered to Charles and said "do you want to leave". Our appointment was at 5:45p.m and at this time it was already 7p.m, he said we've waited this long let's just see the doctor and then we'll talk later.

Brienna and Aleia were the last patients of the day, we were finally called on at 7:30 p.m. As we entered into the room, it was a disorganized mess, she began speaking in German and the receptionist said "oh no they only speak English, the doctor said hahahahaha oh only English", which was a sign it was not going to go well:-) To make a long story short, I spoke English, Charles spoke the little German he knew and in the end, we used hand and arm signals along with facial expressions to communicate. Brienna got the flu shot, so we think and Aleia was diagonosed with Bronchidits. (This will be Allie's first bad sickness and her first time ever having to take antibiotics)

The receptionist was the one who gave the vaccinations, recorded down what the doctor said, wrote out the perscriptions and after took our money....I told Charles with social medicine I was surprised the receptionist wasn't also the doctor. Yes I said money, it was a 130 EURO, so about 170 dollars, for this social nightmare experience and they only took cash if you didn't have a E card, so I walked out of the office seeming to be all together and as I enterend the cold, dark, long hall my emotions got the best of me and I had a melt down right there...oh it was a tramatic experience, one of which in a few days may actually seem funny but it still is pretty raw right now so the humor of it all is still trying to come through.

This story will hopefully make most of you take a second thought of whether you really like your babies doctor or if you're just being a little to particular.


Kendra Lynn said...

Oh oh oh!!! Stacey, I am so sorry. I will pray that visits like that will be few and far between. God has His hand on you and your family, and I know He is protecting you.

Love you so are in our prayers.


Karen said...

Talk about stressful!
We have our share of differing opinions with our pediatrician, but at least we can communicate with one another!
Hope your little sweetie feels better soon.

The Brown's said...

oh Stacy my heart aches for you! I can only imagine how you must have felt! Hope the girls feel better soon and we will pray that they don't ever get sick again:O)

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I am so sorry about your experience with Socialised Medicine. It should not be that way - especially the care but also the cost. How atrocious!
I hope your little one feels better soon.

Wishing you every blessing in your ministry!

PS: I'm an American Ex-pat in the UK. I found your site, by chance, though a friend's site. I miss a lot of the things you do, too. ;-)
Oh, and I really like that song. I miss Christian radio stations - we don't have them here.

Stacey said...

Thank you all for your prayers, we also hope the girls don't get sick very often, for Aleia's tract record it shouldn't be often.

We also can not get Christian radio and miss it very much especially Dr. Dobson talk radio. When we visit America we stock up on all the music, oatmeal, baby tylenol and on the go packs that we can:-) you just get use to what you can't get, count each thing you can get a wonderful blessing.

I love it here and wouldn't trade one bad experience for another place, I've learned if I complain about a country I always go somewhere worse:-) so I am pleased, happy and content where the Lord has brought us, and look forward to many wonderful things that are instore for us in this country.