Saturday, November 6, 2010

Take rest and drink some tea

So, I came down with a nasty cold/flu this week. Since I had a fever, I could not go to work, because I might make the kids sick. I went to the doctor, which is required when calling in sick to work. It is Czech law that you must go to the doctor and get excused from work for however long you need to be excused. The first three days of sick leave are not paid, and then after that you get 60% of your salary. I was out Thursday and Friday, but I'll be going back on Monday. I am feeling better, which I realize is getting a step a head...

Anyway, I went to the doctor on Friday morning. I didn't need an appointment, I just went to his office as recommended by my office. They said he speaks English - kinda. So, I found his office and the waiting room. Unlike doctor's offices I have visited in the past, there was no receptionist or anyone to greet you in the room. I noticed a doorbell, but just took a seat as the other lady who walked in front of me did as well.

So, I sat there and after about 5 minutes, a lady came out and asked one person to come it. She looked at me and frowned and asked me something in Czech. I asked if she spoke English, and she waved her hand at me as if to say "shoo" and just said "moment." I assume she said something in Czech to the affect of "damn you stupid American," but I can't say that for certain.

About 5 more minutes go by, and I am asked to come in and sit at the desk with my doctor. He was going through mail and files and after about 5 more minutes he finally looked my direction. The nurse told him I spoke English, so he started speaking in English. I was highly impressed as the doctor was an older, crotchety guy. Most older people in the CR don't speak English well, so I was excited he did. He started asking me random questions - which really weren't all that random, but they seemed random. Then he grabbed a thermometer out of a cup on his desk and told me to put it under my arm and go sit outside again. Ok...where the hell has that thermometer been? Who knows! But at least it wasn't going in my mouth. So, with thermometer in armpit, I awkwardly went back outside. I had never walked with a thermometer in my armpit, it was strange!

A few more minutes go by, and I'm asked back in. This time he asked the standard doctor questions - do you smoke, etc. He asked me my weight in kilograms - which I actually knew. Then he asked my height in centigrams - oops, I hadn't learned that one! So, I said I didn't know. He told me to stand up. Apparently, he can guess people's heights!

Then he turned on a light about 4 feet from me and told me to open my mouth to the light. Um, ok? So, I did but he told me not to move...so I awkwardly shifted again and said ah and apparently he saw what he needed.

Then we walked over to the mirror and he tore my shirt up and started listening to my breathing. His phone rang, so we went to answer it. About 2 minutes into the conversation he stopped and told me to come back and sit down. All the while, his nurse is sitting there reading charts and a newspaper.

So, he gets off the phone, and he listens to my lungs again. Then I give him my insurance and passport information and he writes me a prescription for antibiotics, cough syrup, and a pain killer/fever reducer. He then says something about 30. I ask again and now he's getting annoyed with me. He says - 10 - 20 - 30. I'm now figuring that's what I owe him. So, I get out 30 krowns (About $1.50) and that was what he wanted. He gave me his card and said to call or come by if I needed anything. I asked where the pharmacy was, and he said it was just downstairs. Perfect!

So, I went down and within 5 minutes at the pharmacy, I had my medication and instructions - 98 krowns later (about $5), I was on my way. Without insurance, this whole thing would have probably cost about $15. Still very cheap compared to US health care! Nothing was fancy - but it worked! And his advice sounded oddly familiar - "take some rest and drink some tea."

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