Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dr! Dr I feel sick!

Visas - check

British cell phones - check

NI number - almost check

Find a doctor…..
It’s not that we needed one urgently, but seeing that both Nick and I tend to be walking medicine cabinets we thought we’d  better sort it out quickly.

We turned up around 11:30am hoping to fill in some forms and be on our way, but soon found out it wouldn’t be so simple.

“We only register new patients between 8-11am so you’ll have to come back tomorrow,” the receptionist told us.

We’d also need a letter with our address and our passports.

So once again we rolled up at the medical centre - this time at 10:30.

“Sorry, but registration takes one hour so I suggest you come back tomorrow,” the always helpful receptionist told us.

Finally, the next morning we were there by 8:30 and were handed several forms by a nice woman. Then we were told to pee in a cup - so far this is turning into the weirdest doctors appointment ever.

The most awkward part was handing the sample back to the woman in the middle of a busy waiting room.

Plus, I was slightly worried I’d get a funny test result as I taken multi-vitamins in the morning that make my pee bright yellow (extra vitamin B).

We were each are seen by a tiny South-East Asian nurse who kept apologising for her English - it seemed perfect to me!

She was warm and friendly and seemed genuinely concerned with our health.

Despite being florescent my pee was fine. Then came the questionnaire.

“How many servings of fruit and veg do you eat a day? How much salt ? How often do you exercise?

“Do you smoke? No take drugs? No. Drink – how many? Five a week - that’s
 about a bottle of wine.”

But nick admitted to drinking eight beers a week which put him “over the limit” and he was moved onto the “special form“.

“Have you ever hurt yourself or others while drinking? Have you ever woken up and not known how you got there? Do you need a drink first thing in the morning?”

Thankfully, Nick answered ‘No’ to all of the above.

Half an hour later and it was time to see the doctor, Maria. Nick was a little weirded-out by the fact that all five doctors were women - he’s never had a female doctor before.

But Maria removed all fears. A lovely Spanish woman, she recommended I book myself in with the asthma nurse as the winters here can be extremely nasty.

And that was that. One hour gone - Find doctor - check.

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