Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Net's Trip To the Doctors

Well yesterday's trip to the Doctors managed to take up a fair chunk of the day. After Net's wobbly head escapade of last week when she fell into the wardrobe, we thought it best that she go and get checked out. We have both been suffering with the flu since just after Christmas, and although the Coldrex and Amoxycilin seem to be working on me they didn't seem to be having the desired effect on Net. Now we do have a Doctor that holds a surgery once a week in the village, but his command of the English language is non-existent, so trying to make yourself understood becomes a pantomime when attempting to explain what the problem is.
Net has registered with a Doctor in Gorna now, and as she speaks some English it does make things a lot simpler. So after sorting the dogs out we set off into Gorna. One good thing is that if you feel ill you just go to the Doctor, none of this phoning up for an appointment and having to go through 20 questions with a receptionist, and then being told that you can't see the Doctor until a week next Tuesday. We managed to park quite close, which was a definite bonus. The Doctor's surgery is set in an old fashioned block, up flights of stairs, how the elderly and infirm manage to get up and down says a lot for their constitution. There is no real waiting room, just some old tatty bench seats in a draughty corridor at the top of the stairs. I have felt warmer on an open platform at a British railway station, no wonder everyone else was bundled up like the Michelin man. Then it was just a matter of waiting patiently for your turn to come around. Luckily we hadn't drunk much tea before we left home as even though there is a loo there, it's not one for the faint hearted. Yesterday must have been mainly for mother's and babies/children as there seemed to be plenty of them. Some had even been despatched to the loo with plastic cups, and when they opened the door this strange miasma wafted out, no wonder they keep it locked. One old lady in the corner smelt of wee, maybe by the time she had fought through the various layers it was too late, so we shuffled a bit further along the bench and tried to not breathe too deeply.
One good thing about having old ladies there, they don't like queue jumpers. A few tried it and got very short shrift and had to beat a hasty retreat to the back of the queue. Maybe a ticket system like at an ASDA deli counter wouldn't be such a bad idea, probably not necessary with the old lady brigade to police matters though. When it was our turn to go in, the old ladies pointed and made ushering gestures and we were through into the next bit where the initial consultation took place. It did look very basic in there, but still light years ahead of our village's facilities. It was a bit disconcerting as people kept coming in for the loo key and then returning it, patient confidentiality doesn't seem to be high on anyone's priority list. After Net had explained her symptoms it was then on into the examining room where she was prodded and poked. At least the door was closed this time as Net had to strip down all her top half  so that the Doctor could listen to her chest. The Doctor wanted to know when Net had last had a chest x-ray, and explained that there could be problems for asthma sufferers after flu and possible pneumonia. Not what we wanted to hear! The Doctor made a phone call and told us that we could get a chest x-ray in about 20 minutes when they returned from lunch. We asked where we had to go, thinking it was probably at the hospital or the other side of town, but were told to go back and wait outside and the Doctor would then show us. So back out into the draughty corridor and the tatty bench seats, by then I could no longer feel my feet and was in dire need of a coffee, not to drink but just to warm my hands up. True to her word 10 minutes later the Doctor ushered us further down the corridor and told us to wait while she disappeared into another room. Looking round I expected to see some indication of hazard signs denoting an x-ray department, all that there was was a peeling sheet of A4 on the door that РЕНТГЕН. Another lady ushered us in, and once again Net had to strip down to the waist. Poor Net was then unceremoniously thrust against this cold contraption and manipulated like a rag doll until the suitable 'artistic' pose was achieved. Then breathe in, hold it, hold it, and it was all over and Net could get dressed again. At least there was some heat in there, albeit not much, but better than the corridor. The x-ray lady told us to wait there and she would come back with our 'holiday snap'. I had only just paid for the x-ray (15 leva) and was holding it up to the light when the Doctor reappeared and took us back into the consulting room.
The good news was that there was nothing nasty on the x-ray, so she started writing out the prescription, explaining what each bit was for. Net mentioned that she couldn't take one thing so that was crossed out, and the antibiotics were changed too, and we were told that the Doctor wants to see Net again on Friday so we have to go through it all again. We forgot to pay for the consultation (it's only 2 Leva and I don't think we will skip the country over that), and will have to remember to pay on Friday, not that the Doctor said anything. Finally at half two we got out of the Doctor's having been there since just before 11, so it may seem basic when you look at it, but it is very very thorough.
As a side note when we got back to the village we stopped in at the magazin, as Todor and Reni do like to keep an eye on us. The village shop is a wonderful place to keep up with the goings on in the village, not that it is rumour control or the hub of all gossip. We were told that if we have any problems or emergencies to phone them day or night and they will get things sorted out. We did learn that they are getting 2 baby lambs, Anthony and Antonia, soon, one black and one white, but we couldn't work out whether they were going to end up on the dinner table or not. Whilst there, drinking our compulsory coffee, we had a phone call from Mum, so instead of going home from the magazin we had a slight detour and a cup of tea, while we let Mum and Dad know how Net got on.
It also seems that our favourite 'thieving, lying, stinking gypsy bar steward' had been caught doing a bit of night time thievery again. Hopefully, at his next 'guest appearance' at court he will get sentenced, and not just a smack on the wrist like last time. We do know that the Kmet wants him out of the village, but we are not holding our breath, but stranger things have happened. So watch this space for more breaking news..........    

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