Wonder of wonders, I found an English-speaking pediatrician! Well, okay, I didn’t find him. A friend showed me a list of physicians published by the American Embassy. Two names were listed under my city in the baby doc category. I picked the first one. Very scientific, I know.
Today’s visit actually wasn’t my first to this doctor. I had to go a few weeks ago to get a physical for T-Rex to start kindergarten. I’ve never gone taken either of the boys to the pediatrician for a school physical, so I had nothing to compare it to. But a well visit? Ha, I have had my fair share of those!
It’s a good thing I don’t have a car here. At least it’s a good thing if I want to go to this pediatrician. I think the office has ONE parking space. And, you have to park your bike and/or stroller in a garage outside of the building. Can you imagine? No strollers. And it’s on the second floor. Beef up, mamas, you’ve got some baby chub to carry.
You walk in the office and meet the one-woman office team… who just happens to not speak much English. The first time I was there, I sat on a bench about 1 meter long across from her. No toys, nothing for two antsy toddlers to play with. How does a pediatrician not know that this is a recipe for a disaster, a cleaning team, a lawsuit, or all of the above? This time, the ONE nurse told me to have a seat in the waiting room. Wha? There’s a waiting room?
Yes, a REALLY big one. Bigger than the two exam rooms put together. I must have missed it last time because of the language barrier. I’m not quite sure how to say, hey lady, got any toys for my kids to play with before they get all Project Runway with your dot matrix paper supply?
I knew things weren’t exactly going WELL when the doctor asked me what he could do for me. I had made this appointment about a month ago, clearly stating it was for a one-year well visit. To be fair, I did change it on Monday. But also to be honest, they still use a PAPER calendar. I know. I kind of cringed too when I saw it.
After listening to the heart and lungs, the doctor took the normal weight, length, and head circumference measurements. And then he entered them in his computer. That’s right. They use a paper calendar but electronic records. After hunting and pecking his way around the keyboard to enter in his notes, the doctor asked if I had any problems with my son. Why? Is there a warranty?
I explained our possible issues with milk and Screech’s over-active intestines when coming in contact with the stuff. I asked his advice. “Try lactose-free milk.” (As if I hadn’t thought of that before..) “And, what should I try if he has a problem with it? Soy? Rice? Goat?” He then proceeded to make fun of rice milk. Who cares what your opinion is of the stuff buddy – I just want to know what you recommend if your super original idea of lactose-free milk doesn’t work! “Give him meat and sausage.” I (sometimes? often?) cannot believe my ears.
Then bi-lingual doctor man announces that today’s shot is supposed to be the MMR and chicken pox vaccine. Wait. Stop. Halt. He then told me how ridiculous I was for objecting. “Look at pictures of kids with measles,” he says to me. I know, I know. My objection to this über-controversial shot is grounded in my wish for him to suffer and die a horrible death by measles.
However, I got off with a you’re-just-a-dumb-uninformed-American lecture. He let me opt out of it. No legal waiver to sign. No alternative shots. No colorful sheet giving me updates on the normal development of a twelve month-old. No further questions. No see-you-in-three-months.
How frustrating when you don’t like your doctor – and when he doesn’t like you! If you’ve gone to a doctor in a country other than the US, leave a comment sharing your experience (good, bad, or just plain weird).