Thursday, May 24, 2012

Park Pictures

Yesterday I wrote about all the doctor appointments this week.  Today Birdie and I can check the dermatologist and ear, nose, throat doctor off the list!  Yea!  We waited about 2 hours at the dermatologist (again for a check-up that took about 3 minutes), but at least it's done and they didn't charge us anything for it.

Last Sunday we did our annual photo shoot with the tulips in the park, but Birdie wasn't in the mood to smile.  She likes to be stubborn about that sometimes.  Maybe we'll try again another time, but here's what we got.

I love that last one!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doctor Week

I've probably mentioned this before, but when living as a foreigner in a different country, relatively routine things can be stressful.  Like going to the doctor.

We're trying to get Birdie registered for the Russian preschool/kindergarten where Lydia goes.  In order to do this, we need to get a form filled out that requires signatures from 7 different doctors/specialists.  I've never registered a child for preschool in the US, but I'm pretty sure you don't need to see a dermatologist or a neurologist.  In the US, a pediatrician would weigh and measure the child, check reflexes, check the nose and throat, etc.  Here, the pediatrician weighs and measures, but a neurologist checks reflexes... an ear nose and throat specialist checks the throat... you get the idea.  Maybe it's to create more jobs, but it certainly takes a lot more time and gives me a lot more STRESS!

Now, we could go to the private pediatric center that we usually go to for most of this, but it would be much more expensive than the public polyclinic.  MUCH more expensive.  So, I'm spending my week dragging Birdie around to doctors and trying to figure out how the system works.  Oh, and add Elliot in the baby carrier for even more fun.  He's actually done pretty well so far... He only started screaming once- joining in with the chorus of screams in the room where they draw blood from the kids for blood tests.

Here's my week:
Monday- Spent about an hour and 45 minutes at the clinic, just trying to figure out how to get through the system as a paying customer.  (Most Russians have an insurance policy where they don't have to pay anything at the clinic.)  Saw the pediatrician.  She weighed & measured Birdie, and gave me a list of everything else we have to do for filling out our form.  I thought she might give Birdie a band aid, since she had fallen outside on the pavement and was bleeding from her forehead.  Nope.  Praise God for the nice lady at the cash register though, because she seems to have taken pity on my poor, clueless soul, and helped me greatly in figuring out where to go and which doctor to see.
Tuesday- Tried to find the dentist (a different location), and went to the wrong place.  It was a hospital.  I hope I never have to go there (shudder).  The lady there was very nice though, and told us where to go to down street to a dentist.  Waited there about an hour for a 3 minute dentist check-up.  The bonus, though, was that the dentist decided not to charge us anything.
Wednesday morning (today)- Back to the polyclinic for blood test, urine test, stool sample, and "enteribacterios"(?) test.  I got befuddled about how to go about doing all these things, and the wonderful cash register lady came to my rescue, whisking me through, from room to room.  I don't think she has anything much better to do, since there don't seem to be many other paying customers.  Oh, but I found out that the doctors I was hoping to see aren't in until the afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon- Back again to see the orthopedic doctor and the neurologist.  I found out that the ear, nose & throat doctor was too busy with other patients and couldn't see me.  We'll try again tomorrow.
Thursday- The plan is to try to find the dermatologist (in another location) in the morning.  We'll go back to the clinic in the afternoon
Friday- Going to the eye doctor.  This will be at the private clinic we usually go to.  Ahh!  More expensive, but the little plastic booties you have to put on your feet are free, there is toilet paper in the bathroom, and if they take blood, you get a band aid.
Monday- Hopefully, if all goes as planned, we'll go back to the clinic and have the pediatrician do the final signatures on our form.  Whew!  Then I'll be almost done.  The last step is to take the medical forms to some other address and... well, I'm not sure what I have to do there, but I hope to figure it out once I'm there.

All that to say... it's Wednesday and I'm tired.

Maybe my next post will be a more fun one.  We took pictures in the park last Sunday, and I should post some!  We also celebrated Lydia's 6th birthday on the 17th!