I just have to tell you this funny little thing that happened this morning…
How should I frame this funny experience? Well, I’ll begin by telling you that yesterday I went to see the local doctor in town. I don’t go to the doctor often, I’m a pretty healthy person and just hate taking pills so I don’t often want to go see a doctor only to be prescribed medications I really don’t like taking. Unless of course I’ve got a serious issue, then I’ll reluctantly go and pop the pills, (eye roll)…but, as I say, ‘serious’ issues don’t often arise. Which is why it was my first visit to the doctor. It was a very pleasant experience. One I wish all my friends and family back in the states could also experience when they needed to see a doc. But, sadly, I remember what a pain in the butt it is to just have a simple consolation with a doctor in the states, not to mention the pain in the pocket book too but…my experience seeing a doctor yesterday was extremely tranquilo. I simply walked in, with no appointment of course, said I needed to talk to the doctor. I was asked to sit down. I waited for maybe 5 minutes then walked into the little office where the Doctor was sitting. I sat down and told him why I was there. In case your wondering, its nothing earth shattering, just complaining of having no energy, waking up tired and feeling unusually foggy all day long. I suspect its to do with my particular age and this wonderful change a woman goes through right about now in her life…you know the big M word! I thought it would be prudent to make sure I am not suffering from any vitamin deficiencies or maybe a parasite from the water.(we have a very good filtration system here at our house but you just never know) So, as I was saying my consultation with the doc went smoothly, he wrote up a request for the lab to do a full blood, urine and stool sample workup. He checked all my vitals, no problems and sent me on my way with instructions to fast and to go to one of the labs in town first thing the next morning (today). If your curious this appointment cost me a whopping $24.00…hah!
So, here’s where the “funny” comes in….I got up this morning , did not drink or eat as instructed. I drove down the hill picked up my workers and dropped them off before heading back down the hill into town to the Laboratory. There are several labs in town, but this one is really nice and new and I went there before when we needed blood tests for our drivers licenses. Anyway…I was the first one there at about 7:45am. I handed the gal at the front desk my paper from the doctor with instructions for all the blood work, urine and stool samples. She filled out her paperwork , charged my credit card $86.00 and told me to go sit down in the back. The technician handed me a little plastic cup, you know the kind you use to make jello shots? Its got no lid, no little label for my name, just a little flimsy clear plastic cup, Hah so funny! And then I said, “what about the stool sample”…(I know this is getting a little bit personal, but it is too funny not to share). The technician spoke no English and I was doing my best to use my very limited Spanish. I don’t have the best vocabulary yet so the word ,”Poop”, just was not happening! The receptionist came to help, she spoke perfect English and had to explain to this crazy Gringa that they don’t have those containers. Hah! Oooookayyyy…..So….um….do you want a stool sample? As you can imagine I’m feeling rather confused at this point. The receptionist very patiently explained,( as though I should know this), that I would have to walk across the street to the pharmacy to buy a container for a stool sample!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha! Of course the laughter was happening in my head, I already felt so dumb and not a little embarrassed so I was trying to just be cool. This, to me was so darn hilarious! Sometimes procedures here just baffle my mind! Seriously! Can you imagine the lab in the states telling you that you’d need to go to Walgreens to buy a poop cup!!! I’m dying here!
Well, I tried my best not to be rude or to show my total shock at this new development. I went into the bathroom and collected my urine sample. Then went back out and the technician drew blood. Then I had to ask the receptionist what I was supposed to ask the pharmacist for? Cuz’ I’m thinking to myself “Poop cup” probably would not be correct. She very kindly wrote it on a little piece of paper..I think it says “Envase de heces”? The pharmacist handed me the little cup, charged me 27cents and I walked back across the street to fill that baby up! hah! One other little funny thing, well maybe not especially ‘funny’, but kinda annoying…the bathroom had no paper towels! Nope! Without going into too much unwanted detail on this part of my funny story, I had to use the flimsy toilet paper to dry my hands after washing them! ugh!
My observations on this healthcare experience are, as you may already be able to deduce, mixed. But, when I consider some of the terrible experiences I’ve had with healthcare in the states I gotta say, all in all….I’d rather have to walk to the pharmacy to buy my own poop cup and dry my hands with flimsy toilet paper than wait weeks to even see a doctor. Then have to pay off that appointment with blood sweat and tears. Things are often very different here . But, in my opinion, ‘different’ is not bad. The times when ‘different’ sticks out to me I usually get a good laugh out of it and shake my head in loving amusement. Honestly, I love this place! I love all the quirky little things that make it all feel so simple and so down to earth. I love the way things work here and I get great pleasure with each new experience. Even spending 27cents on my very own poop cup has really made me so happy! Hahahaha! It’s just so darn funny, thats all….just had to share! 🙂