Wednesday, 23 February 2011

And so it begins...

CD1. Yay!

I called the International Clinic around lunchtime from the roof of my office building - its the best place for any kind of privacy. The nurses at the clinic speak excellent English.

I had thought, perhaps foolishly, that the clinic would have the information about what specific test the doctor wanted to schedule for me, and so would know when it should be scheduled and how long it would take. How wrong was I? After explaining that my original doctor, Dr K was at an international conference, and that I would be seeing 'his substitute, Dr H' she booked in my appointment and told me to come in and leave my patient card in the slot outside the office door.

This is the weirdest thing to me. Even though I have an appointment time, I don't check in with anyone in person when I get there. Instead I drop my card into a little box, and then the nurses take them out in turn and scan the barcodes into the computer system. As I move around the building for different tests, I drop my card in various slots and boxes and wait for them to come over and get me.

The card system is very sophisticated, but I find it really impersonal. Also, could I just turn up one day and just drop my card in because I fancied having a chat with the doctor? Of course, every procedure/treatment you have is charged to your card, so it would be a very expensive chat.

I asked how long it would take, assuming she knew what the doctor had recommended, and she said 'it depends on what Dr H recommends for your treatment.' Well, hadn't Dr K left a record of what treatment I needed? I hadn't bothered to memorise how he had referred to the HyCoSy, or equivalent, as I assumed he would have written it down.

Actually, she then reveals, they aren't allowed to access patient charts through the computer. That's very reassuring from a privacy perspective, but I had been working under the assumption that they would know what day I should schedule the test! I was pretty sure Dr K said it was a week after CD1, but that was 2 months ago! What if I remembered it wrong? What if I turn up and because the exact test hasn't be scheduled they won't do it and I have to wait another month?

I posed this last question more calmly 'So, if Dr H recommends any procedure can it be done the same day?' and the answer was yes.

So now I feel much calmer. The stressful thing is when the logistics of a situation work very differently than you are used to. In the UK, the specialist would recommend a test, you would then be booked for that specific test and you would receive an appointment time. Also, you would probably have to wait. Here, it's 'OK, you need this test, pop into the ultrasound room and have it done.' The only reason Dr K didn't do the HyCoSy two months ago was because I wasn't 'prepared' for it.

I also confirmed that I could just walk in on Friday morning and pay for my Day 3 blood tests. I just have to get out the dictionary to make sure I can confirm they do the right tests. Also, if my husband can get a few hours off work on Friday morning we can get his analysis results as well.

Progress finally.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to read about the differences in countries. We'll have a possible Dragon baby as well. Appointments, tests and more waiting is the new normal on this journey it seems. Best wishes!

C said...

Best wishes. I am from Asia so yeah I know how it is :)

Happy ICLW

luckyme said...

Really great to get to this stage at last, another hurdle, hope the day 3 tests go ok :)

China Doll said...

Glad everything's falling into place. Interesting to hear about your card system.. sounds more efficient than China but that could just be because no-one has explained their system to me!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, very interesting process. And that's so exciting that you're getting started! Sending you lots of positive vibes! Where are you in Asia?

Christa said...

That is so interesting - I hope all moves forward well for you and that they take good care of you with your HyCoSy!


Kate Bentley said...

Happy ICLW! Wishing you every success for the coming weeks - I think you are very brave doing this in a strange country - I made my other half return to the UK so I admire your courage and determination. Go dragon! xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Yay for progress! Best of luck to you!

Kat said...

Hi all,

Thanks so much for your comments. I will visit you all later but I have to get to the clinic this morning!

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Wow... that sounds like such a strange system to me. I guess it's all about what you get used to. Hoping this cycle is the one for you!


Summastarlet said...

Happy ICLW!

Very interesting to read about how different the health care system is there!! I think the card system is quite impressive, but you are right it's not very personalised!

Wishing you the best of luck in your journey.xx