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.