Since I've been here, I have had many great Germany experiences. I've also had some not so great ones. For example, how the German Polizia love to set up photo radar randomly in places. It really keeps your driving speed in check...and when you're not paying attention, helps get you tickets. Or how people like to randomly tell me what I've done wrong (I'll get to that in a little bit). Or the staring, oh how people stare here. Can you tell I'm in a bit of a sour mood right now?
Anyway on to my story. Today I had a doctor's appointment on the economy. I say on the economy because my husband is in the military so many things can get taken care of on base. For bigger things, like the surgery I need (it's foot surgery, I have really really messed up feet. Thanks mom and dad), I need to see a German doctor. So a few months back I made an appointment to see my primary doctor on base, so he could get me a referral. I could then go back a week later to make an appointment with Tricare, the insurer, to see a local doctor. Once that was all said and done I was set up to see a podiatrist. I need to have surgery, so I was a bit confused (and still am) as to why I had to go see a podiatrist. They don't do surgeries. I had a brutal workout that morning and had to rush immediately to the podiatrist. I didn't exactly plan it out so I had no food, just water on hand. My blood suger and energy was wavering to say the least. I waited in the reception area for two hours (ya, that's right, two freaking hours for a set appointment), then finally got in to see the doctor. Once I was in the room he came in for a second, then left, I waited, then came in about 30 minutes later to let me know my feet are messed up. Shocking! The whole process lasted about three hours and I didn't feel like I got anywhere, less a little piece of paper that I apparently needed to see an orthopedic surgeon. So I guess not all was lost. He also told me the reason it took so long was because it was the day before his vacation so everyone was trying to squeeze their appointment in.
Fast forward two months (ya ya I procrastinated a little bit) and I made my way back to Tricare, the insurer, to get a referral to see an orthopedic surgeon. It took roughly a week to get me in the system, then I went back and made the appointment. So, finally, today I went in to see the doctor, the one I've been waiting to see. I get to the hospital and laugh because the parking garage costs money. Ended up costing 3,30 Euro. Oh ya, I also managed to get lost in the parking garage. Woops! Once inside, I was able to find someone who speaks English and could help out. I always feel bad that I can't speak German well at all, so I am very grateful when people can speak perfect English. So the man who can speak English tells me that the doctor had to go to a funeral today and I need to re-schedule. UGH. I gave him this incredulous look thinking 'are you kidding me?!'. I couldn't manage to say anything, because 1. you can't be mad at someone who is at a funeral and 2. I was in a bit of shock at the fact that my doctor was even at a funeral today. It's not something you expect to hear. I guess they took this look to mean that I needed to get in today. The next thing I know they are telling me someone else will see me that's just as good as the other doctor.
After that things got better. They did x-rays and weight bearing stuff and told me I have some serious foot issues and need pain killers and surgery. Basically what I knew they would say. The whole process was pretty frustrating at first, but it all worked out in the end. Patience is key my friends! Oh ja, rememer how I said people like to tell you when you are doing something wrong? Well I tried to open a bathroom door that was locked. When the lady came out she pointed to where the door turns red to let me know that I should check that before trying to open the door. UGH. I thought my way of checking was much faster. It's not like I opened the door and exposed her to the waiting area. Guess she was having a bad day.
After today, I learned a few things. My life would be much easier if everyone would just speak english. Kidding! I need to start practicing my Deutsch regularly again. I also need to clarify that I have no problem with the actual German doctors, they're great and speak English and are quite knowledgeable. I've just had one hell of a time for my first two experiences! We'll see what happens when I actually have this surgery, should be an interesting story!