at the doctor’s office

at the doctor’s office

the first time is usually nerve wracking. a necessary, last-minute affair. i always imagine being diagnosed with some terminal disease and just nodding and smiling in response. luckily, in my experience of going to doctors in foreign countries, that hasn’t happened. yet.

at the gyn, i was relieved. it was a bright friendly vast apartment office. at the reception desk sat three women, all various shades of brown. in the waiting room, there were mostly turkish women. for the first time, i was in a gyn office where there were almost just as many men as women. well, men – period- was a change. one big muscular man was carrying his partner’s purse, in the only way i guess a large man can carry a purse. it was funny. but… i felt like i was in a place where someone would have the patience if i couldn’t come up with the word for “colon cancer” or “hay fever” right away.

i was pointed into a room and waited as the doctor finished speaking to a couple at the reception desk. i wondered why they didn’t just finish the conversation in the office with the door closed. As i looked out, i saw the doctor speaking to the man in german as the woman animatedly explained something in turkish to the receptionist. the receptionist translated for the doctor who then responded to the man. from there, the cycle started over again. and I thought i had communication issues. while living in a foreign country, the most basic functions and tasks can often turn into a complex maze of stressful miscommunication. something you take for granted on a daily basis when everyone speaks your native language. 

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