The concerned citizen

Me in line at the boom gate to exit the hospital. Sitting in my car trying to get Everett to calm down as he was fussing from being overly tired and not feeling good. As I am sitting there the hospital employee in charge of the boom gate walks over to my car window and leans in “Ma’ma are you ok?!” I respond “huh?….ummm yes why?” The concerned citizen states “you look terrible, like you are having a hard day….is everything ok?” Me: “Yeah…no I totally fine, thanks for asking.” Then I glance in my mirror to see what on earth prompted such an odd conversation. Then I see my reflexion, and the concerned citizen was right I look pale, and quiet frankly terrible! The result of getting TIA-ed (this is africa) yet again!

Let’s back up 3 hours to the start of my day: Took Everett to doctors to get him checked, since he was up half the night with a 104 degree fever. Dr. Karen (yes we are on a first name basis…we are frequent customers) diagnosis him with yet another double ear infection. I quickly leave to stop by my friends son’s birthday party.  They are all ex-pats  moms and I really enjoy the time and camaraderie. As I was leaving my friend asked if I could go with her to the hospital to get an appointment at the baby clinic. We show up to the hospital….with 2 overly tired toddlers I may add. Go to the counter and wait….then they begin speaking to us in Afrikaans to which  we have to interrupt them and explain that we only speak english (well my friend speaks german…but that wouldnt help much in this situation.) So we finally get sorted, and are off to the baby clinic.

This is when the fun really started (please note the sarcasm)  not only would they not give my friends baby the vaccine that he needed. We had to endure a 20 minute lecture why we should vaccinate our kids in our home countries before moving here. The lecture continued with her telling us that we moved to a 3rd world country and have put our children at risk. Oh and yes the toddlers were not helping this at all….they were on the verge of a full fledged melt down. So after trying to politely interrupt this ever so pleasant nurse and get the heck out of the clinic;  she tells us that she needs to take our babies names down and our phone numbers in case we were exposed to T.B. At this point I lost my patience and asked why they needed our baby’s weight, name and phone numbers. She then continued her lecture about how -this is a private hospital and we can not risk exposure of TB or other illnesses from people who are at risk in the clinic. To this I am thinking “well her baby wouldn’t be a ‘at risk kid’ if you would vaccinate him for TB.” Then started the ‘you should have thought about all this before moving to Africa lecture again!’ So we leave the clinic…without the vaccine….and I left utterly annoyed. Then I need to quickly pop into the pharmacy and get Ev’s RX filled. This turns into a 45 min wait with a crying toddler…….

After I load the baby in the car and go to get out the boom gate I am feeling drained and its only 12:30pm. More often than not living in another culture is wonderful. But I have realized that dealing with anything medical is where I am culturally inept, and quite honestly its my hot button. I will work on this. Because clearly I am not good at hiding my annoyance….as the concerned citizen so graciously pointed out.  

-Just another day in the life-



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