Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Suddenly I'm not feeling quite so 'chatty'

"We'd just like a word with you..."
A word? A word? I wonder if that means I only need to get down to my underwear???

Remember this? My last visit to the doctor, where I had been told I could go for a prescription, and then once I got there was told I couldn't and had to find another doctor and blah, blah, blah... rain... late for German,...etc, etc, and eventually came away with an appointment on (not the) 19th for a "chat with the doctor"?

So it was today. Not the 19th, and so I didn't miss anymore German I made the appointment for the afternoon, balancing up the missing of more German with the having to take the kids with me. I figured that with the kids with me, the appointment would be kept quite short as they make it plain that long appointments do not fit in with their lifestyle. And anyway, the appointment was for 4:45 so it would be post-nap (for Hamish) and hopefully they would not be tired and utterly horrible.

But then Stevie offered to come home early so I could go on my own. So I did, and just as well, as I didn't get home until 7pm so the kids would have lost the plot.

So anyway, the appointment was with the Frauenarzt - that's a gynaecologist/obstetrician and you have to go to one of them if you want contraception or a smear test, or well, a baby. So, I had been wondering what we might possibly have to talk about. Given that I thought I was going to have to take the kids with me I reckoned we could bypass the "Do you want any more kids?" question pretty swiftly, and probably without me having to speak too much German. But what else was there to 'chat' about. I assumed it was going to be something similar to what you get in the UK when you join a new doctors practice and you have to have that appointment where it's a bit like a meet & greet and basically they take a medical history, ask you if you need to see them about anything, and then thank you for coming.

Well, it was like that if you've ever been to one of those 'meet the doctor' appointments and had your chat with absolutely no clothes on. Now that was quite a surprise! The chat started pretty much as soon as I walked into her office and she said "Hello, pleased to meet you, would you like to go behind that screen and take off your clothes?". I thought I'd prepared myself by phoning my GP's office in England earlier today and asking when I'd last had a smear test. I even looked it up in my German dictionary in case I needed to mention that I didn't need one yet in German. That's how prepared I was. But I wasn't prepared to have to say this while actually getting a smear test. Apparently the Germans like to have them once a year even if you have never had any problems.

Then we continued our chat over on the examination bed where I was surprised to get both a breast examination and then an ultrasound to check my uterus, fallopian tubes, and to see if there were any tumours lurking. To add to my delight, unlike in the UK where if you have an ultrasound while pregnant, and you have the awkwardness of craning your neck round while trying to see the screen when really they don't want you to yet, here you get your own screen which hangs at the perfect angle from the ceiling for you to see the fibroids hanging off your uterus should you have any to see. Wouldn't that be nice?

I was then allowed to get my clothes back on, while she introduced the idea of getting Stevie a vasectomy for Christmas. I said it sounded like the perfect stocking filler, but I wasn't sure if Stevie would be too keen. He's never really fancied any of those Boots Gift Experiences, and this would probably have even less appeal for him than a hot air balloon ride.

Then she offered me an IUD for 400 Euros. In a toss-up between that and the lens for my camera that I've got sitting in my Amazon shopping basket, I think I'd prefer the lens to win. So that was that. A surprising evening that'll make me somewhat wary about chatting with Germans in the future.


  1. Fascinating! And totally unlike any of my visits with the OB/Gyn (except for the nakedness and the annual Pap- we have them in the US as well). I admire your ability to make it through such a long appointment in German!

  2. That is exactly what my visits are like. Flemish gynaecologists do it like Germans!

  3. Wow...I am moving to Frankfurt in July, and making an appointment with my Frauenarzt here was not on my high priority list--until now. I don't think I am ready for that German experience!

  4. Wow, they it sounds like they really went all out for you with the tests! Although, in the U.S. we have smears yearly as well. And if you're like me and blow them off for a year and a half or two, the docs tend to make you feel like you'd forgotten to send a thank you note to your sweet old grandmother for that birthday card and sack half-dollar coins she sent you 11 months ago.


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