Our friend Stephanie made the appointment for Carter as he needed a certificate from the Doctor in order to possibly go to the local creche. She showed me where to go that day and I arrived a few minutes to 4, which was our appointment time. I felt like I was in an old house, with high ceilings, radiators and peeling wallpaper. I didn't see a window or a nurse anywhere, so I went into a room with chairs and toys and waited.
Over the next hour many people arrived and sat in the little room. I could hear who I presumed to be the doctor in the next room talking loudly and intermittently a child would cry. I was getting quite perturbed and it didn't help that a very annoying 5 or 6 year old boy was torturing Carter. His mother was babying him, offering drinkable applesauce and snacks like he was a toddler. The boy had a matchbox car that enticed Carter, and the boy would show it to him then snatch it away repeatedly. The only toy for a child Carter's age was one of those little green plastic teeter totters. Carter was happily rocking on it when the boy got on and began to rock violently. His mother made a very weak effort to get him to stop and then Carter fell off. As I knelt down to rescue him, I had no choice but to send the boy the glare of death. We may not speak the same tongue, but he certainly got my message!
Finally we were rescued by the Doctor, who after many requests to speak slowly and clearly continued to speak rapidly and mumbling. He seemed nice enough but determined that Carter needed some more vaccinations (how could I be surprised? He is my fourth child, after all). After several interruptions (phone calls to schedule appointments, bike messengers delivering supplies, gathering the cups of pee pee from all the kids in the waiting room), the doctor handed me a prescription and sent me on my way.
A prescription for what, you might ask? For the vaccinations, of course! I had to go to the pharmacy to buy the vaccinations for polio and DTP, etc. and keep them in my fridge until our next rendez vous with doc. Although I thought it a little bizarre, I was happy to learn that part of the scrip was a patch you put on your baby an hour before the shot to numb them. Nice touch!
I wasn't worried about Carter after the shot, because I knew that if there were any problems with fever or reactions, I could call the doctor and he would answer his phone, even if he was in the middle of an appointment!
Labels: Culture. Shock?