Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sadie's Passport, More About Doctors, and Sadie as a Pumpkin!

Since I haven't posted in awhile, I'm gonna give quick updates on a couple of things. First of all, Sadie's passport came! It only took about a week and a day to get here, so we were able to book our tickets to America! We will be there from Dec. 23 until Jan 9, making a sort of whirlwind tour. We are also going to get Sadie baptised while we are there, which I'll post more details about once things are a bit more firmly planned.

Yesterday, I learned a few more ways in which going to the doctor here is different from in America. I needed to get another prescription. I had told the doctor I had enough for three months, but I miscounted/didn't do math right and really only had enough for like, one month. She has these open office hours on Mondays, so I went to go and ask for another prescription. For some reason, I didn't bring my Nook--the only explanation I can think of is that I didn't think it would take that long and I wanted to go to the store afterwards and didn't want to carry as much. Also my phone was dying. So, for the two hours that I sat there waiting, I had basically nothing to do. There was a TV with mostly like, ads for medicine or like "do you have this problem?" type features (and a weird children's cartoon about animals picking their noses...) but anyway, it was not the most fun wait I've ever had. So then when I got in there and explained what I needed, she said, "Oh you just need a prescription? You don't need to wait to see me, you can just ask for it at reception." WHAT?!

I was trying to figure out if there were some way I could have known this. I asked Hunter, and we both agreed that we didn't really know of a circumstance in America where you could acquire a new prescription without actually talking to a doctor. As I think I mentioned before, the prescriptions aren't hand-written here; they are typed out. So I guess the front desk just has a record of your prescription that you can go get. She did say that I had to see her every three months, like, I couldn't just indefinitely get prescriptions without ever talking to her again. But still. It was frustrating but ultimately I was just glad I was able to get the medicine.

Another super weird thing that happens at the doctor here is in the waiting room. In the office I was in, there were at least 15 people waiting at any given time. Whenever someone new walked in, he would say, "Morgen," and like everyone in the waiting room would say it back. Then when someone left, he'd say, "Aufwiedersehen," and there would be a chorus of "Aufwiedersehens" from the room. These people did not know each other. It's apparently just acceptable here to greet people you don't know in a doctor's office. I feel like in America, that kind of place is just a bit personal for random greetings, especially since it's like a mental health place. I think I'd feel weird about saying hi or bye but I guess it's just what they do here.

So on Halloween we went to meet up with some other English-speaking Aachen parents. My hope was to put Sadie in her pumpkin costume, but we put it on her and it was just way too big. But we did manage to take a picture:

The picture doesn't quite convey how huge this is on her. I had to sort of prop the hat back to make her face visible. So we ended up taking her in a different Halloween-y outfit.

Actually she was just wearing a white shirt with the skirt thing, and she wasn't wearing the socks because they were so big they just fell off her feet. But I'm not sure I have pictures from that day so this is close enough. The next one is a picture of Sadie doing something we hope she never does in public, at least in Germany:

And here's one more just for fun:
That's it for now!


  1. Great post as usual!!! I love hearing about the ins and outs of your life in Germany - so interesting!!!

  2. Just catching up on back issues :-)

    What you're talking about with the Rx sounds like the refills we have in the US. With non-controlled substances the doctor can just write you an Rx with some number of refills. The best example I can think of is with birth control pills where the doctor has to see you for you to get the pills in the first place, but they write a prescription that includes like 5 additional refills. You don't have to go back to see the doctor the next month to get another Rx, you just call the pharmacy and they look at the record of the prescription on their computer and say "yeah, okay, you still have 5 refills to use by xx-xx-xxxx date"

    This applies to lots of meds that you'll have to take on a regular basis, not including the serious pain meds. A prescription pad usually includes a couple numbers at the bottom, where the doctor just circles the number of refills you can get.

  3. Also, even though the Rx form you take to the pharmacy is often handwritten, basically all doctors have computer records of your prescriptions here too. So they could, in theory, do the same thing here, but typically if you're out of refills, that's because the doctor wants to see you again at that time, make sure the medicine is still working for you, that they don't need to change dosage or anything, etc...

    But as long as you still have refills, you don't even have to go to the office and get the Rx from reception