Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Been a while.......sorry!

HELLO dedicated readers.......wanted to take a moment to apologize for well sort of disappearing on you. I just got to a point where I was feeling like I was treading water and my head kept slipping under. I've recently gotten that under control and am doing ok.

On another note, I went for the beloved annual female doctor checkup. I've lived here for just about a year and a half and hadn't been. Just kept putting it off, cuz let's be honest here, it's not the most exciting thing to do, nor is it the most desired place to be.

Well, I caved, and finally went. I'm thrilled to report that I like my new doctor, and I was able to speak to her in English with ease. All issues of integration into Israeli society aside, I speak to doctors and ALL medical professionals in English. I don't want to risk any sort of misunderstanding when it comes to my health or the health of my kids. "Kacha ze." (that's how it is). And luckily, this doc was totally ok with it.

Anyway......I was, and obviously still am, cracking up about the differences in an American doctor's office vs. this Israeli doctor's office. Back in the US, I would have to make an appointment a good 3 months in advance--here I made the appt. on a Sunday for that Friday. Back in the US, you'd enter the waiting room and tap gently on the GLASS WINDOW that separated you from the ever-so-powerful receptionist/secretary/insurance specialist--here I walked in and was surprised to see the receptionist/secretary's DESK WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WAITING ROOM!!! She wasn't hiding from me, and she actually said hello to me before I said hello to her! And would you believe it, I only sat there for like 5 minutes before the doctor was ready for me!!! UNHEARD of in the US.

Let me add here that in the US I always had to wait for at least a half hour until it was my turn. But "my turn" didn't mean that I was going to see the doctor at that moment. "My turn" meant that the nurse came to get me, I was weighed, blood pressure taken (which I must tell you after waiting for a half hour or more was sometimes high!), temperature taken (but I'm not sick...), and THEN....I would be taken into a room. It was at this point that I would get undressed and put on the lovely paper half gown and yup, you guessed it, WAIT AGAIN..... The doctor would come in sometimes 5 or 10 minutes later, accompanied by a nurse who would just watch to make sure there was no funny business I guess, and chick-chock, 5 minutes later the checkup would be complete.

----FOR THAT, I paid about a thousand DOLLARS a month for insurance!!!!

But here, in Israel, the experience was quite a bit I told you, the doctor herself came to get me about 5 minutes after I arrived. I sat down with her at the desk in her office, and she took my medical history (did I mention how in the US I was always having to fill out papers in the waiting room? They sure did update their records a lot.) So anyway, back to the Rofah (doctor in hebrew)............she took my medical history and typed it directly into the computer. Took her all of 3 minutes or so. Then she brought me over to the exam table part of her office (separated by a curtain). She left me there in privacy, I undressed, got up on the table, and voila, she was back. No naked waiting like in the US where i used to have to wait in those stupid gowns for what felt like forever as I read the pamphlets and posters that described all of the different birth control available!!! Instead, we got down to business, and in minutes, she was done, I was dressed and sitting back again at her desk!!! We had a mini follow up conversation and by the time i got out the door, I realized that the TOTAL VISIT was a whopping 20 minutes!!! Talk about impressive. !!!

Even more impressive is the fact that we pay less than 200 shekel a month for our "super gold" coverage---that's 50 dollars when the dollar is up! A bit better than our previous THOUSAND DOLLAR insurance bill, huh? I think I might stick around a while..........