Expat mistake number 561.

I wasn't feeling great. I get kidney stones. Over and over. Finally caved in and put a post out to the local expat community for a doctor recommendation. One came well recommended.

I made an appointment and hunkered down the next 24 hours. About an hour before I was supposed to be there, I decided to check the address. Found him. Knew general area. But he was the wrong kind of doctor and had a different speciality.

I was looking for a family doctor and a referral to the next doctor. But I had an appointment with an ob/gyn. I had heard stories about these appointments.  I was looking to avoid this experience. At all costs. But the Swiss medical community (or the US for that matter) doesn't appreciate a last minute cancelation. I went. Figured it was same general area. And I was desperate.

He takes my medical history. Then he asks the $64,000 question, "Why are you here?" WHY am I there?  What's an acceptable answer?  I confused you with  a general practitioner? It 's been a few years?  Bring up the kidney stones?  I opted for a hybrid of the the three. He doesn't blink. But he does jot some notes down. I imagine them to be something like this..."appears confused, disorganized thoughts, drug seeking?" He then tells me where I can change but that he doesn't use drapes.

This exam is "European style" (his words).   Look, I'm all good with European style bread (last roll had carrots in it) or European yogurt or architecture or painting.  But this, this may be too much.  I can't speak for all American women but I'm pretty modest. The thought of lying on the table without a gown on was making me want to throw up. How are you supposed to pretend you are dressed and anywhere but there?!

Horrifying. I took my opportunity to explain my feeling that  American women (I had to lump us all together in my bid for solidarity- I needed the support)  don't appreciate this policy. I went on to suggest he buy a few gowns to keep on hand for us. He just looked at me and pointed in the direction of the exam room. Fine. Have it your way.

Five minutes later,  he launches into an anatomy lesson. Please, when will this end?! Then a lesson on ovulation. We discussed this already. I have three (delightful) kids.  I'm forty-six. I don't care if I ovulate ever again. I don't want to talk about it. Not today. Not ever. I don't need any lessons. If I want to know something, I'll google it or go on YouTube or the public library. Or something.

Mercifully, it ends.

He made me an appointment with another doctor for the kidney stone thing.  Thoughtful. But before I go, I'm going to clarify it's the right specialist. I can't do this twice.  And I'm going to see about buying some drapes of my own.

Sometimes I really miss Connecticut.

Location:Expat mistakes


  1. Totally understand but you did it and did it with class to boot !!

  2. So sorry that you had to go through that. Maybe you should check to see if the doctor he recommended speaks English. I hope you are feeling better. Love Pearl

  3. Despite the differences, it ended up fine and I really liked the doctor (and the referring doctor). No complaints. Everyone spoke English. And I feel better :-)

    And now I know what to expect. LOL

  4. Buy some gowns for you and your kids!! Take them with you !! Drink fresh lemonade and you will keep your kidney stones to a low number !! the more lemon in your life the better !! Dr. Moose

  5. Stones are the worst..at times nagging and than horrific but always make you on edge.. so best to stay away from situation that take pose as that will not be the personality trait that comes through at that moment..healing thought.. and grandmother Weaver told me Scotch and water works wonders.. Joe says drinking a six pack of beer in one sitting works also.. I opted for Scotch..

  6. lol omg, I really can't believe it! I couldn't have removed my clothes. I'd convince him that it really is in his best interests for me to have a johnny or whatever on my person. ha ha..wow. On a serious note, I'll do some research on kidney stones and what helps them.


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