Friday, December 28, 2012

Chillin' and illin' in the Czech Republic

Yeah...that post title is pretty darn bad. My apologies.

So the Mister and I are finally on Christmas break! After two Christmases spent in Saudi--one working, one sitting around the house awkwardly until our families were awake enough to Skype us--we now work in a school that observes an American school calendar. It is SO nice!

We considered going home, especially since my aunt was diagnosed with cancer this fall, but decided to spend half the money and go to Prague instead. I have had my butt kicked this semester with learning the new curriculum, re-adjusting to teaching 6th grade again, and just transitioning into a new country and school. I needed this break like whoa.

So it only stands to reason that I get sick as a dog not 24 hours after we touch down in the Czech Republic. I think most of my ails are due to the onslaught of tree pollen and allergens that just don't exist in Kuwait. My sinuses are angry at me. The entire right side of my face is blocked up tighter than an LA highway at rush hour.

Adding insult to injury, I got something in my eye yesterday as the Mister and I was out for some sightseeing and as I swept it out of my eye, I must have introduced some sort of nasty pathogen which decided to fester itself in my eyeball overnight. I woke up to my left eye being crusted shut and all kindsa redness and inflammation.


My misery has been compounded by the fact that all pharmacies have been closed until today because of the Christmas holiday and there are no over the counter medications sold in grocery stores or mini-marts. So I haven't had any ibuprophen, no Claritin, NOTHIN' to try to ease my pain!

Fast forward to this afternoon. I decided that this eye nastiness wasn't going to work itself out pleasantly, so I found out where the nearest eye clinic was and decided to venture out.

Hard to tell, but that's one red eye on the right there.

I found the address, packed myself up with my passport and some money and hopped a cab.

Don't worry, Moms. The Mister came with me. He kicked some serious Angry Birds butt the whole way there.
We got dropped off at this unassuming building on a side street. No ambulance bay, no big blue signs with a bold H to indicate this was a hospital. I never would have imagined it was a medical facility. Thankfully there was a nice lady at the information desk as we entered the complex. I pointed to my red inflamed eye and she said, "Ah." followed by a string of Czech. She got a map of the hospital, circled what I assumed was the eye clinic and wrote down what I assumed was an office number.

Apparently we look Italian. She gave us the Italian map of the hospital instead of the English version.

We made our way to the "ocini klinika", only to find that the information desk in that wing was closed. We were greeted instead by tiled hallways and LOTS of Czech signs. This place looked unlike any hospital I had ever been to. First of all there were no people! We saw a few cleaning staff popping in and out of closets, but no nurses station, no "Dr. So-and-So, please report to room such-and-such" over the loud speakers. No other patients that we could see. It was odd.

The information desk for the eye clinic is on the right; that wooden inset past the double doors.
Eventually a kind man must have read the helplessness on my face and took mercy on me. I pointed to my eye, he said, "Ah. Come." and I followed him to a yellow room. A nurse happened to be coming out of a door, he explained something to her in Czech, pointed to me, I pointed to my eye, and she pointed to a chair.

...alright. We were getting somewhere.

At this point I had no idea that I was actually sitting in the waiting room do a doctor's office.

There he is again. Killing those pigs. That white door led to the doctor's office.
The nurse came out and asked for my passport and my insurance card. When she saw that I wasn't an EU citizen she shrugged and said, "Ah. Will pay cash." That wasn't a problem. She took me back and I met with a very nice doctor and his student. They inspected my eye and he wrote me a prescription. The doctor decided that I had an "infection from some garbage from the window."

Translation: something had gotten blown into my eye and it had caused an infection.

He wrote me "a recipe" for antibiotic drops. I paid the kind nurse CZK 516 ($27.21) and headed to the pharmacy near the hospital entrance. I hadn't realized that the 516 covered the doctor's visit AND the prescription! I picked up a box of ibuprophen with my eye drops and paid another CZK 198 ($10.44) and was on my way.

At the end of it all, I had spent just over double the taxi fare to visit a medical professional and pick up a prescription! Dang! There might be something to this whole socialized medicine thing after all!

We got back to our apartment a little while ago. I picked up some dinner..

washed down with a dessert of Oreos, obviously...
 ...and now the Mister and I are resting up before an early morning visiting a UNESCO world heritage site tomorrow. Many more pictures and stories to come, I'm sure.

Vicariously yours,

1 comment:

  1. glad I could be with you post hospital madness! Yay for socialized medicine! I think I may move to Prague...even though it sounds like plague...which seems like enough of a reason not to move there for me. Maybe that's why you were struck ill. CONSPIRACY!