Thursday, January 13, 2011
Doctors and dentists
If that seems a little brusque, that's because it was. And that has been the biggest adjustment: realizing that here, they don't hold you by the hand, so to speak. They don't walk you through procedures or translate the goofy British medicine names into plain (American, ha) English, or even tell you where the in-house lab is when they send you out of their office to get your blood drawn. It's a little abrupt, even when one of my kids is the patient.
There's no stuffed animal taped to the dentist's light. There are no TV screens set into the ceiling to amuse a kid during a dental exam. The room is a chalky green color and the blinds are too and if there are stickers of cartoons on the wall it's the freakier, lesser known ones like My Melody and secondary Winnie the Pooh characters.
I guess the benefit of all this is that it builds character. Sometimes getting a shot means a nurse is going to hold you down and it's going to hurt. There's no way around that, not even through a lollipop or a colored band-aid. Here, you get a plain brown band-aid and a sticker IF you're lucky.
Now, if they could just work on the flavor of their medicines here, that would be fabulous. I never knew how good we had it in the US with our cheery grape- and bubble gum-flavored syrups. Here, all the medicine bottles ominously describe their contents as "pleasantly flavoured." And I believe them every time. And I'm always wrong. The medicines are never pleasantly flavoured. Even the liquid Tylenol syrups (that's "paracetamol" here) are so heinous that my girls have to have something ready to swallow right afterward to get rid of the taste.
Which means that Children's Tylenol and ibuprofen are now going to be added to my list of things to stock up on next time we're in the US.