Going to the Doctor in a Land Far, Far Away

Traveling to a foreign country can be scary. What can be even more terrifying is getting sick in foreign country can be even scarier. A few days after arriving, I was overcome with sickness. At first, I thought I would be able to tough it out, but I realized that was not the case. This was not the first time I needed to go to a doctor abroad, but it did not make the experience any more comfortable or easy. Despite the fact that I can usually communicate for daily activities, the language barrier presented in a doctor’s office is especially daunting. Fortunately, the doctors spoke English well enough, however when it comes to important medical information, you want it to be completely correct. Being unfamiliar with the system also made me incredibly nervous. I kept having to remind myself that thousands and thousands of people had received health care there and were living healthy lives. Although it sounds a bit overdramatic, my worrisome thoughts seemed to fill the space created by the Spanish words I could not understand. I had to return a few days after my visit, and this time, I came with reinforcements. Gabbi accompanied me acting as a translator and moral support. For a humorous ending, I received my final blood work results and read my diagnosis, confident I was negative for all tests. I even began my early celebration. We sat down at the doctor’s desk and the first words out of her mouth were, “You have E. Coli.” A brutal blow to my mood and Spanish reading abilities. Fortunately, everything is fine now, but being put that vulnerable position is something I would be happy to never do again.



One thought on “Going to the Doctor in a Land Far, Far Away

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  1. I’m glad you’re feeling better now. And that certainly is a scary experience. How does it compare to other (similar?) experiences in the US? How was the medical care? What was the cost (remember that what you were given as a bill here was the TOTAL cost, not the deductible or copay cost you’d pay in the US)?


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