Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Grim Doctor

"Oh, Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning" - Thompson Twins

The last few days the kids have not been feeling well.  Fevers, sore throats, runny noses, coughs, tugging at ears, and all-around grumpiness.  They didn't seem to be getting better, so we finally decided to take them all in the the Dr's office to get a diagnosis.  Now, this may seem like no big deal, but let me remind you...

  • 3 kids 3 years old and under
  • All are sick and grumpy
  • Foreign country
  • Yvonne is in a cast and on crutches
  • 106+ degrees of sweltering heat outside
Fortunately, there are some benefits to the healthcare in the UAE.  Most helpful in this case was that the hours for the Dr's Office and medical clinics in general here are WAY more convenient.  Yvonne called mid-day on Thursday, and we were scheduled for an appointment that evening at 6:00.  This is not an emergency room visit, or and extra urgent care visit by the Dr.  It was just a regular appointment at 6:00pm.  Convenient. 

So we tried to prep the kids... but they were all a little scared.  I wasn't sure why because they really haven't had a lot of "doctor" experiences and even those haven't really been anything major.  But, things got started off with some resistance.  

Things went pretty well at first, the waiting room was clean, practically empty, and had some toys to keep the kids occupied.  There were a few challenges with the nurse and the initial weigh in/vitals/height check... but most of that was doing in-the-head math when you get measurements like "Her height is 89 centimeters" or "her weight is 11.1 kilograms"

After another short wait, we went into the Dr's office.  She was a friendly local lady with a box of toys.  Talon immediately smiled and went to the toy box and started playing as we discussed the symptoms.  I thought to myself... "so far, so good.  the toys are going to help".  Well, lets just say that toys can only help so much.  We left her office 10 minutes later with kids with tear-stained cheeks, and embarrassed looks hoping that not too many people had heard all the crying that happened inside.  The kids mostly did alright, but the part where she wanted to put the big stick in their mouth and have them say ahhh just didn't go over well.

In the end, we were piled up with enough drugs to start a side-business,  the kids were finally smiling because they had an advil-sponsored picture of a teddy bear to take home and color.  And, we got to escape the understanding looks of the other parents and go back home where we can pretend that our kids are braver and more well behaved than average (yeah right).

Later that night I was thinking and it dawned on me.... Of course the kids where a little scared.  I'm meeting and talking to a nice, friendly, local Muslim female doctor.  She is dressed in a traditional black abaya and head scarf, but has a smile and seems to know what she is talking about.  On the other hand, what my kids are seeing is probably closer to the following images... Of course they were a little scared ;)


  1. We pictured a nice little Catholic nun, not the wicked witch. No wonder you're kids were scared, they think just like you do!! Keep up the good work old man. Tell Yvonne hi for us.

  2. I just realized I spelled "your" wrong. My bad, I'm so embarrassed. Please don't judge me.