Thursday, 10 December 2009

On the road to recovery (I blasted well HOPE)

If you're going to be ill over here for more than three days, you need to provide some sort of bit of paper from the doctors to your place of employment. So first thing on Monday morning, I dutifully trotted down the road to a general practice I'd spied before and thought, aha, useful, a doctor within five minutes' walk. I signed up (nothing easier; they scanned my insurance card and relieved me of €10, which is, it would appear, the quarterly mandatory fee) and settled down to wait.

I was thunderstruck by the general level of politeness in the waiting room... I'm used to the English way of doing things - sneak in, cast a lightning-quick eye around the room to judge the least sticky-looking chair furthest away from the snotty wailing children and the obligatory gently-rocking weirdo, then dive into position, wondering what everyone else is in for but spending a lot of energy avoiding catching anyone's eye. Here there was a cheery round of hellos as each new patient entered the room and hung their coat up, and equally polite goodbyes when anyone left. Goodness, it almost felt like being in the doctor's surgery on a Monday morning was a respectable place to be!

Once I finally saw the doctor (I sat for two hours, grateful to have brought a nice fat book, and thinking, well good thing I'm not desperately ill any more!), he diagnosed acute viral bronchitis within seconds, forbade me to sing whilst any vestige of it remained (not that I would anyway, as I said to him - I'm a singer!) and signed me off work for a week. I'm actually quite proud of getting through the whole thing in German; it never even occurred to me to look for an English-speaking doctor. Not to mention, I understood that the bits of paper he gave me should go to the theatre as my place of work and to my insurance company; and THEN I even managed to ring the insurance company and ask for an address to send said bit of paper to...

Of course I had to ask whether I was infectious - and unfortunately the answer is yes, until I finally stop coughing. This is the point at which it occurs that everyone I know here is either a singer or works closely with singers - I am effectively in quarantine from my entire social life! Roll on recovery....

1 comment:

  1. oh no! But cool for getting through everything auf Deutsch! Feel bettttter!!!