Monday 19 May, 2014
For weeks, I tried to change “Gubby’s” appointment to the kidney doctor. But I was basically told that I should be grateful she wanted to see us at all. Apparently she only sees four patients a week nowadays and we were supposed to feel honoured that we were one of the chose four. Well, excuse me for inconveniencing the mighty health care system in Sweden!
First of all, I know that going to these appointments, with the accompaniment of his brothers, is a thing almost unheard of. Or rather, it should be unheard of because it turns out a nightmare for everyone involved. I told the doctor’s secretary that, during our Easter vacation, and she told me that she would try to do her best, to get an earlier time, so I would not have to bring two extra boys with me. But nothing happened, no new appointment time arrived here. Nor did the test appointments! So me back on the phone, to ask what on earth is going on. What is the point in going in to see the doctor, if the kidney tests have not been done? What were we going to talk about? You can’t see his kidney from the outside! She can not tell how the kidney is functioning by measuring him, weighing him, and listening to his heart!!! The secretary promised she would ask the doctor about the tests. And nothing happened.
So, finally, the day had come and I had to ask “Boo’s” and “Kitty’s” teachers for permission, to take them out of school early, in order to get to the hospital on time, that is, right when they usually get out. We got there in plenty of time and the boys asked if I would give them ice cream, if they behaved well. I nodded my head, since I knew it would be a good incentive. IF WE HAD GOT IN ON TIME! We sat down and “Kitty” and I started to play this board game they have there called “Fia”. We managed to play it through twice and see the nurse, who weighed “Gubby”, measured him and took care of his urine sample, before the doctor finally called us in, half an hour late! But of course, while we waited, “Boo” got tired of waiting. He got wilder and wilder by the minute and stirred up “Gubby” so he became equally wild. They just ran up and down the corridor in the waiting room, which is a corridor that just leads in to all the rooms where the specialist doctors sit. They were driving me insane and probably everyone else as well, but I just finally felt so fed up. If you are told to be there 14:00, you should get in at 14:00. If I am not allowed to get there late, no matter if traffic is bad and there is no parking, why should the doctor be allowed to let you sit there for half an hour extra? The least they can do is come and explain why they are tardy! People arrived and were called in to the doctors, but not us.
So, let’s say that I was not a happy camper when we were finally called in. I told “Boo” that I wanted him to wait outside and he and “Kitty” decided to go and look at the fish, which is in this big indoor square, outside the specialist clinic, between that and the hall with the lifts for different wards. I just hoped and prayed they would behave out there. There is an aquarium, a piano and a tepee. I know, weird! “Gubby” and I went in to the doctor and first she had to bawl me out in her silent Eastern European voice. Contradiction? No, she has a way this woman. Her Swedish is atrocious and still she can make you feel rotten. And why was she doing this? Because of his so-called name change! I had to sit there and explain that he has not had a name change. It was always his name in the family but that we let him be called his second name, by outsiders, since people make such a fuss about not being able to pronounce his first name. I quit trying to tell them that they were pronouncing his second name wrong as well! But we really did not go to the kidney doctor to discuss his name. What business was it of hers that we now let everybody use his first name? He is autistic. He doesn’t need the confusion with two names, one for strangers and one for family. Ridiculous. If Swedes who has absolutely no family connection in England or Italy or the US, can pick American, British and Italian names, why shouldn’t we who are a half Swedish, half American (75% German, 25%British) family be allowed to choose a 1500s British name for our son? If anyone have the right, we do!
When she finally had stopped arguing about his name change, she took his blood pressure and listened to his heart and then she sat and read his records. Yes… yes… yes… yes… And I just sat there like a stupid fool. And “Gubby” was growing impatient but I did not dare to send him out to his brothers. In that court-yard, you also find the exit doors and the streets are heavily trafficated around this part of the hospital, by ambulances and regular cars as well. No, he had to stay with me and be equally bored. Finally she started talking about the tests and her not knowing what tests to do this year. I really got fed up with her at this point and said “His speech is delayed, we don’t really know what he understands and not. He has been diagnosed with Autism and I am sure that if he was in agony, he would complain. But if he just have a dull pain that he has got used to, he will not be able to tell me that he has this. So how then can we know that his kidney has not stopped functioning?”. Yes… yes… yes…yes… she says in her usual manner. I don’t know if she really listens to a word I say. She seems to be completely in her own world. They say that she is one of the best doctors and that might be, but she has the worse bedside manners and can’t deal with patients nor relatives of these. We were out of there in less than 15 minutes or something. Total waste of time. The only thing that happened was her disapproving of his name change which isn’t a name change in the first place.
We walked over to the regular hospital part and bought the ice creams, and the boys loved it. When we got back to the car, I decided to run down to a shop, we had been to Saturday. It’s my favourite shop, called Flash. They used to have all sorts of fashions (now it is sadly way too much office wear). For the formal woman who needs office clothes. But also for a little more casual look, a sporty look, a romantic look, you name it. A little bit of everything. But the best thing of all, they have jeans and trousers for every body size or should I say leg length, bottom size and so on. I have bought “Dollie” jeans there on sale and I usually try to buy jeans or trousers for myself, when they have their 25% off on trousers/jeans-weeks. I bought a pair of ankle length coral coloured trousers last time they had this 25% offer, a couple of weeks ago. Ankle length becoming full length on my short legs of course. This time I had to go for a model I do not really love that much, but my model, “Dolly”, did not come in coral colour. So I settled for “Sanna”. I stood for an hour and tried on two different sizes, over and over again, and the sales person just said “oh those look great on you”, not being helpful at all in other words. I walked home after an hour with the smaller size since she thought I should take the smaller size. One problem: I was trying them on, while having my French visit and a pad down there makes all the difference. You can’t feel how the trousers really fit and a week later when I put them on, to wear for real, they felt ghastly. Cutting in everywhere. And I could not find the receipt! I tore the house apart for it, for a week, but could not find it. Meanwhile “Gubby” had ripped off the tag, off the trousers. I still had the tag, but since they are sewn on, I could not just clip it back. Finally my husband phoned them and asked if I could trade size without receipt. Sure! But when they heard that the tag was off, they said “no return, no changing”. T. got mad and said “that’s a very expensive tag!”.
Then Saturday, we had to kill time, when “Kitty” was at a Birthday party down south. We never go down there to shop, but I brought D., so I could get him a suit for his graduation, and “Gubby”, to buy Wellingtons for him, since they are needed at pre-school. We walked in to the Flash down there and I started to talk to the lady that worked there, about how upsetting it was to own a pair of brand new trousers that I can not wear. She just looked at me and said “Bring them here. I will just clip on a new price label. No problem!”. I couldn’t believe it. How can the shop, where I am a frequent customer, say no to me returning the trousers and this lady saying, no problem.
So, after the hospital visit, we had to head down south again, with the trousers. It was the only day I could do it, the entire week full of things to do. And after all, she couldn’t hold the last pair of the bigger size, however long. They want to sell all those trousers quick, before it gets too hot and people want to move over to shorts and skirts instead. I did not want to run the risk of suddenly getting a no, to an exchange. But arriving at the shop, the children had no incentive to behave anymore. The ice cream was gone. “Kitty” wanted to go to the toy shop instead of Flash. “Boo” talked “Gubby” in to playing hide and seek in the shop, while I just tried the two trousers on again to make sure I was not making a mistake. What a nightmare! Me in the changing room, “Kitty” whining and “Boo” screaming and laughing for joy, while the little one was crying. It was a mad house and I felt so ashamed. That I can never take them with me, for the shortest of errands, without them behaving poorly. I was frustrated but still settled on the bigger size to be comfortable. My poor C-section tummy will always be tender I suppose and I can not have a lining that cuts in, nor a metal button which hurts! She said that the size would give but till then… We did the exchange while “Boo” escalated his poor behaviour and “Gubby” laid on the floor crying. The lady just said “I feel sorry for you!”. Trust me, not as sorry as I felt driving home vowing to myself, to never bring them to a shop again!