Medical Woes and “Woahs!”

Posted on May 18, 2012 by


Having spent a lot of time in Georgia, I considered myself to be rather lucky that I have never had to enter a doctors office for any reason. Not solely because I am in Georgia and dealing with things related to your own health and well-being in a second language scares the pants off of me, but also because I absolutely hate being sick and absolutely hate hospitals, doctors, other sick people, and the general smell that permeates all medical practises. I tend to crawl up into a ball and hide out until the feeling of illness passes, and that had worked for me, up until now.

My back decided it had had enough of all my mad gallivanting, and gave up on me (the woes part of the title). I could hardly bend over, and walking was a constant pain, but I just decided to ignore it. A week later, I couldn’t actually get out of bed without screeching in pain, and I decided that perhaps it was time to do something that could scare me right into an early grave: go see a doctor.

Now, I would be lying if I told you I was not apprehensive about this experience in Georgia. I have had several friends who had been to doctors in Georgia and well, their stories had kind of given me cause for concern. Most of these experiences had been in villages, and the stories had left me feeling massively wary. They weren’t bad things, just a bit strange. Strange treatments for flu and other minor ailments. This of course left me with terrible day dreams of being put in traction for a month or having pins stuck into me, or being soaked in a tub of cha-cha for 3 days and it was with much fear that I sent an e-mail to the TLGinbox asking for advice on what to do.

I was impressed when I received a phone call shortly after sending the e-mail from the medical person, oh if only I had a suitable term, I guess you could call her “the TLG mommy, who looks after us when we are ill”. She was terribly nice to me, asked me what the problem was and said she would get back to me shortly. She wasn’t lying, she phoned back with an appointment to see the doctor later that day. I was impressed and feeling  a little less nervous.

Upon arriving at the medical centre where I was to see the doctor, I was further de-nervoused, when the centre was a really neat-looking house-building that exuded great medical confidence, people walking about in white coats looking rather intelligent, pictures of happy patients and smiling doctors on the wall. I was going to be okay. Then I got to reception. I had a piece of paper with a doctors name on it, and the building had 4 storeys. I figured it could take awhile, trying to find the name of the doctor on thousands of doors, in Georgian.  But, I was saved by a friendly lady who helped me find my doctor’s door, which would have been in the last place I looked. The doctor was not in.

I placed a call to “medical mommy” at TLG and said that the doctor was not there, she then called the doctor who appeared shortly there-after and then I got a call from TLG as well to make sure I had found her. I was feeling very looked after. So, the appointment commenced and I was excited, that perhaps this could be the solution to my problem and I wouldn’t have to bathe in cha-cha.

Two strange things happened then, which made me regress into my nervous shell. 1. My appointment lasted less than 5 minutes, in which the doctor did not touch me at all, and 2. she told me to come back the next day to see the neurologist. I tried not to panic, but the word “neurologist” conjured up some seriously nightmarish thoughts. “Can she see something is wrong with me, is it my brain, are they going to give me a lobotomy. Oh no! I knew this was a mistake, I should have just taken the pain and dealt with the fact I could never bend over again. I don’t want to die!” my completely dramatic brain cried out. I simply nodded and said I would see her the next day.

I went back the next day, and of course it wasn’t scary at all, well, it was for me, but most normal people wouldn’t have blinked an eye. The neurologist was a very nice lady who tapped on my ankles and knees and wiggled my legs about a bit and then gave me a whole bunch of medicine to take. I was really worried that all the medicine was going to bankrupt me. In South Africa, where I am from, what she was giving me would have cost hundreds of monies, so I just spent a lot of time being nervous. Nervous for nothing again, all the medication set me back a very minimal amount of GEL.

One of the things I got given, were a round of injections of something Russian. This again made me wary because I didn’t know what they were putting into me. I had to go back to the hospital for 4 additional days to have someone inject me (the lady who did it was so very very nice and I didn’t feel the injection at all). I went home later that day and went google-hunting for this Russian thing they were putting into me, and was well pleased when I found it, and knew exactly what it was. I guess these doctor people (contrary to the scary rumors I’ve heard) do know what they are doing after all.

I had to have one injection on a Sunday, when the clinic was closed, and – how’s this for service – they sent an ambulance to my house so the paramedic could do the injection for me. If that is not service I don’t know what is.

I am still on the road to recovery, still taking a round of medication to assist in the fixing of me, but I am well impressed (the “woah” part of the title) with the service I received here. Perhaps I do benefit from living in Tbilisi, and maybe there are some strange medical practises in the villages, but I don’t feel that the service I got here was any worse than the service I would have received in my home country.

I thought I would write about this because, well I truly didn’t know what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised when it was not a horrid experience at all, and thought perhaps other could benefit from hearing this story too. The doctors were really kind, and the service from TLG was also excellent. I know some people have had worse experiences and some perhaps even better, so do not judge all doctors visits by this one, but don’t be afraid to go and see them, perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised too.  Here’s to your good health. (And to not having a lobotomy or bathing in cha-cha for 3 days.)