Ok, so back the the story about sickness. I thought it was all said and done, but alas, the worse was only beginning....
Last Saturday, we noticed that there was a strange swelling on my right side. I thought, hmmm, maybe this is just some aftermath from all the antibiotics? There was no pain, no health complications, just a strange firmness.
Monday - nothing had changed and I started to get worried. I called to make another doc appointment, but alas, she wasn't available until Thursday. I made the appointment anyways, but asked a friend for another recommendation. She gave me the name for her doc, and here I sat dreading to have to talk to yet another secretary over the phone in French. (and believe me, I'm not the only one scared of using the phone. A french friend of mine, who's English is amazing, once told me that's her biggest fear at work was answering the phone...considering she didn't know if she might just have to spit out her English. Oh the dread of not understanding and being misunderstood! We joked that we should call each other just to practice, ha). Long story short, I didn't understand a word the secretary said, and finally she spit out a bit of English telling me that all new patients had to call the doc's cell to speak directly to her. Huh? Ok. So I did just that, and (in English) she flat out told me her schedule was too busy, and that if I was already seeing someone, then I needed to stick with her. Well F that. I felt like I just got slapped in the face. We then decided to drop in on my doc the next morning sans appointment.
Tuesday - Oh guess what, it's a national holiday so everything's closed. No doc was in. Step two, walk to the nearest hospital and see if we could see someone. This local hospital (guess is was more of a private clinic?) was closed. We again got some more advice from a friend as to where to find an 'urgent care' kind of facility (located in an actual hospital) so we headed there and took our place in the waiting room. About an hour later, we entered a small office and battled our way through explaining the whole situation in French. I'd been practicing everything in my head over and over, but when it was time to speak, it all got flubbed up. And man did this woman speak fast! If felt like utter failure, but we got the point across. She gave me a check up, then even called some other docs who worked in the hospital for their opinion. Nobody knew. I'm thinking WTF. She said the only way to know would be to do another blood test and get an ultrasound.
Wednesday - Back to the lab for more blood and urine tests. This place was easy. They spoke slow, and now I knew the routine...though there was some miscommunication about peeing in the cup. The directions sounded different this time, so I got confused. Turns out they needed me to wait a bit longer since I'd just recently peed, so they actually let me take the cup home for me to bring back later. You'd NEVER be allowed to do that in the US! Then the ultrasound. We were sent to a private hospital, just a mere 5 min walk down the street (seriously, the convenience is simply astounding!) and waited our turn to be called in. By the way, up to this point with all these visits, we had never had to fill out any paperwork whatsoever. So unlike the states. We would simply check in, wait our turn, then pay. It's kinda amazing. The other twist to all this is that I'd been meaning to send in my passport to get renewed so I'd have it back in time to travel home for the summer. I had a bad feeling about doing this before the exam (not like I'd ever needed to show ID up to this point), but something in my gut told me to hold on to it. I thought I'd postpone the post office visit until after the exam. Long story short, I actually did need to show my ID this time and I thought, holy crap. Close call! Adam and I were then brought into a room with a friendly radiologist who gooed me up and started the doing the 'échographie' (seriously, we've had to learn the most random vocabulary from this whole experience). We were both thinking, sheesh, we are NOT supposed to be having our first ultrasound experience together like this! I could only understand about a quarter of what the guy said, but the things we did understand were words like, voluminous, mass, kidney, bad, urologist. Then we were told to go back to the waiting room. I didnt know what the hell was going on now. Were we seeing another doctor? The secretary then called me up, said something I didn't understand about an appointment, then handed me the phone....ahhh! the phone! Guess I was making an appointment for something. Turns out it was for a CT scan the following day. The visit with the local urologist came about an hour later. We were so confused. But ahhh, finally, a doc who spoke English! He said whatever I had probably needed surgery to get it out, but the CT scan would tell a better story. So we went home anticipating yet another day of tests and the final say on what we should do.