Thursday, June 14, 2012

Crazy Doctor Day (And Not the Good Kind)

Man am I emotional today... I think it's been a long day. I've nearly cried twice in the last half hour. I cannot wait for bed. I've honestly had the craziest day since my 24 hours of travel! It started out knowing I had an 8:15am doctor's appointment to get a refill on my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medicine. I didn't really think that going off it (a) cold turkey, (b) in a foreign country, (c) without doctor's approval was a good idea. Kathrin had made the appointment for me yesterday and told me the address, what papers I needed, etc. So I looked up directions. It was supposed to be a 20 minute walk. Yeah. Right. About that. I got lost. First I woke up late then I couldn't find Georgestrasse. I asked a couple guys outside McDonald's. They were NO help. I asked a middle-aged gentleman. He gave me perfect directions, half in English since he saw my notes were written in it. I wound up going WAY WAY past where I needed to be when I tried to find Moeserstrasse. I called Kathrin, knowing I was already late, and told her, auf Deutsch, "I know where I am; I don't know where I should be." She looked it up online and gave me directions over the phone, thank heavens! If I didn't have that cell phone (which by the way is one they gave me to use here), I'd have been so screwed today. I was so far, she asked if I saw a taxi nearby. I finally got there 15 minutes late (aka my 20 minute walk was more like 40 and FAST).

The receptionist was a bit brisk which made her difficult to understand (mind you ALL of this is happening in German unless otherwise noted). I gave her all of the papers I had and hoped it was what she asked for/needed! She directed me to the waiting room then called me in after a minute to a different room. She had several questions for me regarding insurance and so on. Of course, I didn't bring my freaking passport for photo ID. All I had was my NYS permit. Like she had any idea if that was valid or not. We finally got everything all figured out and I went back to the waiting room. Also, we needed either Kathrin or Daniel's signature on a paper because the insurance is in their name. So Daniel had to come down to sign for me. Since he was there he offered to drive me home if the appointment didn't take too long. I got to go into the office to talk to Dr. Glaescher and it was less than 5 minutes. It was easier to get a prescription here than it was to get what I wanted from Dr. Brubaker at Houghton! I showed him my bottle and told him that I have depression. He asked when my last depressive episode was (remember in German). I explained that I've been depressed since I was 12 and this helps keep it away. This medicine is VERY expensive here. I thought he said it was 47 Euros for 100 pieces. I'm thinking "Okay. That's 3 months. Like 20 Euros a month. That's not bad..." I missed the 200 part. It's 247 Euros. I almost said forget it. But I kinda need this medicine. :/ Plus I don't have anyone to talk to about going off it. Maybe I'll just wean myself off in the next few weeks and go back on it again in the fall when I know it's going to get bad again? But I'm not sure messing with my meds with so much else going on is a good idea. I was on Prozac long enough that I had carte blanc from my doctor to adjust as needed. This is still relatively new. Thankfully, Daniel helped me both pay for the medicine and understand the crap with the pharmacy. We have to pay upfront for the medicine (which was delivered to our mailbox this afternoon) but the insurance should pay us back. Honestly, if not for him, I would have said f-this. Oh and by the way, my appointment was meant to be tomorrow! But they squeezed me in. Honestly this morning was INSANE.

So I finally got home, had a cup of coffee and a croissant and took a deep breath. Then I took Ellie and Nuri to the little playground nearby that Ellie loves. When we got there, another woman and a little boy were there. Because I speak English with the girls, I always feel like other caretakers and people look down on me for not speaking German. They don't know I can speak it just fine but I'm teaching the girls English. It's as if I must not speak the native language because I'm a stupid American. So I thought "Oh great. Another person to secretly judge my supposed lack of German." But as soon as I said something to Ellie in English, the woman looked at me and asked, "You speak English?" She's from England, barely speaks German, and was there with her son who turned 1 the day I got to Germany. It was nice to have a conversation in person in English with a native speaker. (Haha Daniel JUST walked in with my medicine.)

Speaking of English conversations... I'm so unused to speaking in English except simple things to the girls that when I was skyping with Gramma today, I almost said things like "four and ninety" or "nine and twentieth of May". But tomorrow I'm getting together with a group of English speakers at Starbucks. I'm really looking forward to it. I have to do a few things tonight to get prepared. Shower, clip my nails. Nothing extravagant but I'd rather not look like it's been a long week even if it has been. I'm really hoping to make a friend. I've realized that I'm going to need some adult contact outside of Daniel and Kathrin. They're great and I'm so glad to have found such a wonderful family but they are also my employers. I need to just be able to relax and hang out and speak my own freaking language. Because my grammar isn't great, speaking German, especially slightly complicated sentences, takes brain power. Another reason I'm tired at the end of the day.

I've been playing a lot of memory with Noemi to help her language skills. She's got at least 95% of the words already from her set so I made new ones the last few days. I'm really impressed with how quickly she's picking it up. I barely have to translate or rephrase anymore. If I'm ever in doubt, I simply ask "Verstehst du?" and she'll reply honestly. Yael understands most of what I say but won't use English. She says "Please" and sometimes "thank you". We've got a system down now that when she doesn't know what something is she'll say "Was heisst Katze?" for example and I'll reply "Katze auf Englisch is cat." When I don't know the German word for something, like this morning I forgot the word for slide, I asked, "Was heisst das?" as I pointed to the slide. I accidently said the word for beautiful instead of the one for slide and asked "Wo ist der hobsch?" (Where is the beautiful?) She pointed to me and said, "Du bist hobsch." (You are beautiful.) I realized my mistake and smiled. It was so cute! I also managed today to say that in the letter from my parents circumcision instead of divorce.

A list of things I've learned in the last three weeks here:

Milchkaffee is seriously coffee with milk in it. Still needs sugar.
Coffee with a teaspoon of cocoa in it is delicious.
Noemi does not like to be tickled or flipped upside down.
Yael says she doesn't like to be tickled but she laughs her head off.
Nuria loves to be thrown in the air.
I know two different ways to tie and wear a baby sling for Nuria.
Singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" nearly always quiets Nuria down when she's just being fussy.
The library here costs money to get a card (which I'll be doing either tomorrow or Saturday).
Lexapro here is incredibly expensive.
The showerhead in the apartment is better than mine. (Mine sputters and gets water in my eyes. Theirs is actually functioning lol)

There's plenty more as well but those are what comes to mind immediately. Oh and there's no good word here for "nerd". As in "I'm being a nerd and teaching your children about Doctor Who without any of you realizing it." (Aka "Bowties are cool" and "Always bring a banana to a party!")

It's been a long enough day that it's time for me to get ready for bed. (Well shower then bed.) G'night all.


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