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With only one day to go before we leave for the big ski trip, Gracie is on day three of a 102.5 degree fever. John and Karen's doctor speaks really good English (in fact he trained at Yale in the US) so we decided to take Gracie to see him. We took Gemma along as well because her cough was not sounding too good either and I was a little nervous about giving her the over-the-counter cough medicine, especially since I couldn't read one word on the label and had no idea how much to give her!
The doctor's office is tucked away on a narrow street packed with shops and markets. Karen had to drop us and wait a half an hour for a place to park. The doctor's office was very busy with lots of sick children so the receptionist was really thrown off when we just walked in with no appointment and no medical cards! They were very kind however and after I filled out some paperwork and declared that I was going to be a "cash customer", they were able to create charts and make room for both girls.
We waited in the lobby for about 45 minutes and when they called our name we were led past a curtained doorway and asked to remove our shoes. We were all provided with slippers and asked to be seated again while we waited our turn. When we finally got in to see the doctor I was relieved to hear him speak very clear English. He got right down to business, we discussed their symptoms and he asked me "what I wanted to do"! So, I told him I wanted an expectorant to thin the fluids so they could have a more productive cough and I wanted antibiotics for Gracie in case whatever this was turned bacterial on me. I told him she had only had one antibiotic in 8 years and that I wanted to let the fever do its job for another day or two but that we were going on a ski trip into the mountains and I wanted to have the antibiotic with me in case she would need it. I asked him what he thought about that and to my surprise, he totally agreed with me! He recommended letting the fever go another 2-3 days! He asked me about Gemma and I told him she had NEVER been on an antibiotic and I didn't want one, I just wanted the expectorant. He checked her out and agreed that was all she needed. He wrote out the prescriptions, we paid our bill and went on our way! Obviously I was VERY nervous about going to a doctor in a foreign country but it turned out to be a very positive experience!
In Japan, people where a mask when they have a virus so as not to infect others. Our kids had been coughing so much we were worried we were offending people in public so we purchased some masks from the drugstore and tried them out. Luke loved his but Gracie didn't like the smell of hers. Personally I think it's a great concept that should be used in the schools for grades K-4 when kids are less efficient at covering their mouths! I think I will buy a box or two to take home and perhaps we'll start a new trend at St. John school!