Monday, 4 July 2011

Hospital Appointment And The Things I Gladly Leave Behind

The thing I like about traveling by train and other public methods of transport is meeting new people. On my way towards the hospital I ended up chatting with this girl about her notebook, DSLR cameras, the HKU school where I was yesterday since she wants to become an interior designer and she didn't know about this school yet, and of course my troubles in this country. I handed her my business card before she had to leave the train. I talked with a few other people as well, and got some very grateful 'thank yous' after assisting others, but that first conversation was the most remarkable, I think.

At the hospital itself I ended up talking about my issue as well when I had to register. Two ladies behind the counter were quite interested in my story so I gave them my business card as well. Ditto for the girl behind the plastic surgery department counter. All quite interesting and pleasant.

The actual appointment was less fun. The surgeon in question was a very twitchy, absent-minded person. Soon into the discussion it became clear that he was taking an offensive stance and I was back to defending myself, as I have gotten used to with Dutch physicians and such. This attitude would not change at all during the appointment. What I found annoying was that this surgeon kept pushing me towards having an artificial vagina installed, without any apparent interest in finding out whether I already have one. Finally he also called in other patients when I had left for a minute to go to the toilet, meaning that I had to wait ten minutes or so in front of a closed door with my belongings still inside.

There was no mention of the scan or x-ray with contrast dye and when I steered towards the subject, he stayed dismissive, and jumped to various conclusions. I didn't get the impression that he really believed my story, and wasn't particularly interested in examining me. What he did suggest was to have an ultrasound performed, but after a lot of calling back and forth with the radiology department it was decided that they just needed the MRI scans which I had with me on an USB stick. Then some confusion when I arrived at the radiology department as the people at the front desk didn't know about this request to have them read in the MRI scan data.

After spending more time waiting I got told that they couldn't use the JPEG files included in the scan data I have, but require the original DCOM format. Ergo they have to ask for this data at the OLVG and Erasmus MC hospitals. My presence clearly wasn't needed or required. The surgeon's conclusions based on the MRI scans will also be discussed by phone, two weeks from now. Good thing that the journey was kinda fun.

It was a good thing that I didn't have any expectations for this appointment, as otherwise I'd surely have felt disappointed. As things stand now, I merely feel that it is a confirmation of the reasons why I am leaving this country. Another confirmation are the frequent flashbacks I suffered today, with details like a side table design reminding me of the table in my jail cell, and a dress a little girl was wearing at the hospital reminding me of the bag they made me wear at the jail. Very unpleasant memories and still far too real.

Hopefully the last pieces before I can go to Australia will fall in place during this and next week. I got one friend helping me with that politician and the professor we got referred to, and the asylum request, and another with the housing part. Other friends are helping me with various details around finding a job and such. Ideally I would like to get a chance to heal up once I'm in Australia. Spend a month or so adjusting, and letting the bad memories fade somewhat while adding new, fun memories. Professional help might be welcome too, considering that I do suffer from PTSD and such, not unlike a soldier returning from a war zone.

We'll see.


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