Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting Blood Work Done in Kuwait

The last time I had blood work done, it cost me approximately 100KD for a full work up at International Clinic.  My health insurance didn't cover it and the company I worked for eventually took it out of my pay. 

The Romanian gets her blood checked regularly, and pays a few KD for it at the government clinic.  So, I decided to do that this time when my doctor told me I should get it checked.

Since I live in Rumaithiya, I went there (in the evening when I thought there would be less of a wait). 

If you want to go to any government clinic (which also includes a dentist), you must go to the area that corresponds to the address on your civil ID.  Dental work and just about everything else is REALLY cheap, although you might be put off by the amount of running around you have to do.

First, it is really hard for a non-Arabic-reader to navigate to government offices because everything is in Arabic and not English.  I called Stealth to ask him for directions and found it.

The place overall is typical of any Kuwait government health care facility.  Same ugly decor.  Same ugly tiles.  Same bars on the windows.  Rumaithiya clinic was very clean and I noticed that they have surveillance cameras and an employee fingerprint machine.  Fasssssscinating.

I first went to the receptionist and made a lame attempt in Arabic to ask Very Nice Lady for help.  She walked me around.  She was the only one in that place I liked.  She smiled and was really cute - with a different color nail polish on every finger; she's got charisma.  Like it.

You first have to go to see a doctor.  In this case, since I was going to have a hormone work-up done also, I had to first see a gynecologyst. Very Nice Lady walked me down there.  Dr. Unfriendly just gave me a paper.  Didn't say a word to me except to tell me to come back in the morning to the lab.  I'm glad that I knew from prior experience that I should fast (no food after midnight) before going.

I stopped on the way out at the reception desk and 2 men were in there.  One of them shouts, "Good mooooorning (7pm), and asks me if I'm a teacher.  WTF?!  He ends his futile attempt at a come-one when women wearing abayas walk up and the seemingly-ubiquitous mask of unfriendly/rudeness returns.

The moring was a little busier, but not much. I went to the receptionist (no English) to figure out where I had to go.  3 inquiries of nurses (who actually speak more English than receptionists and many of the doctors) later, I found the room where I had to pay.  Girlfriend barely glanced up from the newspaper she was reading.  There was some complication because the doctor hadn't written that I needed a full work up.  Payment Lady sent me back to the OB/GYN department.

There is a room divider in front of the door of the department.  There is a large sign that clearly says, "No men permitted."  That didn't seem to deter the 10+ men I saw walk in and out of there. I can only say this:  I will NEVER go there to get my hoohoo checked with all those nasty men walking around.  Uh uh. Not this girl.   Oh plus - get this - some of the icky men  were spraying pesticides for bugs right in the room where I was.  OB/GYN usually equals PREGNANT PEOPLE.  Duuuh.  WTF WTF WTF

So, back to a rather large doctor woman who did speak English, but without smile or any kind of facial expression.  (Seriously, does it HURT when you smile?  Really?).  I asked her for another paper.  She called a nurse. Why?  Not because the paper had to be written in English; but because big girl was too lazy to actually  write the note!  Her only duty apparently was to stamp and sign.  Fine.  She did all that. 

Back to Payment Lady(still reading her paper).  She shouts for the Indian guy (apparently a runner). She took my paper from the OB/GYN lady, my 12 KD payment (hormone work costs more and takes 10 days to return) and told me to go sit outside (because no runner shows up).

30 minutes later, a runner is sent out to "collect" me.  I go in and there is another lady who sends me to "the lab" and points at her office door.  Gee, thanks. 

I walk towards the lab.  Ask another nurse.  Wait in the lab with no one making eye contact with me except for one cute, young Kuwaiti doctor who actually WINKED at me....  Then someone asks if I have a number.  I don't see a number machine.  No, because I have to go out to the Lab Reception and get a number.  I wait in line while an old woman pushes in front of me (I let her go.  She was old.  What are ya gonna do - knock her down?  It just looks bad.)  So Lab Receptionist Lady makes no eye contact, writes some stuff and takes a number from the machine.  This is all while old, white-haired-beared-dude stares at my ass.  Gave that a little jiggle just as a gift.

Great.  Who do you give the number too.  I go back and Dr. Winky is there and smiles at me.  Progress.  At least I can flirt and something might get done. I show him my number.  He has a patient, but I went next.  He didn't make eye contact. (And WHY do you need a number when no one takes it/looks at it/cares???).  He is very gentle.  I want to crack jokes because I'm nervous, but think better of if.

3 vials and I'm done.  Woo hoo.

So, I have to go back tomorrow morning to Ms. Grumpy Pants in OB/GYN for the results of the full blood work and then back to Dr. I-Don't-Speak for the hormone stuff in 10 days.

Was it worth it?  Yes.  I would recommend bringing someone who doesn't look Western and speaks Arabic to help.  (I asked my so-called "friends" and they wouldn't go with me.  Fine.  I get  it.  Life is full of milestones and those quiet moments when a friend might need your help. Step up or step off.) I would rather NOT pay 100KD and I'm glad I went because it is an experience and you can learn or see things even through a bad experience.


Anonymous said...

i would have gone with you
don't go to dr to pick up results
get them from dr's receptionist or nurse
you can look the results up on line

Desert Girl said...

Look up the results online?? How?

Anonymous said...

And after all that hassle, they will prescribe to you HRT that has proven to cause cancer. Bio-identical hormones are not available in Kuwait, but they are in Dubai. I thought you were over 30:)

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous June 11 - Uh no. PSOS.

Anonymous said...

you will get the bood results back in numbers, mine were also listed with normal range bands, you can goggle 'hemoglobin' and see the notnal range

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