“Wait!” said the nurse at the Alexandria Paediatric Centre.
I looked up with a confused look. Oscar and I were in the waiting room… waiting.
“Okaaaay,” I said tentatively, and returned to waiting.
"We are waiting," Oscar said to me in a stage whisper.
A minute later the nurse came back calling Oscar’s name again. We looked up.
“Wait!” she said again, with a tinge of exasperation.
Oscar and I looked at each other.
“Wait, wait!” she said, motioning us towards another room. The room with scales... where they take his weight.
“Oh… weight!” I said, much to the amusement of various patients and nurses.
Amazingly, this was the only confusing episode during two smooth visits to the Alexandria Paediatric Centre.
On our first visit I came prepared for a long wait with snacks, drinks and a Nintendo DS, but we were seen by a doctor right away and we didn’t need them. Oscar was examined by an English-speaking doctor, diagnosed with bronchitis and treated with a nebulizer within an hour on our first visit, at a cost of about $40.
The doctor had us come back for a follow-up visit. It was busier this time so we had to take a number. Being woefully ill-equipped for the Egyptian “line-up”, I’ve grown fond of the “take-a-number” system. We were seen by a doctor within a short time and fortunately Oscar didn’t need another treatment.
In Canada, we would have either had to wait weeks for an appointment or try our luck at a clinic, possibly waiting hours before being seen. The last time I was at the hospital in Canada I waited six hours with a broken nose. So far I’m pretty impressed with the system here.
Oscar’s health, safety and happiness was my biggest concern coming to Egypt. Rich and I could deal with just about anything, but no job is worth putting our son at risk. It is a relief to know that excellent care is available.
It’s been a week and Oscar is much better and sleeping through the night which means I am sleeping through the night which means I’m in a better mood which means Richard is in a better mood so we are ALL happier.