Doctor needed…NOW

Check out the first part of this blog about when Steve got sick at ‘A Bump in Berlin‘. Now you are up-to-date, you may continue – hehehaha!

I got down to reception, asked about a local GP only to be told ‘It’s a public holiday today so the doctors are not open.’ ARGH! I said on the inside while on the outside I calmly asked ‘So, going to the hospital would be the best thing then?’

Yay a solution and a long hospital waiting room day ahead. I informed sick Steve, he showered and dressed. I filled my backpack with things to do, a taxi was called – our first because we simply been using the subway – and within five minutes we were at Sankt Gertrauden Krankenhaus (St Gertrude’s Hospital).

The gentleman at reception claimed he didn’t speak English when I asked yet when I said Steve needed a doctor he directed us upstairs. The same thing with the triage nurse, she didn’t speak English until Steve explained his symptoms and handed over his passport. She instructed us to go back downstairs to the man at reception, who didn’t speak English, and pay a fee of 45euro (approx. $67AUS).

According to Steve this fee was meant to put off illegal residents from using the medical system but for Aussie travellers like us this seemed quite reasonable.

On our return to nurse-nasty-pants with our 45euro receipt we were ‘allowed’ to sit in the waiting room which to my surprise only had only other person waiting to see the doctor.

Wow! So much for needing my bag of goodies, within 15minutes a lanky young German Doctor in full whites came out to get Steve.


From sick Steve’s perspective:  The doctor looked like Dr Frankenstein he was that tall, dressed all in surgical white complete with white leather Birkenstock-style shoes with socks. He spoke very good English and completely relaxed his demeanour when I told him so.
Entering the doctor’s consultation room there was a large upright medieval looking dentist-style chair immediately opposite the doctor’s desk. I was beckoned to sit down half expecting my wrists and ankles to be automatically clamped to the chair. I didn’t happen.
The doctor approached me with what looked like bent steel needle-nosed pliers to look up my nostrils, a cold steel tongue depressor made me gag as he looked down my throat. He poked and prodded my throat and face with a lot of mmmmm’s and aaahhh’s and went back to his desk and typed furiously on his computer for 10minutes.
Dr Tobias told me I had acute sinusitis and said he would give me something for the infection.
He also asked if I had trouble sleeping, stopped breathing when sleeping and woke myself up from snoring. Kim gave a resounding ‘YES’ from her chair.
The doctor identified I have asymmetric tonsils and an elongated uvula that contribute to my snoring and irregular breathing during sleep. He recommended I attend a sleep clinic when we return to Perth.
He presented us with a report – in German – to give to the pharmacist outlining treatment. As it was a public holiday he told us to speak to the hospital reception for details of the closest (emergency) pharmacy.

Treatment = relief for sick Steve

We walked to the pharmacy and straight past it because it looked like it was closed.

Bewildered we stood, like tourists, outside the building trying to make sense of the signs on the door.

Thankfully a tall, gorgeous English speaking German man offered assistance and told us to ring the bell – my saviour!

To our surprise a pharmacist came to the door and opened a small window inset in the door.

From there we fumbled through ordering and purchasing the antibiotics and other bits and pieces recommended by the doctor.

Success, well kind of. We made our way back to the hotel and internet access, where I photographed sides of boxes and sent them to my brother Ashley, who lived in Germany for a number of years. He helped us decipher the dosages.

It’s been almost a week since then and slowly the hacking coughing and profuse blowing of his nose has decreased – thankfully. He is still not completely better but a few slightly warmer days has helped.

BUT, now I have a tickle in my throat!

Yes, this post is slightly longer than 500 words, for those who have counted. Steve likes to go on, you know how it is ;o)