“Doctor, Doctor, I…”

Disclaimer: I’m not sure this makes much sense because it’s late, but I’m sure there’s meaning in it somewhere.

So the inevitable has happened. I had to visit the doctor here in Montreal. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t on my list of things to do before I leave, but I just don’t seem to be able to make it a year without crossing the threshold of a medical practice. (There is a reason for this, I’m not a hypochondriac or super clumsy, but I won’t go into details here.)

I wasn’t nervous about seeing the Doctor or panicking about the language barrier because I went to the health services at my university, so that was a weight off my shoulders. No, for me the anxiety came from the differences in medical practices, or as I like to call it ‘they-don’t-know-me-or-my-history-and-that-worries-me’ panic. I am someone who is aware of their own medical needs and is fairly in tune with their body, so I know when something is up. I don’t know more than the professionals, that’s not what I’m saying, but I know enough to question every little thing I’m told.

I’d already come across the difference with buying painkillers such as paracetamol (that’s not the name of the drug used in North America), and it’s the differences that make up the point of this year abroad. Not just differences medically, but in banking, taxes, university and whole number of other things.

So what is this rather disjointed and ramble heavy post about? I learned this week that I can explain myself and my history clearly and with authority (in English, I don’t trust myself yet in French). Something such as a medical history can make living abroad scary, you want to be in the comfort of your own doctors in practices you recognise, but it doesn’t make it impossible. You just have to be sure in yourself.

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