Monday, June 22, 2009

Spoke too soon

I spoke too soon. I'm not really at home in Sweden.

Today I tried to see a doctor about my bloated belly. It's been huge and uncomfortable and I've been feeling like I need to burp all the time, but not being able to burp. So I went to the local health center and was told that I could see a nurse at 10.10am. While I was waiting to see the nurse I went and sat in a garden and read my book. While I was sitting, I had a seagull shit on my bag, my ipod and just missed my leg because I moved out of the way. I got a coffee at a cafe and the guy there helped me clean up my stuff. The coffee was nice and he even gave me a complimentary biscuit because my day had been so crap. This was the highlight of my entire day.

I went back to the health center and somehow the nurse managed to miss me. I was told I could wait. I waited for another half an hour before they told me that it'd take too long to wait and I should go to the acute/emergency center that I'd been to before. I did that and waited another hour to see a doctor who was able to tell me that while he could understand there was something wrong, that center didn't send you away for any tests or anything. They were just an acute center. So that was 200SEK down the drain. He was very understanding though.

So finally, the nurse from the other place called me up and asked what was wrong. She called at 2.30pm. I explained the situation and she got me in to see a doctor tomorrow at 11.30am. So, it took me from 8.30am to 2.30pm to get a doctors appointment for tomorrow morning.
This whole thing reminded me that I don't know the swedish system and frustrated me endlessly. I'm sick of feeling constantly like I need to burp. I'm sick of starting the day looking relatively normal and by the end of the day looking like I'm 5 months pregnant. I'm sick of worrying that everything I eat is going to provoke more bloating. The only upside of it is that I have managed to pretty well establish that lactose probably isn't the cause (I've excluded it for over a week).

But the good news for today is that is delightfully sunny outside, the sun is warm and friendly and the sky is clear, there are birds singing and I'm going to be able to go for a walk in the sunshine and relax a bit. And truth be told, I'm probably okay with Sweden, today was just a bit of a trial.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh so many things

You will be pleased to know, if you were following the continued saga of my lactose intolerance that my gut is somewhat back to normal today. Certainly the shirt I am wearing today (a new one from Lindex) which didn't fit over the weekend is now doing up nicely and I'm not feeling quite as big.

I have a number of things that I wanted to talk about here. The most pressing in my mind was that I have come to realise that I'm actually settled in here in Sweden. I was thinking last night as I left dancing, walked home and got ready for bed, I have friends. I have a number of people that I have met that I really like and enjoy talking to. Thinking back to just 3.5 months ago when we first arrived I was really worried about doing just that, making friends. I was homesick for a place where I knew people and they knew me. I didn't want to have to make new friends and make all that effort to get to know people. But it's happened. I don't have any best friends yet, but I do have some people who have that potential.

Truth is, while it was super hard in the first few weeks of settling in, it has become so much easier. I don't know why I worried about it that much. I think I am possibly one of the most social people I know. But I was missing having people I already knew and didn't have to play the get to know you game with. But anywhoodle, it struck me on the way home etc, I have managed to integrate myself a little into Swedish society. I feel kinda at home here. I put the kinda in there because there are times and things that happen that make it abundantly clear that I'll probably never be completely at home here.

Other things that have been cogitating in my noggin will have to wait for a little bit, I have to do some kind of work today.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

more information than you'll probably want

I should probably state upfront, if you don't want to hear about ladyparts, don't read on.

I had a PAP smear this morning. This is partly due to me gaining a personal number here in Sweden. About a week after my personal number was granted and I existed as a person in Sweden I got a letter. This letter stated that I was due for a PAP smear and should present myself at the appropriate clinic at 8.30am this morning. I guess that on becoming a person who really exists they all of sudden have a need to look at your genitals, or something like that.

I turned up on time and although I had an appointment time, I had to take a number. B this I mean a number like you take at the deli counter of a supermarket in Australia, so they know which order to call you in. Taking a number is an important part of Swedish culture, I am sure. When I signed up for SFI (Swedish for Immigrants) I had to take a number to talk to someone so I could get another number to actually enroll. But onto the cervix story. I took a number and waited. The lovely nurse Annika came and collected me. I got to have my legs in stirrups for the very first time, all very exciting!

The one thing that I want to note in this post is the following, it was not at all uncomfortable. I've had real problems with PAP smears in the past, all kinds of semi painful scrapings of my cervix. But today, I barely noticed it at all.

Huzzah for Swedish healthcare! Please return to your normal life, I've got experiments to do.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Guess where I'm going in three weeks

So, I hope that you can see that that is a lovely beach and is a small hint. The boy and I are going to Tuscany for a wedding, huzzah! We booked the hotel, flights and other stuff this afternoon and I'm terribly excited. 4 days and 5 nights of relaxation in a Tuscan village, a wedding of a good friend and hopefully some of his (the good friend's) mother's cooking.

Don't you just hate me?