Why I enjoy going to the doctor in Russia

I have realized that I derive and unusual amount of satisfaction from going to the doctor here in Russia. I don’t really enjoy anything medical and generally avoid doctors when at all possible, and I certainly don’t enjoy subjecting my children to jabs in the arm with needles, but each time I step out of the office I find myself in an unusually fabulous mood.  Isn’t that weird?! I think I have recently realized the reason for this strange satisfaction.

When we first moved overseas, one of the nightmares that I would envision in my mind was if something terrible happened to one of my children when nobody was around and I had to be the one to find the way to the hospital and to communicate with the doctors. My child’s well-being would be in my hands and at the mercy of doctors being able to decipher my terrible Russian.

My language abilities have grown a lot since those first weeks and months though, taking away a lot of that utterly helpless feeling that I had back then. I’ve also learned systems, transportation, and just generally more of how things work in this culture.  Now things like going to the doctor are fairly simple, doable tasks. And though simple, it still feels like a huge victory as it signifies that I have grown in my ability to fend for myself and care for my family in this foreign land.

So, though I don’t actually enjoy doctor’s visits in the most part, I do enjoy the tangible awareness of progress.

What situations in your life signify progress for you in overseas living?

(Post by: Ashley)

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5 Responses to “Why I enjoy going to the doctor in Russia”


  1. 1 Becka November 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! Just recently, my daughter fell and needed an x-ray of her arm. Our team was very busy and we hesitated to ask them to translate for us so we ventured out into the world of Ecuadorian dr.s on our own.

    After getting done (and her arm was not broken!), we were ecstatic because it signified such a huge improvement, not only in language, but even in being able to locate the dr and also in the culture of waiting and so forth. Everything and everything is different here, but we more than muddled our way through and it was exciting to have that success under our belt.

    And, Ashley, I want to add that I love this blog. Have loved it for a long time and have vocally mourned the time it was on hiatus. It has really been a great resource for me. I just wanted to add that so that you can be encouraged to keep up the great work.

  2. 2 Ashley L November 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Wow, Becka! That is so great! What an awesome success, and praise God for no broken arm!

    Thank you also so much for your kind words of encouragement about the blog. It really does mean a lot to me know know that it is a blessing to you. It is always my hope and prayer that God would somehow use this little site to His glory to help keep moms encouraged and thriving as we serve Him throughout the world!

  3. 3 Kara Coe November 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I love it! But I laughed, because I hate all the time it seems we have to spend at the doctor here, just to keep the kids in school! But the truth is, most of the time now, I leave the policlinic feeling victorious. Today, my husband walked with me to deliver our daughter’s stool sample. And we went right on time–everyone from our public preschool had to deliver the samples there between 9am and 10am today. We knew to go pay the fee first thing (because we don’t have a government health policy) and then we stood in line at the lab (which has been remodeled to have a window opening instead of a whole poop-smelling hallway to traverse) and handed in our sample (in a urinalysis cup, collected earlier but frozen till this morning.) And then we left. All in 10 minutes! So many cultural lessons learned and applied, and victory was achieved!

    Now, there are many days when I leave defeated–like a few weeks ago, when I had been there EVERY DAY with one or another child. But every time I learn something, at least humility 🙂

  4. 4 Kara Coe November 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    can I just add that it’s hilarious to me that the doctor office picture you used looks nothing like the doctor’s office in Russia. It’s not from the Skandinavian clinic is it?

  5. 5 Ashley L November 21, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Nope, but looks like the Scandanavia office at Ozerki. It’s a free stock photo. =)


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