Thursday, February 18

Pediatrician visit

We've been living in Germany over a year now so I'm feeling like I've got some things down pretty well. For instance, I didn't pull out the GPS today at all running errands today or going to book group tonight and was pretty pleased with myself! On the other hand, I also had pediatrician appointments for all three kids today. Boy was I a fish out of water all over again!

This nice older gentleman is their doctor and the office is in the next town over - Holzgerlingen. He talks non-stop, but not in English unless I ask him to clarify which I often forget to do because he's going so fast I can't keep up. If the reason for my visit wasn't so traumatizing, I'd enjoy it. Immunizations are the bane of my existence. Easton literally screamed bloody murder, hit away the doctor's hands and made a run for it. The doctor had to come back with reinforcements to give the shot. McKay didn't get shots but was for sure traumatized by big brother's performance and seeing Morgan bleed real good after one of hers. His eyes got real big and all three of my kids had that ultimate look of terror and betrayal when my eyes met theirs. Enough said. It really made my afternoon but more was to come.

At this office, your child receives their shots and then the secretary prints off prescriptions which you go downstairs to the pharmacy to have filled. Until today, I thought I had to walk my crew and those filled shots back upstairs to the doctor's office. Apparently they kindly deliver them for you! Hurray for that, but the snag I hit today was paying for them.

This pharmacy, like many places in Germany, only take cash. Euro. [I've never been a real cash carrying gal, I much prefer debit cards.] Previous shots have not been very expensive so I thought I was alright having remembered to hit the ATM on post that morning. To be on the safe side, I told the pharmacist I wasn't sure I had enough euro and to tell me the total first. He didn't. He rung it up, stamped the prescriptions and I actually laughed when he told me it was 334euro! I totally thought he was joking! Do people generally carry that kind of cash around?!

My crew was still moaning from their shots and I had to tell the chipper pharmacist I had to find an ATM. At the same time I looked at my watch and also needed to be heading to pick up Ryan from work. My mind started reeling. Using the ATM's on the street would cost me all sorts of fees so I'd have to come back to pay after running to the base. Then again, the pharmacy would be closed by the time I could get back which means I need to do it tomorrow and I hadn't planned to drive Ryan in to work so I could have the car . . . . now I was the one moaning.

I also realized I'd need a VAT form and wondered if we have any left or if I'd have to run to the VAT office tomorrow also to buy one of those before running back to the pharmacy [$4 each]. Does this pharmacy even take a VAT form? Not all do. VAT forms are a fabulous part of the US-Germany Status of Forces Agreement that allows me to not pay the 19% tax on items under a certain amount. Having that form would save me 63euros ($85!) on this purchase! [My math may not be right, it's not my strong suite.] We have to keep track of those VAT forms and see that the three copies go where they need to go. It's a hassle but it sure does save us money especially while the dollar is weak!

Standing at the counter was all just a tad too complicated to handle after soothing two inconsolable children getting shots who were still moaning and being super-needy while also wanting to roam a busy shop with all sorts of candy-looking meds and vitamins within easy reach. I told the pharmacist I'd be right back.

I got the kids to the car which sometimes is a major feat, today for sure. Morgan was screaming to be let down during the whole walk because I've recently been letting her walk with me to and from McKay's school. She takes forever because of all the interesting things to see and touch and step on along the way. Right now I was the mean mom not letting her down to explore on the sidewalk of a very busy street when I had to split my attention among her brothers too. McKay was already walking at a snail's pace sucking his thumb. When asked to cross the street quickly with us, McKay continued to saunter, thumb in mouth, while raising his free hand in a "Stop" posture, glaring down the waiting vehicles! I'm not even kidding, he does this often!

Everyone loaded up, I parked closer to the pharmacy and ran in to try and get the prescriptions back so I could go to my neighborhood pharmacy where I can pay with my debit and VAT. No luck. He'd stamped them at the beginning which meant they had to be filled there. Great. So I've got a receipt that I have to go pay tomorrow and all that this process entails.

Perhaps I'm making a big deal out of nothing here. Dealing with my kids through that appointment was about all I could handle. My mind was preoccupied today with a big challenge Ryan's got at work so perhaps I'm a little over-frazzled. No worries, his job is safe but we sure could use prayers that it is resolved quickly. It's days like this where I realize I've got a ways to go to be in my groove here but I'm making progress here and there.