The week of October 5 didn't begin right. I started to feel stomach pains; same kind of pains that I felt last August. And it didn't subside as days went. It got a little different, it got a little worse each day.
I remember perfectly that it was a Thursday that I finally sought medical help. Not knowing where to go [for people do not usually trust the medical system there... sad to say that it's a fact], I started to randomly look around the area where I work. I remember vividly walking under the sun while praying so hard that He lead me to the right people [like He always does]. The first clinic that I went to did not have the IM [Internal Medicine] doctor yet. I was told that he'll be there by 1:00 and they can arrange to pick me up once he's in. The receptionist took my phone number. I even though that this is good customer service but I felt I couldn't wait that long so I started to walk again and look again on the other side of the street.
I finally found one with a Filipina receptionist. It's not that it still matters at this point, but I still feel that it's a little advantage and comforting to have a little sense of home. I was told to sit down and wait for my turn but it wasn't long before I was called. The doctor was not Filipino. I am not sure of his nationality but he seems to have come from the Middle East and is probably in his late 50's. He's very courteous and examined me in the presence of the nurse [which is SOP if the doctor is male and the patient is a female]. After several minutes of pressing on different parts of my stomach - the upper part where I felt most of the pain - he asked me to get up and wait outside.
It wasn't long [again] before the Filipina assistant called me. She told me that the doctor felt something on my stomach but could not prescribe me any pain reliever since he has yet to find out where the pain is really coming from. He advised me to go to the Iranian Hospital, apply for a medical card and I could get as much as 40% discount on all the services; because it would cost me thousands if I will have the tests performed there.
I asked how much was the consultation fee and the Filipina told me that the doctor said he wouldn't charge me for anything. I really find this a generous act and admired the doctor for having done that.
I, then, went back to the office and asked permission if I can go to the said hospital so I can at least have the card, if not the tests. I was told to wait until the driver gets to the office. I did, but he never came. So, my office mate then told me to go home earlier than the normal so I can at least start to rest.
I was frustrated but couldn't do anything. It's going to be a weekend and I remember feeling a little worried about the tests that they said would cost thousands. I held on. I didn't want to preempt everything so I kept myself cool. It's going to be weekend anyhow. I can rest and hope that the pain will subside, if not go away. I hoped that if I continue to eat those laxative foods over the weekend, I will be okay by the beginning of the next week.
Saturday. The last day of the week. Before going to mass, I decided to go straight to the Iranian Hospital and get started with everything. After the mass, I started to walk to the bus stop to catch the one going to the Iranian Hospital. But halfway between the church and the bus stop, I felt like it's not worth it to take the bus to the hospital because I was still in pain. So, I took a cab. When I got there, I immediately look for the section that issues the health card, but was so disappointed to find out that they need certain documents which I do not have. Well, actually the only thing I have at that time was my labor card. So, I went home, disappointed again, and somewhat lost. Lost, because I am not even sure that if I get the health card, that I will go with this hospital for my test, or even later on, for my treatment, if there is a need.