Thursday, May 31, 2012

You want me to WHAT?

One of the things that people back home are most curious about is the health system here.

...I will tell you that it is not as bad as the gulag infirmary that lots of Americans fear it to be (even though my local GP office does look like a POW camp. But that's a story for a different day.)

...But I will also say that it is not the magical fairy system of endless virtue with unicorns and peacocks, where all doctors are brilliant saints who look like Patrick Dempsey- which is what you  might think talking to many Brits.

I like knowing that I can get a next day or same day appointment if I'm sick. I like the minimal paperwork.

I dislike the constant obsession with my drinking habits (I have been asked on more than one occasion when was the last time I got so drunk I blacked out. Um, never?!). I dislike having no choice of provider. I'm a little bit afraid that I'll get to the hospital to deliver the baby and they will tell me that they're closed and not taking any more patients. Sorry, drive to the next nearest hospital (an hour away). I'm also a little bit afraid of delivering the baby by myself, since if you are in the hospital they technically don't have to provide a midwife to attend to you during labor.

But most of all, I dislike that they want me to pee in this:

That thing is TINY.

It's just not fair. Or realistic. But it's a little bit funny.

Oh yeah, and I'm supposed to recycle it. As in, bring it in full, take it home empty. Repeat for next appointment. Kind of gross. And kind of a cheap and unnecessary cost cutting measure. Surely something a little bigger wouldn't be too much more expensive?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Home & Away

I think my mom could feel how tired of being cold I was, so she bought me a plane ticket to go back to Texas. For a month. Please accept "I was too busy gorging myself on enchiladas and sunshine" as a valid reason for not posting.

I came back to the UK all happy and refreshed only to walk into the garden of our new-found cottage to find the big apple tree, split in half and laying across the sidewalk going up to the front door.

We went inside.

Funky smell.

We walked into the living room. Even more funky smell.

And sagging ceiling.

...and standing water.

And.... jeez. louise. Please dear soft tiny baby infant Jesus don't tell me this place has a roof leak.

But oh, it does.

We called the landlord who informed us it might be kind of hard for him to deal with it since he has to see a doctor about his knee (or something). I'm not sure how that would prevent you from calling a roofer or repairman or SOMEONE please ANYONE, but you know, this is England, it's the country and what do you expect?

The roofer made his way out a few days later and pointed out all of the places in the house which had a damp problem (i.e. almost everywhere). I asked him how long water had been coming in. He said at least a year. So the insides of this house are rotting and moldy and somehow, someway the landlord and any previous tenants didn't seem to notice water coming into the house every time it rained.

At least it makes sense now why the Secret Agent and I both had trouble breathing in the house. A mold and damp infestation.

And then the midwife told me that it was a bad idea for me to be there, being super pregnant and all. Then she said that the baby couldn't live there because it's way worse for a tiny small person to be exposed because then they'll develop asthma and every other horrible disease known to man. As if standing water wasn't enough to get me to leave.

So now we're kind of homeless. No word from the landlord, but we have to tell him we're moving out.

Hopefully he'll be reasonable.

And hopefully we'll find a new home, preferably before I go into labor.