Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Devoted Mom or Annoying Israeli?

That's the question I asked myself yesterday:

Am I a devoted, caring, responsible Mom who would do anything in her power for her children, or am I just an aggressive, annoying Israeli who pushes to get what she wants when she wants it?

I ask myself this because I believe if I was still living in the States, I might not have been as aggressive as I was to get what I wanted. It's not proper behavior to call the doctor's office over and over again. It also wouldn't be proper to follow the doctor around the clinic to insure I get the prescription I needed for my child.

On Sunday, Ely told me she had only 4 more pills of Concerta left. She needs the Concerta in school to help her concentrate and get through a day of learning. She is very good about taking it when she needs, and not taking it when she doesn't. I had exactly three days to get the prescription refilled so she would be able to go to school today and concentrate.

*Side point: She needs the Concerta for the exact reason that she waited until she had 4 pills left to tell me!*

The system here in Israel to refill medications is not always so simple. And, I remind you, it's all in Hebrew. I am usually able to refill prescriptions online through my health service's website. I have taught myself how to navigate through the Hebrew and usually get my prescriptions.

But I found out that Concerta, because it is a controlled substance, is a different process. The doctor cannot issue a prescription that I can print up online. I have to go to the office to pick up the piece of paper. And because I couldn't understand the Hebrew on the website that said that, I decided to call the doctor's office directly. I was running out of time and needed to get the medication.

I called yesterday in the morning to ask for a prescription. I told her I didn't understand what the website said and could she please get the prescription for me. The secretary said she would leave a message for the doctor and they would call me back. I requested that she put a "rush" tag on the request. Then I hung up.

Two hours later, the devoted mother in me was starting to get nervous that Ely wouldn't have her medication for school today. So I called again when the afternoon secretary arrived. I wanted to know when I would know if the prescrition was ready? She asked me to hold while she searched for it.

"It's here," she said. "But our offices are closing now. You can come back in the morning at 8:00 am to get it."

That wasn't going to work for me. Or for Ely.

In my broken Hebrew I pleaded, "My daughter needs this medication for school tomorrow. Isn't there anyone there you can leave it with and I'll come now?"

She was being surprisingly accommodating, "If you can be here in 15 minutes, I will leave it across the hall with the women's clinic."

I was there in 20 minutes, and both offices were closed.

Now what?

I noticed down the hall that the door to the doctor's office was still open and the light was on. I headed towards her room, when the doctor walked out of another door heading towards her room. I called down the hall to her. (This is the part where I think I became Israeli!!)

Thankfully this pediatrician is American and very caring. I explained what happened with my not understanding the website, ordering the prescription from her through the secretary, blah, blah blah. She walked me to the secretary's office to see if it was still unlocked so she could go in to get what she had already prepared for me. Locked.

I started to whine. "What am I supposed to do? My daughter needs this medication for school tomorrow. I can't wait until tomorrow to get it, and I know the pharmacy is open for another hour. Can you please help me?"

Ten minutes later I was standing in line at the pharmacy with a new prescription that the kind doctor had reissued to me. I thanked her profusely, knowing she stayed after hours to do this for me!

Twenty minutes later I walked out of the pharmacy, Concerta in hand!

I thought to myself: I don't think I could have done this in the States? I've become such an Israeli. Calling the office over and over - asking for a special favor. Then pushing my way into the doctor's office to get that prescription! I've become so annoying.

And then, Ely went off to school today with her Concerta and a "Thanks Mom. You're the best."

And then I just became a good mom again, living in Israel.




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