(This is a follow up from yesterday’s blog: I fainted into the pelmeni)
Today was probably one of the best days in the last two weeks simply because I got off the laptop, closed the Russian textbooks and went outside. I had a good walk around Victory Park (парк Победы) with ITMO English teacher John Kuti, followed by a lovely digestible and relaxed vegan lunch, followed by another walk along Leninski Prospect to the metro station where I hopped on to go and meet my son and head off for the cardiologist’s appointment his Russian girlfriend had organised. A cardiologist appointment on a Sunday afternoon? This is private medicine – maybe you get that in the UK if you pay, but I wouldn’t know.
It was at a private clinic called Scandinavia Clinic (a chain, one of which happened fortuitously to be literally next door to the English school just off Prospekt Veteranov) I had to sign a package of forms – in Russian and in English though I basically just signed on the dotted lines – and then after a couple of minutes wait we were invited into a large airy room by a friendly, grandmotherly looking cardiologist with a white coat and a smile. Yes -a smile! So my son was there to give the background and translate anything I didn’t understand, while the girlfriend was there to translate anything my son didn’t understand. The system worked well apart from having to ask Google what the English for щитовидная железа (thyroid gland was) It cost 2,5000 roubles, just under £30 if you are interested.
She took a look at my cardiogram (which I have now kept as my “souvenir of St Petersburg”) and pronounced it fine. She asked a lot of questions, about the event, prodded me in various places, took my blood pressure (120/70!), listened to various parts of my chest and pronounced me fine once more, всё хорошо! One of those things, probably caused by stress of two weeks relentless work and study combined with anxiety of a big meal with unknown (but very, very kind) people. She wrote out a prescription for some Vitamin B6 (which I will probably take) and some kind of relaxant which I shall probably not take- although Google says it is popular and fine; I am not sure I want to go into my Russian exam in a state of artificial bliss.
So all’s well that ends well. And I have another authentic Russian experience to add to my list. On a side note, now we can laugh about it, my son recounted how, the moment I collapsed, the landlord, wife and daughter were shocked and jumped to action – the mum to help, the dad to call the ambulance… but the two babushka grandmothers, both in their 80s just sat nonchalantly at the table, continued eating, obviously with the attitude “I’ve been through a lot worse than this” In fact one of them told my son, while I was lying weakly on the bed “I’ve collapsed loads of times and I’ve always been perfectly all right”
And so, indeed, was I..