Hooray! Today, after a 6.94 euro cab ride, my husband and I landed at a medical laboratory in Seville, Spain where I had a blood test. And the results were in the acceptable range.I needed this for my doctors back home to properly treat the blot clot I developed in August.
A few days after we arrived in Spain, I walked into a pharmacy and asked where I might take a blood test and get the results analyzed quickly. “The only place is a hospital emergency room; otherwise, laboratories will take one to two weeks to do an analysis,” said one pharmacist. Great. Nothing I like more when on vacation than sitting for hours in an emergency room. Then, the first pharmacist checked with a second one who said he had heard of a pharmacy that offered blood tests with fast analyses. He looked up a name and number and wrote them on a post-it note.
Two days later, I called the number hoping for an English speaker on the other end of the line, but with no luck. It’s not easy to talk about blood clots and anticoagulants in English, much less Spanish, but somehow my explanation was successful enough that the woman I spoke to could assure me her pharmacy didn’t do tests. Then, as an afterthought, she gave me another phone number, and that phone call led to a private lab – Rider Laboratory — that would perform the test.
At the lab, the receptionist and Dr. Rider were reluctant to show off their English skills, leaving me to bumble my way through the initial explanations. My husband and I were an anomaly, a curiosity. I don’t think they see many vacationers there. But they drew my blood, and afterward Dr. Rider and I had a long conversation. He was curious about what state in the U.S. I was from. I spoke with some fluency, missing proper verb tenses, but able to blab away. He spoke slowly, thinking before every word that came out and making no mistakes. Regardless of our different styles we understood each other completely.
As we left, Dr. Rider came into the reception area to look over the email address I had given them (last name Oxrieder). He pointed to his name on the wall. “Like mine. Are you German?”
My husband said yes and explained that we had heard that his family name was once Ochsenrider. Then I said that I too had an ancestor by the name of Rider who was from England. Dr. Rider ended by saying, “Maybe we are family,” and we all laughed.
I started this blog by saying how much we paid for taxi fare. I mentioned that because of what we paid for my blood test: 6 euros, slightly less than the fare for a 20-minute cab ride. Later we noted that we had spent more time socializing with the doctor and his receptionist than we ever spent with our own doctors.