National Kalevala Day

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It’s kinda like Flag Day (my birthday!), but a bit different. The flags are flying, and we’re all supposed to read the national saga (I have a kid’s version with dogs, so I hope that counts). It’s also known as Finnish Cultural Day, and it started about 180 years ago. You can read more about it here.

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On Friday, I made my way (with the help of my guide, Wellu) to the Meilahden kampus, to go see the neurologist. Going to see the doctor in Finland seems to run a bit different than in the States. When you go to see your doctor in the States, you sign in, you wait in the waiting room, the nurse eventually calls you, takes your weight, leads you back to a room, takes your temp and blood pressure, then leaves you to wait for the doctor to eventually show up and spend 5 minutes with you. Then you pay your co-pay and leave

In Finland, you sign in, you go wait in a waiting area, and then the doctor calls you from the exam room, where you go in and talk with him or her. I’ve been to see a doctor twice, and no one has taken my weight or temp, and only this time did the doctor take my blood pressure. She spent over a half hour going over my history (of MS), suggesting future courses of actions, and then ran through the usual MS physical. After we were done, she took me down to another office and dropped me off with the receptionist to make all the appointments. Then I left without paying anything.

I don’t know if it’s a better system, but it sure seemed more efficient. My appointment was for 10:30, I got there at a little after 9am (just to make sure I could find the place), was seen by 10am, and out by 11am. So, I am scheduled for two more blood tests, and an MRI and eye test, as well as getting back on a physical therapy routine. Seems like we accomplished quite a bit. I’ll see her again in August, and she’ll call me to go over the results of the first blood test, which I do next week at the local clinic.

I am finally getting over my cold. My throat is still bothering me, but I’m sucking on throat lozenges like crazy. It’s worse in the morning, of course. But I think I am finally shaking it.

Shiva and I tried out a new dog park this morning. We rode the 79 to the park, and there were a few dogs there. She ended up in the ‘small dog’ side, because there was a male Newfoundland in the big dog pen, who weighed over 85kg, and the owner was afraid that he might hurt Shiva if he tried to dominate her. So she went and played with the terrier, and she and a large German Shepherd chased each other along the fence. I think I may stick to our regular dog park, though. It’s bigger and all one enclosure.

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For the last two days, I’ve been thinking of all the things I wanted to write about, but you’ll have to bear with me for a few more days. My brain is just not up to it, and there’s little room room for pictures. So I am going through and scaling down my picture sizes, to make room. I didn’t realize how large the photos from my cell phone were, and it’s used up almost all the space I am allotted! Once I’m done, I’ll start bombarding you all with more pictures. Maybe by then, spring will be here, too!

And since I’ve been sick, I figured a little retail therapy was in order. I went out and bought myself something I’ve wanted since I got here and saw them everywhere. Now I have one, unique, like every one else! Don’t judge me. 😛

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