For most problems a trip to the Pharmacy/Apteka will be enough. Your Russian friends will also be full of advice – “bathe your eye in strong black tea”. As a last resort/when you can’t open your eye, you must visit a Russian Doctor…
1. Visit the website http://docdoc.ru/
3. Choose your preferred Doctor. I chose Irina because she looked friendly.
4. Book an appointment by clicking the green button appointments.
They will then call you within 15 minutes to get you can appointment. Here comes the problem if you don’t have enough Russian to give your details, and understand your appointment time and address. I advise asking a friend to receive the call for you if this is the case. Luckily my level of Russian passed the phone test and I went to “Ploshad Ilicha” at 16:00.
5. Find the Doctor. Mine was located at “Skolnaya 11”. There are obviously hundreds of streets in Moscow named “School Street” so I had to zoom in on the map to find it but it was very close to the station so no problem.
6. IMPORTANT – When you walk into the doctors, before doing anything else, find the bin full of clean foot covers and pop them over your shoes. Give your coat to the coat lady and get a ticket. Then you may proceed to the reception desk.
7. At reception I announced my appointment time and name, but they wanted to know which doctor I was seeing. I pointed to my eyes and said for “glaza”. Here you need your passport and to sign your name four times. You get some papers to take to your doctor.
8. Now you need to find the room with your doctor. Mine was on the second floor (remember that means first floor) in room 217. When you find your room it will be closed, but after some observation the standard procedure to enter is to knock, open the door and ask “may I? можно?” Luckily my door was locked, so I went to the toilet. When I came back the nice lady from the photo was puffing up the stairs and let me in.
9. Your doctor will ask the problem. Here you can point and say it hurts. They won’t check much, will say you need to stay home and then will write up which drugs you need to buy at the Apteka downstairs, and how many times a day you need each one. Mine booked me in to come back on Monday and put loads of drops in my eyes after I announced that it really hurt!
10. Go back downstairs to the lady sitting next to the receptionist (or another desk called Cashier/Касса.) Here you will pay for your 10 minutes with the doctor.
11. Go to the Apteka and give your prescription. If she’s nice she’ll write on the boxes for you how many times per day.