ChAlli in Lisbon

What Are Strep Tests Like in Portugal?

October 31, 2023 Sebastian Said

sebastian and a ghoul on halloween
What do strep throat and Halloween have in common? Nothing, but Seb weighs in on both.
Sebastian Said:

Ok, I know I have not written in a while, but hey, what can I say? I’m a busy man! I have friends, I have homework, I have an energetic dog to deal with when I get home from school every day! I just simply don’t have the time!

So, in my last blog, I talked about the border town that we had to go to to get our residency cards. Not only was the town a ghost town and Airbnb disgusting, but, I still don’t have my residency card. That technically means that I could be the only one who can’t stay. Anyway, let’s just hope I get it soon.

A lot has happened since my last blog. For example, we went on a spontaneous, sunset, river cruise that took us out to Belém. The boat turned out to be not great, and it was a total tourist trap, but it was totally worth it. It was so fun and pretty!

We have also had Papa Rich and Rose in town. That was fun because I got to be a “tourist” again. And that was a win-win because I got to do the fun touristy things and not have to be on a temporary trip where I have to leave in a week. It was also nice because we got to see and hang out with family.

The problem with that is a couple of days after they came, I got strep throat. At first, we thought it was just a cold. We had gone over to their VRBO, and we were talking about what we were going to do for the day. I got very hot, and when we were on the elevator going downstairs, I threw up all over the elevator, and the shoes of the people who were in the elevator. That was a first, I have never thrown up anywhere but a toilet, or the floor. Too much information? OK, I didn’t think so. We were then, the next day, on the phone with the insurance company for hours, trying to just get a doctor. I have proof that we were on the phone so long because if you played me their hold song, I would sing every word. In the end, we got a doctor to come to our house, and basically, she just tested my lungs and looked at my throat. For those of you who know me, I could’ve done that myself! We then called back so that we could get a strep test, even though the doctor didn’t think it was strep. We finally got it after another five hours of being on the phone. We walked down to the laboratory, with me trying to go anywhere, but there. And may I add, that the strep tests here are a lot less aggressive than they are in the US. In the US, they use a popsicle stick to push down your tongue before they put the swab in. For me, I don’t like the popsicle stick part because it makes me gag even more. Here, they just tell you to stick out your tongue and say ah, and then they stick the swab in so fast that you don’t even notice that they did it. Of course, I did because I’m Sebastian. And the gag made my eyes tear up. That made the doctor think that I was crying. But in the end, seven hours later, we got the results that I had strep. There was then another five hours, trying to get the amoxicillin from the insurance company to prescribe it. But in the end, it all worked out, and I was taking 7.5 mL of disgusting white chalky medicine for two weeks. It was not the highlight of the visit.

Today is Halloween. We’re not totally sure if it is a thing here, but I think it is because all of my friends at school are talking about what they are going to be. Since we didn’t know it was a thing, we didn’t get a costume. However, I did bring my all-black shadow costume. So, when we go to the haunted house (I have never been to one so please wish me luck), I will be dressed as an all-black shadow, great idea at night, right? It’s going to be very weird not going around houses trick-or-treating with either of my friends or family, but I think that the haunted house will be fun. After Halloween, on Wednesday, we go to an area that is way south of Lisbon called the Algarve. It is apparently a lot more tropical and should be beach weather. Most people, when they first go in the water, think it’s freezing. But, after a couple of minutes, it is so cold that it just makes you numb, so you don’t feel it. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.

Anyway, I will write more after we get back from the Algarve, and after Halloween. But until then, BOO!!!!

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