March 15, 2004

Weekend Review (the bad part)

Well, if you visit Shelby's blog, you can read her story about how we had to make a surprise trip to the emergency room on Sunday morning. The good news is that it's nothing serious -- a mysterious intestinal infection -- and she seems to be well on her way to full recovery.

Knowing as little as I do about the German medical system and still feeling insecure about my language skills, I was very afraid to dial 112 (the German 911), but everything went very smoothly. Dealing with the paramedics and hospital staff in German went fine, and once we were at the hospital, the only time I truly felt nervous was when they took Shelby away and dumped me in a waiting room -- I envisioned the hospital staff asking her all kinds of complex questions in German, leaving her to fend for herself while not coming to get me for hours. But as you can read in Shelby's entry, everyone at the hospital spoke very good English, and as we seemed to be the only people in the ER, we were dealt with promptly.

Inside Shelby's room in the ER was a gigantic unlocked cabinet, door halfway open and filled with drugs of all kinds; you definitely won't see that happening in an American emergency room.

Most stories I read about Americans who have to make an emergency trip to the hospital here end with somebody on the hospital staff saying something like "Ha! You crazy Amerikaners mit your private insurances! It iz zo difficult to work out ze billink, zat ve vill just give you this hospital visit for free!" Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen to us (for one, we're locals) ... we'll just have to wait and see.

Posted by Kevin at March 15, 2004 12:45 AM