March 11, 2004

Oh My Aching Feet

On the advice of both my friend Sherri and Annastazia, I've decided to take my feet to the doctor. At first I was treating this like a regular muscle injury--you know, ice, elevation, rest, but it's just not working and it's become clear that this is not really a regular muscle injury.

Finding a doctor, however, will be a challenge. At home it would be easy. Make the mandatory appointment with the Primary Care doctor, wait 4 weeks for their first opening, have the PCP glance at your foot and write out a referral to a specialist, wait 4 weeks for their first opening, have the doctor glance at your foot again, and get a flier with exercises and a prescription for Oxy Contin. Okay, maybe not Oxy. Maybe Vicodin. Or maybe those really big ibuprofen pills.

Anyway, Germany introduces a few challenges to this otherwise easy endeavor. Lucky for me, Kevin gets to do all the grunt work. First, find a doctor who speaks English. Apparently the American Embassy has a list of English-speaking doctors and whatnot (and a rating of their English skills). Kevin found the perfect doctor for us--English speaker, rated very good, and conveniently located a few streets over, on my way to language school. After a day of calling, Kevin finally gets through only to find that Dr. Hemker is on vacation until the 26th. Figures.

In addition to finding an English speaking doctor comes the issue of paying for it. The good news is that we don't have to go through our PCP anymore and can jump right to a specialist. The bad news is that our "out of network" (read: out of the frickin' country) plan requires us to pay upfront, submit the charges to insurance, and hope for the best. How much do German doctors charge? It's anybody's guess. The bummer is that we are 99.9% likely to have to pay in cash as well. That may take some rearranging of the finances to get that kind of cash on hand.

And then there's getting an appointment. Let us all hope beyond hope that German doctors exceed American doctors in their availability. Lucky Kevin gets to spend tomorrow (and perhaps subsequent days) trying to get an appointment for me and find out all of this information.

On top of that, she doesn't know it yet, but Scout is going to have to visit the vet. We have two trips planned for April that don't include the dog, and we've found a good Hundehotel (boarding) for her, but they require one more vaccine than she got in the US. It's for something called "Swamp Fever." So she has to get one more shot. The good news is that the kennel will cut her nails for us. That's always a bonus. Poor puppy. The abuse! The agony! So Kevin has to find an English-speaking vet while he's looking for a doctor for me.

Posted by Shelby at March 11, 2004 09:23 PM