Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

I saw Roger Moore’s Sicko before leaving the States, and my wife and I had been curious to see how socialized health care in Europe was going to work. We just didn’t think it would happen during our first month.

Last Saturday evening, our 21-month old fell off his bed and hit his head on the hardwood floor. It didn’t see it happen, but I heard the thud from the other room. Other than the tears, he seemed fine. But within the next three hours, he had thrown up three times.

Numerous web sites state that it’s normal for children to vomit 2-3 times after even minor head injuries. And other than recreating some pungent Jackson Pollocks on our duvet, he was acting normal.

But at 10:30 pm, we decided to call the hospital anyway, and they advised us to bring him in. (I was glad French Coach had already taught me the word for “vomit” – vomir.) Apart from a little bruising, our son is fine. As we’d suspected/hoped, it was no problem at all. This was a good thing to do for many reasons:

  1. Better safe than sorry.
  2. Now we know the route to the hospital.
  3. Language practice beyond “Où est l'hôpital?”
  4. It’s socialized medicine. Why not?

When I told the admissions staff on the phone that we’d only arrived a few weeks ago and I didn’t have proof of insurance she said, “No problem. Just bring in your passport or your resident’s permit.” Amazing.

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