Friday, April 17, 2009

Choose your own adventure, part 2

The car behind us stopped right as we got the bike off my foot. I stood up, but felt completely dizzy and hobbled over to the curb to sit down with my head between my knees. During the time it took me to walk from the bike to the curb, the car driver asked us if he wanted us to call the ambulance. I said no while Jed said yes. Jed won out.

So, we sat on the curb waiting for the ambulance. I ripped off my shoe which was suffocating my foot and Jed pulled up the sleeves of his jacket revealing a nice sized gash on his forearm all filled with gravel. Scott had heard us crash and stopped to help us, so I asked him to grab my purse out of the seat of the scooter. I pulled out a baby wipe (not only do I have multiple personality disorder, I'm germ-a-phobic as well) and wiped up my minor scrapes and Jed's bleeding arm.

The ambulance arrived a few seconds later. The paramedics cleaned and disinfected our wounds and took us to the ER. The entire time I was thinking "hmm... I wonder how much this is ride is going to cost." When we arrived at the hospital we were transferred to wheelchairs and pushed into the ER. Since turning my head to the right would make me dizzy, they placed me in a neck brace - highly attractive. Then, as we sat talking to the doctors, the only thing I thought was: "hmm... I wonder how much this ER visit will cost." I was quite impressed, though, on how prompt and thorough they were. No sitting for hours in a waiting room, no wondering how much longer it would be until you were able to get fresh air. It was only a half an hour after arriving that I received x-rays on my foot and neck. However, when the x-ray tech positioned my foot, I couldn't help but thinking "well, there goes the rest of my vacation money for the year."

I braced myself for the grand total after the doctor told me nothing was broken. "Will my Dutch insurance cover medical expenses in another country?" I wondered. I sat in the wheelchair pondering the costs when Jed walked over to me with a manila envelope that contained my x-rays and a summary of what occurred, the doctors diagnosis, and the dosage of ibuprofen they prescribed. There was no bill with the pile of documents. I looked. Twice. Then I asked, and was told that we were free to go, free of charge. Bless socialized medicine!! True blue socialized medicine. Free for the masses. What an absolutely wonderful thing it is, to be treated for an injury/illness, and not have to sell your right arm in order to afford it.

to be continued...

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