Last weekend we had some excitement in our house. At 6 o’clock in the morning my husband woke me up and said, “you need to get up and take me to a doctor or emergency room or whatever to get me out of this pain.” Well he went bed the night before with some ear pain but we thought it was just him coming down with a cold. We were wrong!
So first call was to a friend to see what emergency room I need to take him too. Yes, you can’t just walk into emergency room here and expect treatment. Now if it is life threatening they will treat patients but if it not life threatening they will refer to the hospital on call. Each of the hospitals takes turns being the “go to” emergency room. Since we were not sure which hospital was the one to go to we went the nearest one to our house, the Polish Army hospital. We figured if it isn’t the right one they will let us know which one is, as it was too early to call any of our friends to ask them. Then since we are unsure of the language barrier we called our handy church missionaries to go with us to help translate as they are supposed to out of bed and getting ready for the day that early. Off the Polish emergency room the 4 of us went.
So we walk into the emergency room and it is a ghost town not a single person there. Just 2 ladies behind the registration counter. She spoke some English but since we had the missionaries with us we just did Polish to speed it along as my hubby was in a lot of pain. We found out because of his job, this hospital will see him no matter what. Lucky for us!! The paperwork is NOTHING like in the US for the emergency room. 1 little paper with his personal information and that was it, 2 minutes later we were done. Because of the health insurance he has with his job, they do not file directly with our insurance so we are considered “private pay” in the Polish system eyes so that means, we pay up front and then we file directly with our insurance. Unique but it works.
Turn in the paperwork to the lady, she picks up the phone to make a call and 30 seconds later we are off the 7th floor to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.
As soon as we found the doctor’s office, the doctor was already waiting for us in the hallway.
Less than 5 minutes later he is done finding out he has one heck of an ear infection in his one ear. Back to the registration desk with the paperwork the doctor gave and then time to pay our bill. OK are you sitting down? It was 150 zlotys which is about $50. In the US it is $50 just to fill out the paperwork.
So next stop the pharmacy to get his medication. Thank goodness for 24 hour pharmacies and better yet that I knew where it was so when it was 7:30 in the morning as the normal stores are not open for another hour and half.
After the medicine finally started kicking in 2 hours later I get a text message from him while I am at swimming lessons with my youngest 2, Him…”there is blood coming from ear, is that good?” Me…”NO!” Long story short his ear ruptured and besides the mess it made for the next 2 days, the pain actually got better since the pressure was gone.
We survived our first (and hopefully our only) to Polish emergency room and it wasn’t as bad as I thought!
How many times in your life have you been to the emergency room? Me, only once when I was kid when I fell face first off my bike. Now I probably jinxed myself.