Last week came with yet another adventure which included a hospital visit. Not just a regular doctor-follow-up check-up hospital visit, but straight-to-the-hospital-and- to-the-emergency sort of visit.
It has now been 4 days since the rather eventful night and my poor hand is still quite bruised up from being poked when they needed my blood. It is still feeling quite sore.
It happened last Monday evening. From feeling fine, albeit not a 100% as I have been having a little stomach problem in the form of a mild gastritis over last weekend to completely being taken down and unable to walk in a matter of minutes.
I was already feeling a little lousy when we were at the daycare to pick up the kids after work but I didn’t pay much attention to it, thinking that like most of the time, the pain will pass. What I did not expect was an intense pain that suddenly hit me like a sledgehammer right in my stomach just as when we got home and while I was preparing dinner for the kids.
It went downhill from there. Silver Bullet was upstairs on a call when it all happened. I must have scared the kids right out! I could barely function, unable to stand-up and was literally crawling on the floor. A pain so acute and intense that I was compelled to throw-up because of it.
At that time, I didn’t think a call to the doctor was even necessary. In fact, given the “get an appointment system through your huisarts first” here, I did not even think they would entertain a quick visit, especially after office hours. I had expected them to tell me to wait it out.
To be fair, I did not think it was serious as getting gastritis was not uncommon for me. But it was enough to scare Silver Bullet .
Within the hour, he managed to get hold of a doctor, got me a referral to the hospital, got his mom to tend to the kids, drove me to the hospital as quickly as he could, accompanied me for the doctor’s consultation and eventually wheeled me to the emergency.
Now this being Holland, the doctors would not shove anyone to emergency if they didn’t think it was serious enough. At least not within the day; forget about the hour!
But there and then, I was told that they needed to get some blood work done in anticipation for an emergency surgery. They were worried about burst appendicitis but suspected a severe gall bladder infection.
Even as I was writhing in pain, I was still able to roll my eyeballs! All I could think about was the work and deadlines I had to do and that I could not afford to get sick, let alone spare a couple of days to be cut open!
I’m telling you, me and emergency hospital visits have had pretty good standing over the years!
I have to say though, this scare negates the negative perception I’ve had over the medical care one would get in the Netherlands. I had expected to be put on hold, but instead, attention was duly given; and a swift one at that. I’m impressed!
The blood work was done quickly and the results was released within an hour. While they did find that certain markers in my blood were not very good, they could not find anything concrete to warrant a surgery or keep me for the night.
By then, the pain had subsided and I was sent home. But I had a strict instruction to come back first thing in the morning for another round of blood work to confirm if I would still need to undergo the surgery.
Turned out I didn’t. Big phew!
They still could not figure out the cause and they’ve scheduled me in for a couple of appointments for scans, ultra-sound and follow-ups.
Until then, they have assured me of a direct fast-track line to the emergency if there’s a relapse at any point in time. In fact, I even got a call from the doctor just a few days ago, personally asking me how I was doing. That’s like a major thumbs-up wow that they freaking care and I’m floored!
The experience has been an eye-opener. It’s comforting to know that I don’t have to wait for weeks and months to make another appointment if I fall ill and there’s leeway when it comes to health emergencies in relation to the bureaucratic Dutch system I’ve always heard of .
The good thing about this: It would be covered by insurance. If not all, for most part of the cost and for now, that is good enough for me.
On the rest and for the last time…Oh 2016! Will you please just give up. I think all this excitement, along with what’s happening in the world is already quite enough.