What is your deepest fear?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Illness, oranges and insurance...

About two weeks ago on a Friday, I woke up after about three hours of sleep and started browsing the website of the student healthcare unit here. I needed to find a contact number because I was having some sort of pain in my ear that had caused me to hardly sleep the previous night. The number was busy for quite a while and when I finally got through, I spoke to a lady explaining that I needed an ear checkup because I suspected an infection. She asked whether I was feeling pain or any form of fever. I was thinking to myself (should I be on the verge of dying before getting any attention?) Any case, she advised that an appointment could not be made for that day but I could put olive oil in my ear and wait till Monday. I did as she said and felt a bit better but hardly slept the night after that. Saturday morning, I decided that I could not wait till Monday and went to the larger hospital (student health care centre is closed on weekends).

There I was able to see a doc who confirmed what I had suspected. An ear infection. I was given a prescription to pick up from the apotheek (pharmacy in Engels! my recognition of Dutch words has picked up quite a bit. ) For the rest of the week I spent a lot of time with my head horizontal to prevent the ear drops leaking out of the ear all over my face.

I had to make two more visits to the hospital a week after that to checkup and have the ear flushed with hot water. Apparently too much wax in the ear caused the infection, but this was caused by trying to use an ear bud to clean the inner ear in the first place. I was told I killed the hairs in the ear that automatically remove the wax to the outer ear. Some of these things you just have to believe.

In the end I had my first experience with a health problem and the procedures since I came here. I got an orange as a get-well-soon present and a whole lot of receipts and stamped documents that I had to send to insurance to get a refund of what I had spent.

Get well orange with two faces


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