Tall about a stark contrast.
Last New Year’s Eve I spent part of the day introducing my brother to the traditional Swedish sauna and cold plunge ritual (and accidently patting a naked stranger on the @$$) in Malmö, Sweden. This New Year’s Eve I spent part of the day introducing my Swede to the Urgent Care concept of the US health care system in Lafayette, Indiana.
Dr. Darling first started feeling crappy on Christmas Eve…during the late service at my home parish, St. John’s Episcopal Church. Being the loving supportive partner that I am, I told her that God was probably smiting her with a sore throat for only coming to church with me once every three years.
But the sore throat was just the start of her symptoms, which eventually included severe sinus headaches, an aggravating cough, nausea…and the one that finally convinced her to see an MD on New Year’s Eve, conjunctivitis AKA “Pink Eye.” Evidently it’s not uncommon for a sinus infection to move into the eyes…though in the Swede’s case, only the left one was affected.
Needless to say, our New Year’s “celebration” was even more low-key than usual. Not only did Dr. Darling not feel well enough to go anywhere, but “Pink Eye” is highly contagious so nobody wanted to come to us, either. (My brother did end up braving braving the infirmary for a few hours both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but he steered well clear of the sick Swede.) So we watched a lot of football and ate a lot of ice cream.
She’s been on antibiotics and eye drops for about 48 hours now and is starting to perk up a bit, which means we should be able to salvage the last couple days of the trip. She recently confessed that part of the reason she put off getting medical attention was that she was just sure it was going to cost us “thousands of dollars”. In reality the charges for both the Urgent Care visit and filling the prescriptions didn’t even meet the deductible for our travel insurance…and the speed with which we got in to see the doctor and walk out of the pharmacy with the meds actually impressed her.
All without ever having to “take a number.”