If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know that I struggled with insurance at the beginning of this journey. It was frustrating because I was having to pay for two separate insurances that I was sure I was never even going to use. But the joke is on me, because this past week I had to go to the hospital. I am not writing to you from beyond the grave, don't worry. Without going into really nasty details, I have an infection that I am now on antibiotics for and it's not a big deal at all.
Tübingen is a university town. A third of the population here are actually students. We're known for our world class research in science and medicine, so lucky for me there's 17 hospitals in my town. I was starting to have some symptoms on Tuesday but thought that if I just powered through and drank a lot of water I would be fine. On Wednesday, it got worse and I was between a rock and a hard place. I know a good amount of German, but I never learned how to communicate with doctors. I can say "I have a headache" and that's about it. I was panicking because I knew I couldn't stay home and tough it out, but I also was really nervous to go to the emergency room where they might not understand me. I swallowed my pride, hopped on the bus, and told myself that the only important thing is that I see a doctor.
The receptionist spoke a small amount of English which I was so relieved about. He asked me for my symptoms and my insurance card and told me to have a seat. I was seen by a nurse within 10 minutes and she was younger than the receptionist so she spoke a lot more English. I had to pee in a cup and then go wait again. I was then seen by a doctor who gave me an ultrasound and a prescription for an antibiotic..... and that was it! I was in and out in 45 minutes and the whole visit was covered by insurance. I picked up my prescription and it only costed me 5 euros. I'm almost done with the antibiotics now and I'm feeling a lot better.
Moral of the story here is make sure you have insurance!!! As big of a hassle as it was in the beginning, I don't know what I would have done without my insurance card. I didn't have to fill out any paperwork at the hospital which I know would have been another hurdle for me. My mom joked that I need to travel with a medical team at all times, after fainting last month and now this. But with this insurance card I AM INVINCIBLE! Also, don't try to tough out sickness because you're afraid of the language barrier. I nearly gave myself a heart attack freaking out about looking stupid in front of doctors and nurses, when it really wasn't bad at all. The purpose of language is communication, so even if you can't speak perfectly, as long as you get your point across you've already succeeded. Hopefully this week will be a little less.... sick. Bis bald!