Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Aches and Pains

I'm injured and feeling whiny.  I have a  bulging disc which is causing sciatic pain in my glute  - literally a right pain in the butt!  I'm not happy, I've been running sub 9 minute miles recently, loving my hot yoga and feeling stronger and fitter than I ever have.  Now I have to rest, which I hate.  But you know what, if I have to be injured, I'm actually glad I'm injured in America!  Let me explain. 

Firstly, healthcare over here is complicated, different in each state and I quite simply don't really understand most of it.  No, I'm not going to go all political on you about the pros and cons of (paid) healthcare in the US.  Nor will I bang on about the pros and cons of (free) healthcare in the UK!  I will however tell you that our experiences with doctors and hospitals over here have been excellent and because the husband is retired Air Force, we are lucky enough to pay a minimal amount for our healthcare.  That's about as political as I'm going to get :)

Anyway, I went to the doctor after having had the glute pain for a couple of months.  Immediately I was given an x-ray, medicine and referred to physical therapy which I started a week after the doctor's appointment.  A week!  In the UK, I would have most likely been sent home and told to suck it up.  If you are referred for physical therapy back home, there is a waiting list of several weeks.  Over here though, they're on it!   

2 of our children have been born in US civilian hospitals and 1 was born in a civilian German hospital.  We had private rooms every time and were pretty much spoiled and very much taken care of when in the hospital, without having to pay a dime.  The husband got to stay in the room with me the whole time and even had his own pull-out bed.  I hear this is not the case back home though, where apparently husbands are kicked out of the hospital at 9pm leaving new Mothers on their own all night.  Character building I'm sure, but I'm so grateful I didn't have to experience that and had the husband right there with me.

On the flip side, most Americans seem to know a lot more about drugs/medication than Brits.  That's probably because they're prescribed way more often over here.  Back home, more often than not, we leave the doctor's office having been told to take paracetamol or just suck it up.  It always amazes me how many of my American friends know medication names and terminology and exactly what the medications are for.  I didn't know any of this kind of stuff before I moved to America.  To be honest,  I'm still pretty clueless about most of it. 

So anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that although we do have to pay for healthcare over here, we are very much taken care of and usually pretty quickly too.  We've had nothing but fantastic experiences when we've had to use American medical facilities and I feel very lucky.  I do know this isn't always the case though and that there are many differences of opinions about the state of healthcare in both of my countries.  I will end simply and without controversy though, because it's true that no matter what country you live in, nobody really enjoys visiting the doctor in the first place!

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