Saturday, June 20, 2015

Our stint in the German hospital

When we say that we moved to Germany to have different experience, I certainly did not mean that I want to have a stint in the hospital.  Nevertheless, there we were ... Anton and I ... in the hospital ... while Chris was in Boston and my mom was visiting and ended up having to take care of Andrei and Ilya full time.

Anton woke up Sunday morning wheezing and coughing and throughout the day he kept getting worse.  My mom and I debated for some time and decided that I should take Anton to ER just to make sure that his breathing is ok.  Well, his oxygen was in the mid-80s and they couldn't bring it up so they admitted him.  That's where our adventure started.  I was not ready - no change of clothing, no diapers for Anton, no charger for my phone and I had the car parked by the hospital leaving my mom stranded at home with no money and no car!

The rooms are shared so our roommate was a 4 year old boy with the same breathing issues.  There are 3 beds for patients but only 2 cots available for parents so if we were to get a 3rd roommate it would have to be a kid without an adult which is usually a teenager.  Thankfully, it did not happen.  The hospital facility is big but the children's part of it is a bit separate and has 2 floors. Every room on the first floor leads outside to the playground; however, Anton had to be hooked up to oxygen for 2 days and couldn't go anywhere.  On the last day, we took full advantage of the playground as his oxygen just needed to be checked and the nurses would call us in from the playground.

We definitely had some language issues but thankfully 99% of the doctors in Germany speak English but not the nurses.  We managed to communicate with most of the nurses but with varying degrees of success.  Some understood English, but couldn't speak it; some had no clue at all, and some actually spoke good English.   I am glad I am studying German to at least some basic level to be able to understand primitive words but still... Our roommate also was in the category "understand but don't speak" but by 3rd day we were able to understand each other 100%

The food was interesting from my Russian and American worldview.  Breakfast was usually 2 rolls with some cream cheese, then very good reasonable lunch with protein and a vegetable, and dinner was 2 slices of bread with cheese and some tiny weird salad.  The second night we were in the hospital, I told my mom not to worry about coming over and I was STARVING. The following day my mom and the boys came to visit and brought dinner and snacks. Lessons learned :)  Ironically enough, I did know that typical German dinner does consist of bread with cheeses or meats and that's pretty much it; but hadn't connected that to the fact that I am not a typical German and I like to eat my dinner American-style (large :))

The main problem was Anton's oxygen so he had to stay in bed for nearly 3 days which meant he watched a lot of DVDs.  It wasn't easy but the highlight was to see the helicopter land and take off right in front of our window.   We also met a Russian lady at the hospital who kept us company and explained some nuances to us.  What we found kind of odd was the reasons of why other kids where in the hospital.  For example, the daughter of the Russian I met had a urinary tract infections, at least 3 other kids were in the hospital for observation because they developed some rashes.  Those are the things that (as far as I understand) would never land you in the hospital in the States.

And the last interesting observation is that each day in the hospital will cost us 10 euros.  When Ilya was admitted to Children's hospital in Pittsburgh nearly 2 years ago, we were charged nearly $4000!  Yes, the food was better and the room wasn't shared but I would rather pay 10 euros and bring food from home.

P.S. It was nearly impossible to get Anton to sleep at night and he stayed up until 11PM every night we were there crying and screaming and I felt really bad for our neighbor but nothing I did helped so every night my poor husband got some really mean texts and emails and some of my Facebook posts might have been a little nasty so I do apologize for that.

Still in the emergency room

Selfie in our room

Finally passed out!

Dinner ...

Playground at the hospital

More playground

No comments :(

Anton's lunch, vegetable patty with cauliflower and sauce

My lunch, chicken with cauliflower and potatoes

No comments :