Friday, October 9, 2009

So do I have the Swine or Not? A trip to the Swiss Doctor.

I haven't been feeling great since my parents left about two weeks ago (and yes this is my excuse why it took me so long to post on the trip:)!) Runny nose, coughing, headache, fever - the whole nine yards. Some days were worse than others. Nathan, nor I, EVER get sick - so I just thought I had a cold that I caught from my Dad (thanks Dad:)) during our travels. I mean - we even went hiking last Sunday (probably not a good idea in hindsight....) - I couldn't be THAT sick.

So the fever thing really just started this past Tuesday, so it wasn't till then that I started thinking flu. But nah - I couldn't possibly have the swine - I work in MY apartment by MYSELF! Some days I don't even leave the chair in front of my computer (yes - it kind of sounds pathetic when I write it down - but truly I love my life)! Anyway, I just started downing the Theraflu every 4 hours as recommended and thought I could handle it myself.

The truth is - I dreaded going to the doctor in Switzerland. Well not really going to see the doctor, more like dreaded trying to FIND a doctor. I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass. First, because I don't speak German. Second, because I don't really know anyone that I thought I could ask for a referral for a good doctor (that would also have the same insurance as we do). And Third, because the whole International Insurance thing has me a bit boggled.

Well I was right - it was a pain in the ass. BUT our International Insurance provider was very helpful in trying to find me a doctor. AFTER they told me they only had referral doctors in Geneva and asked if it would be a "problem" to go there (obviously the girl I was talking to didn't know much about Switzerland). (I also thought it a bit odd they didn't have anything in Zurich since Nathan's company is headquartered in Zurich and our insurance is through the company but details -right?) So after I politely told her that, yes, traveling on a train for 3 hours to Geneva with a fever and a cough would be a bit of problem for me, she actually got a doctor on the phone to talk to me and he said I could either go to the hospital or wait a very short 24 hours to find a referral in Zurich. 24 HOURS!!!! What?!?! BUT then the very nice girl came back on the line and said since I was so sick she would try to speed up the process. THANK YOU very nice girl - I appreciate it! I really didn't want to go to the hospital - there are sick people there:).

So the insurance company called me back around 5 pm (my original call to them was at about 11 am) and said that they couldn't find a doctor with an opening (yes - THEY called around trying to make an appointment - me likey) and they suggested I go to Permanence Hauptbahnhof a walk in clinic in the main train station in Zurich. I called ahead just to see what the wait time in the Walk-in Clinic was this time of night and they said 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Oh HELL NO. I am not sitting around a bunch of sick people for 2 hours - you never know what you could get.:) So I decided to get up early and be the first patient at 7 am!

First off - of course I felt better when I woke up this morning and was debating on not going but Nathan "forced" me to. When I arrived at Permanence - my first impression was that of a very nice clinic - thank goodness (but honestly I didn't expect much less - we do live in Switzerland). I was patient number 4 and the whole thing from signing in, to seeing the doctor, to taking blood, to getting my diagnosis only took about an hour. A little info about Permanence - it is "the first private medical station in Zurich which provides urgent out patient care for local residents of the Zurich area and for tourists without prior appointments". I thought it was well run, clean, and the doctors and nurses were very nice. So if are in Zurich (for vacation or as an resident) and have a non hospital condition and can't get into your doctor- I would recommend it!

So what was the diagnosis you ask? WELL.... the doctor said that I had a VERY aggressive viral disease (some number he showed me was supposed to be around 8 and mine was 59.) And that my white blood cell count was down quite a bit - but since I DIDN'T have a fever this morning he COULDN'T diagnosis me with the SWINE. YEAH - I didn't become a statistic this morning!:) He said I probably DID have it though, and that I fought it off by myself. Yeah ME! He said this was better than getting the vaccination, so good job on my part for fighting it off. He then told me to still stay away from pregnant women and little people (not sure if he meant midgets or children so I'll be safe and avoid both) for another three weeks. He gave me a prescription for some cough stuff and that was it.

So there you have it - the SWINE (that I probably had) really wasn't that bad (for me anyway)!

Here's to good health for the rest of the season!


Lisa said...

Ooh la la, love the new header picture (not sure how truly new it is, but it's new to me).

Glad you got the doc stuff worked out - how refreshing to hear that he process was so nicely handled... I think in America... not so often the case, unfortunately. (Where has the concept of customer service, outside of swagger - of course, gone??)

That whole swine flu thing is just trumped up media hype of... the regular flu. I think I had one of the two when I was sick. No bueno. (I forgot how to say "no good" in German!)

Have a faaaab weekend!

Mandy said...

Thanks! I wanted all my blogs to have a facelift this week:)

I think it is nicht gut - not sure if anyone would say it like that but I know they are the two words - ha:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mandy. I'm glad you're finally feeling better! Thanks for the info about Permanence - I didn't know tourists could go there. That's great to know for the flood of visitors we're hosting over the next few months!
-Kelly from Zuricook

Mandy said...

Hi Kelly,
Yes - I think they actually cater to tourists. It was very clean and the doctors were knowledgeable and friendly. Hopefully none of your visitors will have to go, but if they do, this place would be a great choice!

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