Cancelled Due To Pain

[Dutch Lock Down Day Three Hundred Fifty Nine]

Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

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Last night I woke up to a stabbing in my gut.

I breathed through the pain, adjusted positions a bit and it went away.

But a mild 2-3 on a scale of 10 level pain lasted throughout the day and whenever I pressed on the spot. Or stretched out too much.

Or breathed too deeply.

More like a NINE.

But first the news:

Here in the Netherlands, you don’t just go to the Emergency Room outside of regular business hours – or, really, DURING business hours.

There’s a filter.

A process.

If it’s during your doctor’s business hours, even if it’s in the afternoon, you call your General Practitioner and talk with the secretary / receptionist / intern / gatekeeper / student about your symptoms.

If it’s deemed serious enough, they make an appoint for you.

That day if it seems like you’re about to die.

That minute if you’re already dead.

After business hours, IF you don’t think you can wait until your doctor’s business hours, you call the after hours doctor line.

You pay ten cents per minute for the ‘information’.

You talk with the secretary / receptionist / intern / gatekeeper / student about your symptoms and if it’s deemed serious enough, they hand your information over to a doctor’s assistant who calls you back within fifteen minutes.

The doctor’s assistant asks more specific questions and, if they need to, consults the doctor and maybe asks you to come in, but also maybe not.

Since having kids I’ve discovered that if you’re calling about your child who cannot speak (under four), the symptoms can be a lot milder than for your average, say, adult in their early forties.

Adults in the early forties get ‘take two aspirin and call me in twelve weeks if it doesn’t get better’.

Kinda like the American ‘rub some dirt in it’ and / or ‘walk it off’.

Initially I wasn’t going to call, I thought I’d wait, but then I was joking around with the kids and they accidentally elbowed me in the stomach and OMG OW OW OW.

So now the resting pain is a solid three.

So I called the emergency line.

And the doctor’s assistant called me back.

And I let them talk me out of coming in.

Cause I don’t have any other symptoms. And the pain is only a three. And on the one hand, I get the process – I embrace it most of the time – and on the other hand, I’m American.

And I kind of miss a million tests and horrible health care sometimes.

But I also haven’t died yet.

So let’s see what happens, eh?

Wish me luck.