Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Some More Things About Doctors in Germany

Alright, in the past week or so I've had a few more experiences with doctors that I figured I'd write about.

First of all, last week we went to the hospital to get information in English about having the baby there. We had been to an information night before, but it was all in German so we got maybe 50% of what they were saying. So this time we went in to talk to someone and I guess "register." The person we talked to pointed out a few things that are different about having a baby in Germany. The main one I think is that the baby is completely delivered by the midwife. She said the doctor will basically just stand there in case something goes wrong. Hunter felt that she "tried to talk me out of the epidural," although I would describe it more as "firmly informing me that not as many people in Germany get them." She said about 1 in 3 new mothers do it. I've pretty much made up my mind on that, though. My mom had one child with it and one without it and said it's much better with it.
Also, included in the German insurance is access to a midwife for up to a year after the baby is born. She will come every day for the first ten days, then every two days and gradually less frequently until you decide you don't need it anymore. I guess she'll do things like help out and teach me how to take care of a human being. So they gave us a list of midwives and pointed out one who they knew spoke good English. We still need to get on calling, though--neither of us is really keen on using the phone.

Also last week, I finally got in to see a doctor to get a new prescription for Zoloft. It was kind of a hassle; I'll spare you the details I guess but it worked out well and I got the prescription. Which brings me to something else that is different here: pharmacies. If you need to get a prescription filled in the US, you can expect to wait 10-15 minutes minimum and sometimes a few hours, if they are really busy. I always kinda wonder what they are doing back there. I guess counting out the pills one by one or whatever and maybe typing up the little label. At the Apotheke, I walked in, handed the person my prescription (which was typed(and therefore legible) and had my insurance info on it) and shes grabbed a box of pills and handed them to me. Plus, it was about 5 Euros for 100 pills and in the US I was paying about that for 45. So yes, my impression of the German medical system is pretty good so far.

The last thing I've done recently was go in to talk to the anaesthetist so I could sign the papers pertaining to the epidural. When I called to make an appointment, OF COURSE they only spoke German but I managed. The trickiest thing was that I didn't realize "morgen" also means tomorrow, so she kept saying the appointment was "morgen" and I was thinking yes I know it's in the morning but what day? Anyway, the result is I learned a new word so awesome. Then when I got to the hospital I once again had to figure out where to go, speaking mainly to people whose English was lacking in some areas. I did finally make it in to talk to the person I needed to talk to. I guess they like you to sign these papers beforehand because "once you are in pain you'll sign anything." The most annoying thing is that it says you can't wear piercings or makeup during deliveries. I know you're probably thinking putting on makeup while I'm going into labor is the last thing I'll want to do, but trust me, I'm really vain and since people are probably going to take pictures of me and baby and everything right after, I don't want to look super gross. So I guess I'll just throw my makeup bag into my backpack when I go. Also, I can take an ambulance to the hospital and it's free.*

Ok, the next thing I'm going to post about is the really awesome cloth diapers I ordered, but I'm waiting for all of them to get here so I can post pics. Hope to have another post up soon!

*Note that when I say "free," I mean "included in our insurance." The insurance is I think 15% of the paycheck and so is very cheap compared to many peoples' in the US.

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