So, what started off as a normal, early surprise breakfast for my daughter who turned 11 years old on Thursday, 4th June, quickly turned into a crazy, stressful day of me spending time at the GP with my son who was experiencing excruciating pain on the right side of his abdomen. We then spent another hour at the radiology department for an ultrasound and then finally at the emergency unit of the Hautepierre Hospital in Strasbourg for another 6.5 hours before he finally got admitted and into a bed in the surgical ward for appendicitis!! Oh Emm Geeeee – how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye.
So here in France, you have to have a social security number which is linked to your health insurance. This ensures that 90% of your medical bills are covered, and then if you manage to register with a broker agency, they cover the shortfall which in essence covers the full bill. Yay! So when the GP sent us to the radiologist and, he referred us to the hospital we weren’t sure whether going to public or private would matter but ended up going to the public hospital in Strasbourg.
At the emergency unit reception desk they asked for my referral letter and I showed them the report from the radiologist they then asked for our Carte Vitale (health insurance card in France) and this picked up that all our children were covered under my husband’s card – Algamdulillah for that as we struggled for almost a year to get it sorted! The receptionist then let us into the emergency ward and we had to wait (REALLY, not my strongest trait!?) About 30 minutes went by and, a nurse called us into a small room to take his blood pressure, temperature and asked him a few questions and then added a hospital armband with his name, surname and date of birth and then from there we were asked to wait in a different waiting area closer to the examination rooms (rolling eyes)
Two medical students finally called us into an examination room and examined him, asked questions and when they were done we had to wait again in the waiting room. About 20 minutes later the Intern doctor called us in for another examination and said that my son would need to go for blood and urine tests. By 15:30 both blood and urine tests were done so we had to wait for the results which took about 2-3 hours for the results and during this time we had to sit and wait with our masks on – AGAIN! Finally, the surgeon examined him and after looking at his results he told us my son would be admitted to the hospital. We waited for the admissions paperwork to be completed and before he could be admitted the Dr had to do a Covid-19 test as protocol. I honestly, couldn’t bear seeing the test being done and, I left the examination room! After waiting for what felt like forever he finally went to the surgical ward at about 19:35! He was given his room and because they never received his Covid-19 results yet they needed to take precautions and put him in an isolated room.
The hospital was really clean and spotless – honestly not what I expected from a public hospital, the staff were all helpful and friendly and the room in the surgical ward was very clean with no funny smells at all! (I hate funny smells!?) Unfortunately, the long wait in the emergency unit was the same as public hospitals back home in South Africa because we arrived at about 13:00 pm and he only got to his room at 19:35 pm – a very long and tiring day and the food was really bad!
It is really scary and eye-opening how quickly things can change at home, how quickly your circumstances can change, and how quickly your health can change in just the blink of an eye! We really shouldn’t take our health for granted not even for one single moment. We need to eat properly, take our vitamins, exercise regularly, meditate, find joy in certain things, and not allow everyday stresses to cause dis-ease within and just listen to our bodies!
Algamdulillah, after having surgery the following day and then recovering in hospital for five days he was discharged and could go home! This was the first time we experienced an admission to hospital with one of our children since arriving here in France & I make dua it’s the last!
I pray and make dua that all sick be granted Shifa (Arabic writing: شيفا means curing, healing) and may Allah ease their pain and discomfort – Ameen! I also make dua for the people having to take care and look after the sick – may Allah grant them the strength and stamina to be there for the sick and help them through this difficult and challenging time, Ameen.
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