Life Goes On

It’s time to stop living like a tourist.  This is home now and I really need to take care of some things … doctors, dentists, insurance.  I dread them in any language. My phone phobia and crappy Spanish have made it easier to just put it off.  But a few things became clear this weekend when Sam went flying into a chair and cut his head open:  I don’t know how to get to the nearest hospital or emergency room; I don’t know how to call an ambulance; I don’t know anything about our health insurance.  It’s time to get my shit together!

Andrew remembered the name of a clinic that his pregnant coworker had mentioned was the best in town, and I navigated with the iphone (which still has the old google maps). We made it there in 15 minutes. They saw Sam right away, which was nice, cleaned his cut and checked to make sure he had no neurological problems- so far so good!  They recommended plastic surgery under general anesthesia, which would cost several thousand dollars.  Unfortunately, after several hours and numerous phone calls we found out that they did not accept our insurance.

We headed to another clinic, Las Vegas, which we were told would accept our insurance and provide a similar level of care.  They were not so keen on admitting us without any documentation for Sam.  We don’t have any insurance cards, although technically we are insured through Andrew’s employer.  Sam doesn’t have the local equivalent of a social security number.  They wanted to see his passport.  The intake lady couldn’t believe we didn’t have it on us and demanded to know how he got into the country.  (Well, lady, we made a few stops between the airport and the Clinica Las Vegas).

In any case, they saw Sam eventually.  They wrapped him up in a big sheet like a burrito straightjacket, and a nurse held his head while the doctor gave him a shot and sewed several layers of skin to close the gash above his eyebrow.  I sat next to him but hid so I didn’t have to see any of it.  He demanded they get him out of there and screamed and yelled and cried until his tears and sweat soaked through the sheet. Two days later I’m still traumatized, but he’s totally fine.

Here he is at the first clinic, pre stitches:

Here he is today, post-stitches:

Sam’s stitches will be removed at the end of the week and hopefully he won’t have a horrible scar.  He was sewn up by a plastic surgeon in the plastic surgery capital of South America- that has to count for something.  It turns out only Andrew is currently insured, but this will all be sorted out and the cost of the hospital visit will be reimbursed, eventually.

In the meantime, I need to take care of some things.  I need one of those lists of important phone numbers that organized people keep on their fridge.  I need to have the following things on me at all times:  photocopies of all of our passports, our insurance information, and emergency contacts.  I need insurance cards, a pediatrician, a dentist, and I need to memorize our cell phone numbers.  I don’t know my own number yet.  Can you believe that?!  I’m feeling pretty pathetic. Day-to-day challenges have put those things on the back burner.  But, now it’s time.  So while I get started, please let me know if I’m missing anything.  Thanks!

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