Because Emergency Rooms are so awesome

For those of you who think living in Germany would be super wundebar, please think of me the next time you casually make an appointment to visit the doctor.

Thank goodness for evening gout attacks. I was limping so badly by Thursday night that Jason offered to come home from work after lunch on Friday so I could try to figure things out. I might or might not have limped a little more heavily when he was in the room. I certainly was under no obligation to fein pain tolerance.

Gout is funny. I think the name is so ugly that people assume it always looks ugly. I’ve had two friends mention how glad they are that it’s not all nasty and swollen up someplace where everyone could see. Let me clarify for the masses, gout is not elephantiasis. In some cases it does get extreme to the point where it is noticeably swollen and red, but it can look like nothing and still be quite painful. Let the record state that my feet are not deformed and grotesque. Yet.

On Friday afternoon I took myself, via the convertible (62 degrees and sunny), into the hospital at Landstuhl (the big local military medical center) and spent over an hour jumping through registration hoops. Once I was in the system I found myself sitting in the waiting room frantically trying to finish my paperwork so I could enjoy the wait. Unfortunately they got me right away. This was a little disappointing; my book and I were looking forward to missing Harrison’s soccer game due to military inconvenience.

I have to tell you, when that lovely nurse practitioner finally came into the exam room with her American English and hospital clip board, I had to refrain from kissing her. She listened to me. She agreed with me. She didn’t ask to see my previous records. She took out her magic wand, bibbity bobbity boo-ed at me and poof!

I had a gout killing prescription and a follow up appointment to secure my year’s supply of non-German approved Alopurinal. Saints be praised, I am back in business.

Then I had to wait at the pharmacy for forty minutes for my prescription to fill while Jason had the pleasure of feeding/clothing/soccering-up and loading all four kids into the car and taking them to Harrison’s soccer game alone. Unfortunately for some I was stuck in a quiet waiting room with my book.

It was kind of a perfect day.



  1. Gotta love the free healthcare!

    • annie valentine says:

      Free? No no no. That cost me a solid $100. Worth every penny. We’re civilians, nothing for us is free.

  2. So glad that you were able to get in quickly & yes, Always bring a book when inputing a new prescription. It wasn’t unheard of to wait a couple of hours @ NNMC (national naval medical center) in Bethesda. Seems like the wait was slow when we were @ Landstuhl too. Did I ever mention that my son was born there? The ob/gyn dr’s sucked but the nurses rocked! So did the NICU staff.

    Oh & YEAH for English speaking drs w/ meds!!

  3. Yeah for the right meds!

  4. You almost said worth the pain, there, didn’t you?

  5. My “captcha code” is 2 SAD. As in it was just 2, 2, sad that you had to sit all by yourself in a quiet place and read your book. SO glad you’re on the mend! The doctor thing – when living abroad – is the hardest part, I think. That, and the insanity involved in ordering at McStreudels, or whatever they have there.