After 6 weeks of paperwork and procrastination, I finally got my health care sorted out enough to see a real live doctor this week.
I have a recurring running injury in my hip that never really got fixed when I was in Denmark. Danish doctors are generally laissez-faire to the point of neglect, and my last conversation with my GP consisted of:
Doctor: We got the results of your x-ray. There’s nothing abnormal with your hip.
Me: OK, but it hurts when I go running.
Doctor: Well, there’s nothing wrong with it on the x-ray.
Me: Well in that case I should probably see a specialist, right?
Doctor: But there’s nothing wrong with it.
Me: But it hurts.
Doctor: I don’t see that on the x-ray.
Seeing a doctor in Germany so far has been a completely different experience. I was worried about finding someone who speaks English, but my health insurance (there are private ones and public ones here, and I’m on the public one) has a list of doctors online that you can search by language.
When I arrived at his office, I was told that I had to pay €10 for the appointment. It’s the first time I’ve paid for health care in five years, and I got a bit nervous that I was re-entering the ‘health care should be governed by the same mechanism by which we buy jogging shoes!’ economy that makes healthcare in the U.S. such an cornmaze gangrape to interact with.
I later looked this up online, and it turns out that there are a few nominal fees built into the German system, basically to keep people from seeing the doctor all the time for specious shit. Everything else has been free since then.
My doctor is in his early 30s, fluent in English, gay as Christmas and, most distressingly, cute as hell. His office is right next to work, and now I see him at my gym. We nod at each other but don’t vocalize. Once you’ve discussed the consistency of your bowel movements with someone, you can’t backtrack to flirting.
Anyway, he basically wouldn’t let me leave his office until he ordered every possible test and made sure I was telling him all the relevant information about my hip. He also asked me if there was anything else bothering me, physically or mentally. None of my doctors in Denmark ever asked me that.
So yeah, viva Germany. My hip hurts less now that I’m not the only person who cares about getting it fixed.