Saturday, January 29, 2011

When in Rome . . . (When in Norway, go skiing!)

This past week the Professor bought a pair of ski boots, and we are now 6 of the 7 fully outfitted for skiing (borrowed, bought used, and splurged on new). Today was a beautiful day--sunny and warm--and we had nothing particular planned, so we were able to go up to the groomed, wooded trails maintained by our community skiing/sports club. I'm afraid I have only photos of the youngest two, since I was paired up with them for the day. Young Teen and Middle Girl took the Professor on a longer loop to test his mettle. He reminded me that the last time he had cross-country skis on, they were old wood skis with leather strap bindings that belonged to his grandfather! The reports were that he did pretty well. I, on the other hand, fell within about 5 feet of my starting spot! It's been at least 20 years since I was on cross country skis, and it's going to take a little practice for me to get back into shape. 

We started on this wide open track which is groomed into a farm field and designed for young kids (and beginners!). Then we moved on to the wooded tracks. I did a little skiing in the field, but left my skis at the warming hut when we hit the trails so I could help the twins more effectively (just try helping two young skiers up a hill while wearing skis yourself and you'll see what I mean!).

It was just so nice to be outside in the sunshine and enjoying the day. We saw many families with young kids out on the trails. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

To the ER . . . and home again!

[note to concerned family members, this one has a happy ending!!]

Another cross-cultural experience today--visiting the Emergency Room! Twin 2 fell on the ice on our driveway this afternoon on the way to the car and hurt her arm. [Side note: we had very warm temps last weekend and cold temps for the last couple of days. The ice is treacherous! It can be scary just getting around the sidewalks and parking lots.] I tried to check things out [I was wishing my brother, the Sports Medicine Doc, was around]--she could wiggle her fingers a bit and nothing was obviously out of alignment, but it also was clearly hurting her, even after a few minutes. So, I started trying to figure out how to find the emergency room in our nearby town. After a phone call to the Professor and a quick trip to the neighbor's house (thank goodness we have at least one neighbor who works from home most of the time!) we were on our way and managed to find the place without much trouble.

I guess I was looking for something attached to a hospital, but this was a small clinic building offering emergency services. The parking lot was packed. In fact, we had to circle the block and come back before we found a place. It was close to 3, and apparently they open at 3 pm (I guess if you have a problem before 3 you go to your Dr.'s office? It's not entirely clear to me). Anyway, it was full, inside and out. I couldn't read any of the signs very well, so I just kind of followed the lead of the people in front of me in line. As is so common, the staff all spoke English well and were able to help me figure out what I was doing. We got signed in and waited for a little under an hour before seeing the Dr. (Much shorter than I anticipated. The nurse told me they try to give kids a priority, which was nice for us). The Dr. manipulated the arm and didn't find any obvious breaks but, of course, ordered the x-rays. When we sat down in the hallway waiting area outside of x-ray, she started looking at books and playing as if the arm was getting better. Then when they set up the x-ray and kind of twisted the arm into position without her putting up any kind of fuss, I started to think we might have escaped a break after all. By the time we came out of x-ray she was practically waving the arm around! I was relieved but a little embarrassed, thinking maybe a big part of the fuss had been fear about seeing the Dr. and not pain after all.

Turns out she kind of dislocated the joint at the elbow. Either when the Dr. checked it out, or just after, it popped back into position and thus didn't hurt any more. The Dr. told me this kind of thing often resolves when they take the x-rays, because they have to manipulate the arm to get it into place for the x-ray, and that pops it back.

The Professor met us at the clinic in time to join us for check out. Our health insurance back home covers us here, but we have to pay and then get reimbursed. I braced myself for the bill . . . 75 Norwegian Kroners   (about $13 US). That's by far the best deal we've had in Norway! [I'm still a little concerned that we may get a further bill at some point, but we'll have to wait and see.]

She is back home and happy as can be. And so are we!