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!


  1. there will be no bill. They look at you funny when you ask for a bill.

    I have done the same thing myself. Called the BCBS in the States, who say they cover and then only have the 75 kroner fee at the ER and no other bill, they won't send anything unless you didn't pay the 75. It is only 75 for kids. Adults is a little more like 250, but then no bills comes, so a total of 250 kroner for a visit.

  2. Oh and sorry for the blog hop. I found your blog from and think it is fun to read your experiences. Hope you don't mind.