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The Unfortunate Part of Living Abroad - Navigating Healthcare

So you know that how there is always that person who always gets sick and ends up on the ER on day 1? Well, yeah, this time it was me. 

Here I am, day one of orientation, and just starting the info session of navigating the hospital system, when I have a allergic reaction, break out in red hives, and feel my throat start to tighten. God only knows why. 

I was rushed to the "Sala de Emergencia" of HM Hospitales, located on the other side of Madrid as far away from the hotel as possible. Because day 1 of moving in a foreign city isn't hard enough, I just had to go and complicate things by needing medical attention. Handling that situation in a language that isn't my mother tongue was prettyyyyyy daunting. 

Luckily, I had all my information ready to go in one spot. This included my passport photocopies, Kaiser primary insurance information, INext Healthcare insurance, and vaccinations.

Honestly, the healthcare process was a breeze. At the hospital, I immediately was welcomed by a fluent translator, who began handing me paperwork to fill out. They printed out my primary insurance care form, which I completed, as well as the hospital's regular forms. They took my vitals, and a nurse ushered me into see the doctor. A translator stood with me the entire time, ready to step in as needed, while I gave as much of an account in Spanish as possible. The doctor examined me, and gave me the meds needed to stop the reaction in its tracks. 

An hour later, I stood, hive free and breathing freely again. I completed the rest of the unfinished paperwork. I walked out with a prescription that I picked up at a local pharmacy, knowing that I am now in the system. 

Needless to  say, I'm pretty proud of myself for going into a foreign hospital and coming out alive and well. I still hate needles though.

 

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