nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

The $500 bug bite

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This is a cautionary tale called “don’t let your kids get bitten by bugs in New York City”.

When the bite doesn’t heal, but spreads in a randomly circular fashion over your child’s leg and you hope that it will heal and five days later it still looks a bit angry, then you probably should follow that urge to take her to the doctors. And when you’ve waited in the waiting room for 40 minutes, then been seen by a nurse who then makes you wait another 20 minutes for the doctor, don’t despair if your toddler runs amok. You must think happy thoughts, that it is Friday and that it will, it must end soon.

And when the doctor appears, looking not so much like a doctor, more like your glamorous grandma, keep the faith, listen and hope that you can escape soon. And when she confirms that yes, that leg is horribly infected, you did the right thing and here’s a prescription (written out twice, as the first one was illegible, even for a doctor) you know you can now escape into Friday night, now feral children in tow (they need their tea). And then you can deal with your despair because she said you have to come back Monday!

Go back to the doctor on Monday, better prepared this time. Children fed beforehand, entertainments in bag and an acceptance of having to wait forever – confirmed by the receptionist who rolls her eyes when you ask how far the doctor is behind. And there you have it: a miracle, you are called within 10 minutes, see a nurse for 5 minutes, wait 2 minutes for the doctor, spend 5 minutes  with the doctor (this time in Pucci inspired grandma wear) and congratulate yourself on  being a good mother who spotted that it wasn’t right. Then thank the doctor for her perception and her kindness. And don’t be insulted when she says she doesn’t want to see you there again.

And the cost for all this: that’ll be $295 for the two doctor visits and just under $200 for the antibiotics. Gumph. NHS anyone?

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