Thursday, September 26, 2013

Czech Medical Care & Me, Sorta

The goal for my Thursday posts is to provide glimpses into life in a cross-cultural setting. God provided an interesting opportunity to share with you this week.

My Honey's been having some stomach issues the last couple of weeks. After 14 days of misery he decided it might be time to get some input from a medical type. 

We got on the bus and headed for the only hospital covered by the expat insurance plan we carry. 

The ladies at the Foreigners Reception were kind and efficient as they reviewed our paperwork and sent us along to the office where foreigners are triaged. We waited less than 15 minutes when we were welcomed and offered seats by a doctor and a nurse who both spoke fluent English. 

Curt shared his concerns and answered all their questions about symptoms and such. They were pleased to hear the details I added. 

The nurse was concerned that our insurance would not cover the care necessary; tests and appointments. She made a call that confirmed her suspicions. She wanted to be sure we were fully informed that though all the paperwork would be submitted, probably not much would be paid. We went ahead with what needed to be done anyway.  

The doctor examined Curt's belly and, without divulging TMI, wrote two prescriptions - one for an antibiotic in case there was an infection. Fasting blood work was ordered for the following morning. They couldn't give us a timetable as to when the results might be available, but they assured us that once they were in Curt would be assigned to a doctor to oversee his condition. His bout with cancer over 10 years ago was on their minds. 

The nurse provided a list of positive food choices and those to avoid over the next few days. She also gave clear directions about where and when Curt needed to arrive for the blood work. Both ladies were gracious in their manner as well as fluent in our language by which we were doubly blessed.

You know, we've heard many horror stories about . . . hmmmm, shall I say offbeat? . . . medical care in Prague and this hospital in particular. The bad reviews are easy to find on the internet. The reality is that no matter the reputation or past experience it's scary to walk into a medical facility when your health is fragile and you don't speak the local language. 

This go-round is not our first and it looks like it won't be our last. 

My response this time though is a first.

Maybe I was just too tired. Maybe I'm adapting. 
Whatever the specifics I didn't panic this time.

Right from the start I sensed a peace that I cannot explain. Before leaving home we bowed our heads and asked the Father to walk us through His plan for the hospital visit. At each turn I sensed Jesus beside us in the unfolding of the day. Again and again the Spirit delivered confidence in the divine hand and purpose over each event. 

Wherever we go. Whatever we do. However we feel. We are not simply another case or statistic. We belong to God, the great I am, the One and Only God. Therefore each of us is also a ONE. 

I am the ONE God created to be unique in all the world. 
I am the ONE the Father chose before the foundations of the world. 
I am the ONE Jesus cherished enough to enter and conquer this fallen world.
I am the ONE the Spirit celebrates with joy and peace, guidance and comfort as I walk through this world.
I am the ONE the LORD watches over with jealous intention to protect and nurture as He prepares me to spend eternity in His Presence.

And this is true for each of us who receive the claims of Christ as Truth.

That's why as we were preparing to leave the office, even though they were tending my sick Honey, I reached out in genuine gratitude and shook the hand of the doctor and the nurse. I thanked them for their attention and let them know God used them to bless us. I closed my remarks by saying, "May God bless you in return."

Yup, it’s true. Seeking medical care in another culture can feel death-defying. As I said to a friend, “It’s an excellent opportunity to rest in the Savior’s arms, listen to the Spirit’s leading, and trust in the Father’s plan for our lives.” 

“In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”  Psalm 56:4  NIV’84

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