Medical Care in a Foreign Land…Update

Erin Rovak Henderschedt |
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After seeing 4 specialists, and 2 family doctors, and getting no answers as to why young Bob has had a sore throat for going on 6 months, we are being medevaced to a US Military hospital.

Most likely, Bob will have to have his tonsils removed.  If the first doc we saw here had suggested it, we would have done the surgery here.  Sadly, the medical care does not follow the same philosophy as US medical care.  The Taiwan medical system seems to prefer a “wait and see” approach.  I’ve lost any faith I had in the local medical system.  I think 6 months is too long.  To hear a doctor, at a well respected hospital here, say Bob’s tonsils look fine, and maybe he just swallowed something sharp, like a fishbone, does not instill confidence.  I can see that the tonsils do not look “fine” and I have no medical training, whatsoever.  (Of course that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion about pretty much every medical situation.)

Medevacing is complicated.  We first had to get a recommendation from the primary doctor (no problem.)  Next, our medical insurance had to approve the idea.  Now, we have to make all of the travel and accommodation reservations and the military system does not make that easy.  Horatio has tried for a cumulative time of at least three hours to get us into the defense travel system, to no avail.  All official DoD requirements on the net are complicated.  Then, the time difference between here and DC make it so that if there is a problem, it’s an entire day before we can get guidance from DC!  Hopefully, we can get the paperwork worked out before we have to travel 3 weeks from now.

hospital 1

If Bob does have to have surgery of any kind, we will be required to stay on location for two weeks post-op, meaning we will be away from home for close to three weeks.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

can't sleep

I try to look at the silver lining, though:  Quality time with just ONE of my four boys, and lots of shopping at the PX and commissary so we can bring home lots of US products upon our return.

 

About the Author

Erin is a parenting coach, writer, academic writing coach, teacher, Navy wife and mom to 4 sons (one who has Autism Spectrum Disorder). Together, the family has endured nearly 10 deployments and moved 11 times.  They recently relocated to Asia.  Her boys are 16, 14, 11 and 7 years old. The Been There Done That mom offers insight into Military Family life and no-nonsense parenting.

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