Parc de la Grange, ten minutes before impact.
Our new apartment is a stone's throw from Parc de la Grange, an enormous green space in the Eaux Vives quarter of downtown Geneva. As it happens, it is the girls' preferred outdoor play place and invariably brings back memories of our first weeks in Geneva. Saturday morning Emma, Mouse, Honey and I headed over for a quick play and romp before setting off for the mountains. The girls were on the giant climbing structure all of ten minutes when Emma took a tumble, bashing her chin against a metal bar. To say her scream was heart-stopping would be an understatement. By the time I reached her, blood was streaming through her fingers and down her neck as she clutched the injured area for dear life. I pried her hands away to reveal a gaping slit just over a centimeter wide on the underside of her chin.
Our plans had just changed.
I searched my pockets for something to place over the cut. Nothing. I whipped off my coat, then my shirt, bundling the bright red jersey under her jaw. Luckily--or perhaps not so--there were no close spectators, save Mouse who thought I had lost my mind. Once I had my coat on again we headed back home where I called the hospital. They said to come right away and thanked me for calling first. Before leaving the apartment I checked that I had my proof-of-insurance letter, also known as an attestation, a picture book, and some North American pain reliever. (Emma can't handle the bloody awful Swiss stuff and I can't say I blame her.) Two hours later we were home again with a pair of stitches and instructions to see our family doctor in five days to have them removed. A bill will come in the mail at the end of the month.
I have always been impressed by the quality and timeliness of the medical care we've received in Switzerland. Doctors are punctual and thorough. They never appear rushed. Even emergency rooms have an air of tranquility that simply no longer exists in Canada, if it ever did. Of course, we're insured. If I hadn't been, what then?
I will be interested to see how the American health care system has evolved since I worked there ten years ago. When I left, insurance companies were attempting to dictate what was appropriate care. Two physiotherapy visits for this diagnosis; three for that. It was insulting and, at times, downright scary. Vigilance was required to ensure you received the appropriate care and not just what the insurance company would pay for. I expect not much has changed. We'll see. In any case, it's been a grand experience in Switzerland.
Bravo la Suisse!
(Photos courtesy of my iPhone. Not bad, eh?)