Über Health Insurance Money To Burn Equals Butcher Doctors Galore

doctors recommended treatment
The doctor post-it treatment recommendation.

About ten years ago I got a nasty tick bite between my big toe and my pointer toe on my left foot. I was doing some garden work visiting family in my beloved #americant and I wore sandals when I should have worn boots. Although I managed to get the tick off without much hassle, the swelling and puss coming out of the wound that was left behind became unbearable by the next morning. I jumped in my rental car and drove to a wal-mart-like clinic in town that my sister recommended. When asked by the receptionist if I had insurance I told her I did but that I lived in Germany. Looking at my insurance card she said, “Oh, I don’t even know where to begin with a language like that.” I then told her that depending on the cost, I’d rather pay directly. “Oh, ok then,” she said. “I need a credit card.” I gave her my German credit card and took my place among the many in the waiting room and filled out the patient questionnaire. Eventually a young Indian doctor helped me by opening the tick bite, cleaning it out and giving me some antibiotics. “Within a day or two you will be right as rain,” he said. Upon leaving the clinic, the receptionist charged my credit card eighty dollars.

I got hit in the knee by a van in the early afternoon last Thursday while riding my bike. The pain and swelling made me go to a nearby emergency room that same evening. Hoping only to get an x-ray to see if I had broken anything, I entered an ordeal that ended up consuming days, hours in waiting rooms and numerous doctors that confused me more than when confronted by Pam Anderson speaking Chinese. As of the worst-writing of this worst-post, I’ve had x-rays, CT scans and even my first MRI. I’ve been given crutches, a leg brace and even some sodium-something-or-other that I’m self injecting to prevent thrombosis because I’m not supposed to move my left leg.

anti thrombosis injection

As you may or may not know, dear worst-reader, Germany has a fairly decent national healthcare system. If you were to ask me if I utilise that system I would answer: fcuk no! Reason for the expletive is another post. Reason that I’ve always been a skeptic regarding national health insurance systems will be dealt with in the rest of this worst-post.

Indeed. After all the care I’ve been given regarding my knee in the past few days only two things stand out about the whole ordeal.

  1. I will not see a doctor bill for all the care I’ve been receiving and I wish I could/would see it.
  2. No one. And I mean no one in this (sarcasm on) amazing (sarcasm off) healthcare system has asked me once about how it came to be that I was hit by a van while riding my bike.

But before I get too deep into bitching & moaning about Germans and how the only thing they have to offer the world is über-priced luxury mass produced cars driven and designed by idiots, let me just say this: the German national healthcare system sucks! It sucks batballs. It blows horny goat-mules that have herpes on their penises. If German healthcare were a duck I’d shoot it with my twelve gauge and cook it up in a witches pot only to throw it away and bury it to prevent others from eating it. Then I’d gorge on self-pity-candy till I throw up unicorn puke. Oh. And I hate things.

Or maybe not.

I warned my better half after the initial emergency room visit after that fcuking van hit me that I would have to be careful regarding my care. “I’m not worried about the costs, honey, of course. But I am worried about what THEY could do to me,” I said. My better-half laughed and smirked as only a well-off German, spoiled by the spoils of The Marshall Plan, can. By the end of my initial emergency room endeavour things were clear: there was a limit to how much care I would get and, more importantly, on whose terms that care would take place. And so, they took some x-rays of my knee. From the x-rays they thought I had a tibial plateau fracture but said, because of lack of personnel, I would have to come back in the morning to get a CT scan, which would show more bone detail. I returned bright and shinny the next morning and, without much wait, got my CT scan. Conclusion? No fracture. Then the doctor in the hospital recommended a MRI scan to see if there was soft tissue damage. When the doctor tried to arrange the MRI she came back saying that I would first have to go to a regular doctor. Obviously the hospital had booked what it could off my insurance up to that point and obviously reached a limit. In order to get the further care–that they were recommending–I would have to go to another (different) doctor. Yeah, that makes sense. Or? They either work like a team or they work in collusion. I found a local orthopaedic doctor online. Let the circus begin!

The orthopaedic specialist, without even examining me, gave me a prescription for an MRI of my knee. Should I be thanking the heavens now, I thought. Because of demand, though, I would have to wait till June 20 to get the MRI done. Oh really! Luckily my neighbour was a radiologist and could squeeze me in at her hospital the next day. I only had to wait till Monday to return to the orthopaedic specialist with the new pictures. Bright and early on Monday I waited a full hour and a half in his waiting room. When I finally got to see the doctor–again without ever even touching my knee–he was reading from the MRI report–he never even looked at the pics–he recommended an operation to fix some minor cartilage damage.

Whaaaaaaaaa!

“But doctor, don’t you even want to look at my knee?”

He arrogantly pointed to the document from MRI doctor. At the same time he was massaging the back of his throat with the temple tips of his rimless glasses. He sat down in the exam room while I remained standing.

“But doctor, when I was younger I didn’t treat my knees well as I wasted a great deal of intellectual time playing highschool sports in suburban hell #americant and chasing girls. Till my mid-thirties I regularly jogged five to eight miles three or four times a week and also ran away from girls. I had to give up jogging because of a bone cyst that had developed on my left achilles which I got from an injury when I was young–running away from girls. By my early forties I had learned that my left leg was two centimetres shorter (or longer?) than my right leg–and this was caused by marriage and no longer running away from girls. Since my late forties I’ve been limping regularly, especially after heavy rains and three divorces…”

“Wait. Please, please,” the doctor said. “I would recommend two doctors for the operation on your knee. One of the doctors might be a problem to schedule because of your insurance. You don’t have good insurance. The other doctor will do it but it may take a year before he can.”

Whaaaaaaaa!

Let’s be clear here. I have the right as a blogger and useless eater to bitch & moan about everything. Yet why do I favour paying eighty dollars at a wal-mart-like clinic than having a system pay thousands upon thousands of Euros for care that ultimately has nothing to do with caring? Obviously it’s not right to compare a tick bite to a meniscus injury. So I guess what I’m really getting at is the fact that I have great health insurance yet when I consider what it is that doctors do with that insurance I get pissed off as though nothing is… right as rain.

Without even touching my knee or asking a question about how I felt or even how I got to his clinic that morning the only thing the doctor with the fancy Porsche could come up with was that I needed an operation.

Butchers. They are all fcuking butchers.

doctors parking spot
You know what they say: someone’s gotta pay for the priority parking of the doctor’s Porsche.

Would you believe that at his clinic there are no parking spaces for patients but he has a lone spot near the front entrance of his clinic. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t care what kind of car a doctor can afford to pay interests rates on. I’m seriously not a class fighter here. I’m just pissed off at the fact that a national healthcare system is ultimately nothing but a conduit for money transference galore.

Oh. As far as my knee is concerned. I can walk but I’m not ready to run. I can pedal a bike no problemo. There is still some swelling so I hope I don’t have an issue with water-on-the-knee. There is no acute pain only some stiffness. I’m wearing one of those fancy (and expensive) compression bandage/stockings that really does the trick.

Stay healthy, baby.

Rant on.

-T

Links that may or may not coincide with the post:

Got hit by van the other day. Can you believe it? The know-it-alls say that that line of distortion in the X-ray could (could!) be a tibial plateau fracture. Yea. The van hit my left knee.

Cool!

Update: It’s not a fracture. Whoopi. And get this, I get to get my first MRI so they can see whether my meniscus is damaged.

Seriously?

An MRI?

Hold on there a sec, chippy!

Between you and me, dear worst-reader, this whole health insurance coverage thingy that I’ve got over here (in Germania) that pays for all this great care is really, really over-kill. Knowing that the bone isn’t broke is enough to know that the swelling is caused by some slight meniscus damage. Ice packs, keeping leg still/braced for a couple of weeks will be the ultimate outcome with or without a corporate sponsoring MRI. But what do I know?

Rant & ride on.

-T

PS I’m too old for this $hit.

Hit By A Van Almost Down By The River And It Was Obviously My Fault. #Hooray!

hit by a van
It’s true. Behind the tall building in the background is the Rhine River.

What an exciting afternoon in good ole Germania. Have I volunteered, dear worst-reader, what I actually think about my expat host country? Well, there’s no time like the present to NOT volunteer such things. With that in mind, I was hit by a van today while riding my new über e-bike through the city. As you can see in the pic above, I was on the reddish bidirectional bike path and the van was blocking it while trying to rush into traffic. After using my bike’s bell and giving off a whistle, the female (in the pink/purple sweatshirt who was in the passenger seat) looked me right in the eye as I approached the van. Then I noticed, to my own detriment, that the driver of the van, the guy on the far right with the striped short-sleeve shirt, didn’t even bother to look both ways before entering traffic. Without very little consideration on my part–or being a bit brain dead as only I can be while riding a bike–I proceeded to continue on my route thinking (blindly hoping?) that the eye-contact I had with the passenger-chick was enough, so I proceeded to circumvent the van from his front. Obviously (obviously?) that was my error. And allow me to reiterate: The driver never looked to his right–even though he was blocking a bidirectional bike path. And so. Just as I was in front of the van the driver proceeded onto the roadway hitting me on my left knee and knocking me off my über e-bike. Fortunately I caught the fall with my right leg and didn’t body slam the road. I then limped off to the side as a young man–the thin guy with the shoulder bag and the blue jacket–came from around the corner and picked up my bike (not pictured but you can read about it here). The young man then proceeded to start asking me questions as I was dealing with the pain that the van had shoved into my left leg.

left leg hit by van
Those other scars below the current skin abrasion from today’s van are from another brain-dead bike fall last year after which I always ride with a helmet now!

“Are you a doctor,” I asked the young man.

“No. I’m a medical student,” he answered.

“Should I call the police,” I asked the young man.

“Not really sure. Don’t know if they can do anything,” the young man said.

“Aren’t you supposed to always call the police in a situation like this,” I asked.

“Not if it’s not serious,” the young man said.

“Was this situation my fault,” I asked.

By that time everyone had come together, see top pic. As soon as I uttered the word “fault” everyone, EVERYONE, Germans one n’all, answered:

JA!

eagle in van that hit me
American steel doesn’t want me dead. Yet.

And so, dear worst-reader, heed this as you bitch & moan about #Trumpism and the world of greed you have created: there are only two things that mean ANYTHING today–especially in good ole Germania. One, of course, is money. The other is The Automobile and all that that entails. And so. While traversing through Germania make sure you watch every possible way and direction from where a car/van can hit you. Because even if you are hit, it WILL be your fault. On the other hand, if you do get hit, I hope you too will be hit by a car from your home country that has an American Bald Eagle in its grill. Yeah, baby.

Rant & Ride safe.

-T

PS I’m fine. Just a bit of knee pain but I’ve got it wrapped as I worst-write this.

PSS The down by the river thing:

“You kids are probably saying to yourself, “Now, I’m gonna go out, and I’m gonna get the world by the tail and wrap it around and put it in my pocket!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re probably gonna find out, as you go out there, that you’re not gonna amount to jack squat!” You’re gonna end up eating a steady diet of government cheese and living in a van down by the river!” -Matt Foley SNL

f-word german

Translating the German f-word and feeling some cumuppance. And so. Another example of living-the-dream in #eurowasteland with Margo Honecker’s Germania-galore protege Merkel and the aristocrats with all the inherited money that afford us park benches. Or maybe not. Ranting onwards.

Germany And Why #Trump And His Ilk Hate That

300x169-R1244_FEA_Trump_A_SML

This is just a list (bullets followed by minor worst-explanations) I’ve been putting together in my head since reading that #Trump thinks Germany is bad, bad, real bad. I guess, in a way, I’m kinda jealous of Trump–you know, his bullhorn is so much louder than mine. Still, that’s why the tech-gods gave us all the capacity to have cute little blogs. Or? Anywho. Below is a list of thoughts (bullets) why Trump and his followers hate Germany. And remember, dear worstreader, this type of hate isn’t so much a fcuk-you-hate but instead you mean nothing hate w/out your autobahns and cars… Hate. In other worst-words, keep in mind, when reading this (and other worstwriting), especially when it comes to comparing my beloved #americant with my golden cage, Germania, I will never be a German, don’t want to be one and will gladly pass on without being one of them dipshits that immigrated here (by mistake and got stuck) and took it up the a$$. Or didn’t you know that Germany is a club, a collective club and if you’re not born into it you’re not in it. (Thank God!) Whatever that means. Oh. I’m off subject again.

  • Germany is a politically functional country–that over engineers everything–even government.

Compared to my beloved #americant, the Germans actually do things with government that don’t just benefit one part of society, i.e. the 1%. Now don’t get me wrong. In general, Germany (and Europe) still has a feudalism problem. Luckily, because the aristocrats of that feudalism–made up of both the children and grandchildren that gave us WW2–have been so pacified by what their parents and grandparents actually did, they don’t have much of a voice to manipulate politics–as is the case of the winners of WW2 in #americant and Engaland. (I mean, come on, Dick Chaney, Margerate Thatcher, Dipshit Dubya, #Trump, do all seem to hold a grudge–for winning.) The wealth of aristocrats in Germany is used in part to maintain the structures of the country and, especially, the Mittelstand. In other words, if left up to their own doing, the aristocrats that own Germany would sell it out just like the rich have sold out America since the 70s, culminating in today’s globalisation. How long the Germans can hold out–with austerity n’all–is anyone’s guess. But that’s another issue. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Germans love their green aka environment–even though places like Cologne are unGodly ugly and there’s snot everywhere.

I’m always complaining about there being too much green in this country. I read somewhere once that of all European countries, Germany has the most trees per capita. Think about that. If Europe was a house, Germany would be a guest toilet in it–and it still has the most trees of all other countries–per capita. And speaking of guest toilets. Get this. I have never been anywhere in the world where so many people have alergies, the sniffles, soar throats, etc., day-in, day-out–all fcuking year ’round. Trees, grass, …shit in the air NOT from cars–and people are as sick as three legged dogs that eat too much icecream. And I often go to these people–many, many people–with their über coughing and über sneezing, snot running down their allergy faces, and say: why don’t you get rid of some of this fcuking green? Do you have any idear how f’n polluted your air is with all the dust and pollen and spores that all this green sprews out? Of course, as usual, they just look at me dumbfounded. Indeed. German government do get itself some green! Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Order, timing and efficiency are all lies not worthing revealing and always garner a smile or three but if you book a train early enough to your destination it’s also really, really mega cheap–and they serve real beer on it.

Everytime I fly internationally, I get to FRA using a train. When I visit family in the north, I use a train. When I go to Paris… Why anyone would fly to France from Germany is a mystery to me. Anywho. When I was a kid and first started traveling to Germania, people back home would always mention, in passing, and based on their knowledge of The Old Country–The Huns–that the trains all run on-time. Now. Let’s get something straight. Although the DB (Deutsche Bahn) is pretty good compared to other European and American train systems, it is far from an efficient or on-time. In fact, when using it, I can’t remember the last time a train was on-time or without some major outage–as in the train has to stop and let out all passangers at a trainstation prior to its original destination. I would still rather take a train in Germany than drive a car, though, that’s for sure. Oh. And by-the-buy. The entire train system here is paid for by government. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Health Care and my gold teeth.

No. Seriously. I don’t go to the doctor. Don’t go to a dentist either. Or do I? My philosophy is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. My German wife’s philosophy is different. That said, I’ve had minor surgery (ten years ago), all of my teeth fillings and caps are in gold, I’ve had very large German fingers check my prostate (twice!), I’ve had my eyes examined, my ears poached, my knees bumped (with one of the rubber hammers) and my tongue checked by a nurse that looked just like Pamela Anderson–at least the part of her that I could see looked like Pam A as she leaned over me and begged that I say “Ah”. And you know what, dear worst-reader? After all of that, I have yet to see a doctor bill. “Whaaaaaa,” you say. Seriously. I have never seen a doctor f’n bill in the over two decades that I’ve been an expat. Now ask me if I laugh at my brethren in #americant as they bitch & maon about healthcare. Ha. Ha. Ha. Suckers. And. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Germans are pro business without being anti-social.

This is a bit of complicated issue. So let me address it from the other side. The thing that’s obvious about my beloved #americant today is that it’s lost its ability to be creative in business. Probably since the 1970s, the US has been riding on the industrial laurels of the past. This in part is due to generational issues–as baby-boomers secure their retirements–but it also has to do with a skewed sense of what the American Way is all about. Indeed.  The generational issue, i.e. baby-boomer greed mongering galore, cannot be underestimated here. The simple truth is, while Americans jockey around in their inability to self diagnose and/or think independently–thanks to faux newz–they also find themselves swimming in a cesspool of political lies and untruths–all to their own personal detriment. Hence, to worst-moi, the fact that faux newz is even on the air says everything about where Americans are politically and mentally. But let me come back to this side of things. Germany has yet to idealise their politics like Americans have with faux news. What is said politically in America cannot be said in Germany. And that’s not because it’s not allowed to be said. Put another way, it’s not that the bull$hit of right-wing propaganda can’t be said as much as it can’t be heard because there is no one to listen to it over here. Oh yeah… The German government is very pro-business without being anti-social. Everybody and every business has to pay its share to make things work/function here and they all seem to do it willingly. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • All bankers are a$$holes but German bankers aren’t a$$holes and suckers.

Alright. Here’s an open can of worms for ya. As I’ve tried to post here and maybe here, my best-worst-guess (as an arm-chair pseudo economist) is that one of the reasons Trump and his ilk are pissed at the Germans is because the Germans saw through the bull$hit of the real-estate bubble that was being promoted by the US Federal Reserve and US Treasury after 9/11, 2001. The Germans, especially Deutsche Bank, literally bet against the bubble and won. (Two other German banks lost.) I mean, even though it all kind of sounds complicated with the bull$hit that comes out of Wall Street, you know, financial engineering, CDOs, sub-prime mortgages, etc., it’s really not. It’s all more akin to being a casino. Within the casino there are different “games” being played. The difference to a real casino, though, is that after years of playing these games, all the participants, being used to one another, resort to other means to get ahead. You know, lying, cheating, manipulating, coercion, etc. Therefore the roulette table has its hidden buttons, the blackjack dealer has his price, the slot machine maintenance staff tighten the levers this way or that way, etc. The only problem is, what to do if a player decides not to play on the terms of The House. In the film The Big Short, the bank that bet against the US real estate market was Deutsche Bank. Oh, I said that already. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Education is practically free.

I guess I have to use the word “practically” because there is some cost involved in getting an education in good ole Germania. The difference to my beloved #americant education, though, is that here schooling isn’t treated as a business–as neo-liberal economic idealogy dictates it be treated back home. In other words, you can’t turn student loans into an industry here. Trump and his ilk hate that.

  • Technology can’t be monopolised.

This could be another can of worms–but I’ll go with it. The thing is, compared to my mom’s house on the eastern shore of Maryland (that I miss so much), I have the choice of at least three ISPs for my internet connection where I live in Germany. Not only that, but if I want to have a landline phone, which I don’t, I could chose from various services for that, too. As far as net-neutrality goes, it’s not much of an issue here because, well, media streaming is already offered through a variety of delivery systems. Then there is the issue of free speech, which German only has as long as that speech does not promote hate. Trump and his ilk hate that.

That’s about it for now. Will keep it all in the back of my worst-mind and update as required.

Rant on.

-t

Links that might have something to do with this post: