Saturday, December 3, 2011

Daycare makes babies sick

I started last week with a visit to the nice Swedish health services. It turns out they have walk-in hours everyday between 9.30 and 11.30 where you get to see your "house doctor" (general practitioner). Since I didn't have a house doctor yet, I just waited for the first one available, which was about half an hour (their signage was so bad that I ended going upstairs first, just to stand in line to be sent back down where now everyone who had also arrived at 9.27 had signed in). Meanwhile Zoe charmed the waiting room by her eiiis and ohhhhs and at one point waving bye bye at me, turning around with her pull-along train and walking out of the waiting room, into the larger lobby. She looked back several times, waving again, and I just waved back. When she couldn't see me anymore she walked back, realizing that she wasn't really comfortable being that far away either. Occasionally she started crying out of the blue, holding her hand on the right side of her head like it was hurting and it was for this very reason, plus her on and off slight fever, that had brought us in. The doctor made me hold her head still so he could look into her ear, which I was not happy about, especially because I knew that she would hold it still herself if I had time to explain it to her and distract her. But there was apparently no time for that. My instincts were right, a light ear infection on her right ear. She didn't need antibiotics unless I observed her getting significantly worse. This is when I thought it would take two days.

Four days and one failed morning of daycare ("Sorry, but Zoe is just crying after her nap, I don't think she is over her illness yet", the nice director told me on the phone at 1pm, trying really hard not to make me feel like the bad mom that I was) after, I managed to submit the funding application that was due that week after having worked each evening, when Zoe was finally asleep, not in my arms. The research report that was also due this week had to wait, nobody was going to die if I submitted it next week (I might get a black tick in somebody's book of professional people who deserve funding from a particular agency in the future, but hey, I'll just have to find another funding agency...).

So what did I learn this week? Well, firstly, I should always be one full week ahead with my deadlines because with a child in daycare and a husband that also works (and is attending a full time Swedish course at the moment), anything can happen. Secondly, Sweden has a wonderful health system with apparently no co-pay for house doctors (in opposition to the emergency room) and great walk-in services. I'll use them again. The second lesson is definitely an easier one to deal with than the first one.

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