Thursday, May 31, 2012

You want me to WHAT?

One of the things that people back home are most curious about is the health system here.

...I will tell you that it is not as bad as the gulag infirmary that lots of Americans fear it to be (even though my local GP office does look like a POW camp. But that's a story for a different day.)

...But I will also say that it is not the magical fairy system of endless virtue with unicorns and peacocks, where all doctors are brilliant saints who look like Patrick Dempsey- which is what you  might think talking to many Brits.

I like knowing that I can get a next day or same day appointment if I'm sick. I like the minimal paperwork.

I dislike the constant obsession with my drinking habits (I have been asked on more than one occasion when was the last time I got so drunk I blacked out. Um, never?!). I dislike having no choice of provider. I'm a little bit afraid that I'll get to the hospital to deliver the baby and they will tell me that they're closed and not taking any more patients. Sorry, drive to the next nearest hospital (an hour away). I'm also a little bit afraid of delivering the baby by myself, since if you are in the hospital they technically don't have to provide a midwife to attend to you during labor.

But most of all, I dislike that they want me to pee in this:

That thing is TINY.

It's just not fair. Or realistic. But it's a little bit funny.

Oh yeah, and I'm supposed to recycle it. As in, bring it in full, take it home empty. Repeat for next appointment. Kind of gross. And kind of a cheap and unnecessary cost cutting measure. Surely something a little bigger wouldn't be too much more expensive?


  1. Sure, I'd pee in the tube! And not only that, but on the outside as well. It's a little gift from me to them. I like to go the extra mile, bestow a little more "oomph" in their lives.

    Srsly, WTF?

    1. Exactly- in, on, around, everything in between.

      I don't even think I know any men who can aim that well.

  2. Haha! I suppose it's a good way to get used to a baby peeing everywhere!

    Right after baby was born, my mother told me something that has become a sort of mantra, and I find myself repeating it way too often: "Urine is sterile. Urine is sterile."

    Oh, and can you talk more about this maybe "deliver the baby by myself" business?? Totally intrigued by this distant and inexplicable British culture...

  3. Those things are ridiculously small, aren't they? And, once you actually get the aim right, they fill up in about 1.3 seconds, so then it overflows.

    One of the many reasons I wanted a home birth was so that I would be sure to have a midwife with me the whole time, because I thought that they would be busy with many patients in the hospital. But, I recently helped out with an audit of maternity services at my local hospital asking new mothers about their experiences, and every single one of them said they had one-to-one care throughout their delivery. So either my hospital is unique, or fairly constant midwifery presence is more normal than I thought!

  4. In Germany they are bigger but still it is hard to hit and especially stop in time :-) And never was I asked to recycle!

  5. Randomly found your blog, and it is super cute!

    I'm actually English and living in the USA with my American hubby so just the opposite of you. This post was interesting because I've encountered similar issues with healthcare here in the USA. I guess it's all about what you are used to. My hubby and I are wanting to start a family, but unfortunately we have terrible insurance and so we are putting it off as we don't want to get in a mountain of debt from having a baby, but maybe soon we'll get better insurance.