Monday, August 08, 2005

Father's Day, Medical Style

My wife shows off her bandage.

Good news on the medical front. As readers may recall, a few weeks ago some idiot in a pool bashed in my daughter's front tooth. Today she had the temporary brace taken off and her tooth seems to have set properly. She has to take it easy for a month, and they want to monitor it to make sure that the nerve is still alive and there is no infection. Sheridan is greatly relieved.

Meanwhile my wife had been scheduled for surgery at 8:00 am sharp on a fibrous nodule that was growing along a nerve in her arm, nonfatal but incredibly painful. The doc was caught up in emergency surgery until noon, and she finally had the thing out at 1:00, just as my daughter was getting her teeth done. We spent the morning at Caves when we found the Science Museum closed, and the kids passed the time reading the books they had purchased.

Getting the tooth examined cost an appalling NT$150, (the braces cost NT$700; current exchange rate is US$1 = ~NT$31). We were again broken by the steep NT$460 we paid for the work on my wife's arm. One reason Taiwan is so appealing is that health care costs are so affordable here, compared to the dog-eat-dog nightmare that the US inflicts on its citizens. At least until the system goes bankrupt due to undercharging, corruption, and mismanagement.

The hospital experience, at the China Medical College, was perfect. We go there because it is a teaching college, which means that the equipment is up-to-date and the doctors perform in front of their students, minimizing the possibility of them cheating you by ordering unnecessary medical procedures. The dentist carefully explained to the student who assisted her exactly what she was doing, and treated us with great professional courtesy and caring. Meanwhile my wife reported that the nurse who took care of her held her hand and talked to her, and also let my wife pick out a CD to listen to while the operation took place. Another good thing about local hospitals is that family are expected to accompany patients. Thus there were no objections to me staying with Sheridan during the removal of the braces. Zeb sat in too. When the bill for my wife's procedure was wrongly calculated, everyone involved was courteous in assisting us, and the problem was resolved to our satisfaction. I highly recommend this hospital.

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