Getting Sick in Luxembourg Is Definitely Different

Luca has been sick for almost a week now. He came home from school Tuesday afternoon tired and it was quite evident within a couple of hours that he was sick. He and I were up almost all night that night and there was not much sleep for the next few nights. He couldn’t sleep from the cough and fever. He stayed home from school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and seemed to be getting a little better. He still wasn’t sleeping well at night but his cough was a little better.

certificat1

In order for a child to return to school after being sick for more than two days they must visit a doctor and get a Certificat (Bescheinigung) that is certified by the doctor. We already had an appointment scheduled for Thursday with his homeopathic doctor, but since they are not recognized as doctor’s here in Luxembourg she could not give me a note. We went to the doctor (general practitioner) Friday afternoon to get this certificate so that he could return to school on Monday when he was feeling better. Thankfully the doctor’s visit wasn’t too expensive, €39 Euros, and the Certificat was €7 Euros.

So now it was just a matter of feeling better. Juliana had her Birthday party sleep over Friday night which meant Luca got very little sleep and the next day starting feeling worse again. The coughing would not stop. We tried natural remedies and essential oils throughout the weekend but he was getting worse.

Each day he missed school I contacted his counselor at school to let him know that Luca would be at home sick. Today when I contacted him and said I  had a Certificat for Wednesday through Friday he told me that I had to have a new Certificat that would cover today and any other days he was sick this week. So, this means visiting the doctor again.

certificat2

Well, since Luca was feeling worse this morning, Monday, we made an appointment with the general practitioner again. He is in fact getting worse and has some infection in his lungs so we are now going to start an antibiotic. She wrote me a new Certificat that will be good through Wednesday (since she can only write it for up to 48 hours after she has seen the patient). She also wrote me a Certificat that allows him to not participate in his gym class this week since it will irritate his cough. So, we are hoping he is better by Thursday and can go back to school.

Now it was time to go to the Pharmacie for his prescription. After standing in line for 10 minutes waiting for one older to lady count out her coins and an older gentlemen making small-talk with the cashier I had my turn. I gave her the prescription, she went in the back room and return in 30 seconds with two bottles of medicine. Her English wasn’t that good and my French is not sufficient so when she asked me if I wanted her to mix I said no. We had decided to get a liquid medicine since Luca’s throat is so sore from coughing. I assumed it was liquid in the bottle. Wrongo spagetti-O. So she told me that it costs One point seventy three as I handed her my credit card. She shook her head as I handed her my credit card and said they don’t accept credit cards for transactions under €6. I asked her again, “How much?” Then I realized that the 5-day course of Amoxicillin was only going to cost me €1.73, less than €2 Euros. My jaw hung open and I told her how surprised I was at the price. She just smiled and said, “It’s Luxembourg.”

Upon arriving at home I was a little chagrined to find that the medicine is actually in powder form. And the instructions are in German. At least if they were in French I could understand most of it. So, I got on my computer for the next 20 minutes using Google Translator to find out what the long pamphlet said in English.

amoxicillinSo, after much translating and cursing I figured out that one spoon of powder in a glass of water was how this medicine works. Luca was not excited by the taste but I learned a very good lesson –  always get the pills.

So now we hope the antibiotic kicks in, Luca feels better and he can go back to school and catch up on missing over a week of schoolwork.

And on the plus side, once we finally receive our social security cards, after waiting for more than three months, we can send in the doctor receipts for a partial refund. I don’t know how much they will reimburse us,  but it is an added bonus. And it is costs us much less here than visiting the doctor in the US.

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