USA '14 – Day 13 – Dial one, get one free

Today was down to be a quiet day but didn’t end up that way. The plan had been to have a late breakfast at Perkins followed by shopping in the afternoon and then in to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We managed the first part successfully and a bit of the shopping too after which it all went a bit downhill. 

We hadn’t been at the outlet long before we wanted to stop for a drink. At Buena Vista Outlets there is a coffee shop that sells tea and British goods, such as chocolate, so we went there. Alex chose an Aero bar, something that he has had many times before, but it wasn’t long before he started to feel ill and could feel he was having problems with his breathing. We have known since he was two that he has an allergy to nuts and are always careful with what he eats but sometimes no matter what precautions you take things go awry. This was one of those times.

The first thing to do was to give alex a shot of adrenalin from the epipen that he always carries with him. The second part was not so easy and that was to quickly get him to hospital. We initially tried the mall office but it was shut and then made our way to the nearest shop where we persuaded them to allow us to dial 911 and call an ambulance. We could probably have done it from our mobile but we didn’t know the address.

A couple of minutes later an ambulance was with us… along with a fire truck. Apparently this is standard procedure over here for when an ambulance is called. Then it was off to the local hospital.

Alex spent the next two hours been given various medicines and kept under observation at the A&E dept of Celebration hospital. In this respect it was very similar to the care and procedure that you would receive at any NHS hospital at home. Difference here was, of course, that it had to be paid for. The bill for the ride in the ambulance and the treatment came to $850, which we are hoping the insurance will cover.

We then had to go and find a 24 hour pharmacist that could provide the medicines that Alex needed, including a new epipen. This all came to another $350. Suddenly the £8.20 prescription charge seems like something of a bargain.

Some in the UK complain about the NHS but we have never had anything but fantastic service on all occasions that we have had cause to use them. Today showed that the care here was equally as good but also showed just how easy it is to forget what it costs for a quick trip to A&E.

So all in all a pretty stressful day and not how we would have wanted to spend our penultimate day but Alex is fine and that is the important thing.