Another positive hospital story

I thought today I would share another positive experience we have had with the public health service here. If you read any of the main expat blogs here you will undoubtedly hear a lot of negativity about the health service here. I am not, in any way, saying that these are not legitimate experiences but we often simply hear the negatives as people rarely share positive ones, for a number of reasons.So now my disclaimer is out-of-the-way on to the story.

On Sunday morning my son and my husband went up to Amager Strand for my son to try out his new (to him as I bought them on a Mødrehjælpen second hand shop) roller blades. He is a relatively competent ice skater and enjoyed an afternoon at a roller disco last month. Within the first few minutes he took a tumble but got back up and continued. He returned home and complained a little that his wrist hurt. We left it until after lunch (and homework) to see if it settled down. It didn’t so at 1.30pm I called 1813. My call was answered immediately and the medical advisor happily spoke with me in English. We were given an appointment an hour later at Amager Hospital for an x-ray and consultation.

On arrival we were told that it could be an additional hour’s wait so we sat down in a busy waiting room ready for this. Ten minutes after our original time we were called in to see a nurse. He did a few physical checks and then at 2.50pm we were dispatched downstairs for an x ray. Again my son went in straightaway and then ten minutes later we were back with the nurse upstairs.

Sadly my son had a hairline fracture and he was plastered up. We left the hospital. all finished, almost exactly an hour from our original appointment. Throughout we were dealt with efficiently and kindly.

A number of friends on my private social media commented on how happy my son looked in the photos I snapped of him being put into the light plaster cast. Some commented that he didn’t look that bothered by it and was enjoying the attention (they were not commenting spitefully but observationally). I would say this is partly his fascination with all things medical but the main reason was how kindly and cheerfully he was dealt with by the medical staff there. He didn’t feel scared or worried at any time. To be fair he did cry immediately after one picture was taken and knowing him well you can see he was just about holding back the tears in the picture.

The point of writing this is to show that not all experiences of the somewhat overstretched medical services here are negative and for people not to be put off contacting 1813 or seeking medical attention. And yet again to give a big thanks to the staff at the Skadestuen at Amager Hospital and the operators at 1813.

 

Going to the dentist in Denmark

Going to the dentist is one of many people’s most hated activity especially when you end up with a bill at the end of it. Today I thought I’d write a quick guide to dentistry in Denmark. You can’t fail but to notice the vast number of dentist (tandlæge) all over the place. Many have wonderfully gaudy neon teeth lights in their windows. It is often hard to know which dentist to visit so asking for recommendations is a good idea.

Dental care in Denmark is not free under the public health but 40% of the cost of treatment is covered by your yellow card. The bill you are given by your dentist will already have this deducted. It is possible to take out separate dental insurance (tandforsikring). Here is an example of a company offering this it but of course there are others.

Dental treatment and services have set prices and you can see the costs on the dentist’s website or asking at reception. The Sundhed website is a good starting place to find out how much your treatment is likely to cost. If you are looking for cheaper treatment you can go to the Department of Odontology at the University. You will be treated by students under supervision.

You need to make an appointment in advance and make sure you bring your yellow card. A no show or late cancellation will result in many dentists charging you a fee.

Children, who have a CPR number, are entitled to free dental care and orthodontic treatment. You will get an automatic appointment to your eboks for your child when the check up is due. Whilst they will allocate you a dentist, usually based in a local school, you can ring and ask to go to a different public dentist if it is more convenient to you. For example they will give you an appointment at one close to your home but you may prefer the dentist based in your child’s school so they miss less time out of class for the appointment.

For emergency dental treatment there are a number of emergency dentists and you can find their details here.

 

Spa day at Øbro Hallen

I used to say that I hated spas and couldn’t see the point of wasting time in them until my physio recommended that I tried out the facilities in the local public baths. I ventured downstairs to the kurbad in Øbro Hallen, where I usually swim, to find out a little more.kurbad

I was struck by how, well, expensive it all looked. The cosily lit huge jacuzzi (38 degrees C) is the first thing you see from the reception desk and the young man there ran through the other facilities – a Finish sauna, infra red sauna (the one that my physio said I should try), a caldarium (Roman steam room), foot baths and a light room (for SAD). At set times there is also another hot bath. All of this is unisex (so cossies on). You are given a little cabin to get changed in and leave your things securely, and there is a single sex sauna in each of the changing rooms. You also can go upstairs for a swim in the main pool.

There is no time limit for how long you can spend in the kurbad. I braced myself for the price. It was 120dkk – yep that is it. img_6146I have been twice now and loved it. I truly hadn’t felt so relaxed (see above with my healthy glow) after my session on Friday for a very long time. I usually spend just over an hour in there but there are certainly people in there in for the long haul. I am finding the things I enjoy (not the Roman steam room) but definitely the infra red sauna and jacuzzi. The foot bath is great in a slightly masochistic way and I think the light room will be a saviour once the winter sets in. One thing I learned was to take an extra towel to sit on in the steam rooms as it becomes saturated and then you have nothing to dry yourself with.

There is a wellness centre at Valby Vandkulturhus which offers some of the same facilities as Øbro Hallen but not all. Almost all other public baths have saunas.

Green Smoothie revolution

kaleI have always been a fan of smoothies but I tended to stick with a basic version of milk, bananas and strawberries, which my son still loves. But increasingly I have been seeing green smoothies gaining popularity outside the crunchy vegan circles and with the winter stretching ahead of us (subscribe to this week’s newsletter for more tips to survive winter), I thought they might be a different way to pack in the vitamins and get my six a day (in Denmark we are recommended to get six portions of fruit and vegetables into our diet daily and the WHO recommend nine – which most people think is impossible). I have spent  two weeks fine tuning my green smoothie ingredients (cucumber was not a hit) and method and I love them now. Not only that, my green smoothie actually holds a whopping eight servings of fruit and veg, so with a homemade vegetable soup for lunch (2 portions) and two vegetables with dinner I am exceeding the WHO’s recommendations. Time will tell what impact this will have on my health but I am feeling pretty virtuous at the moment.

So here are my favoured ingredients – spinach, wedge of pineapple, apple juice (planning to mover to coconut water this week), juice of half a lime, and juice of half a blood orange (this was because I had them in the fruit bowl), leaves from two sprigs of mint, half a thumb of ginger, one kiwi and about five frozen strawberries.

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Like many people, time in the mornings is at a premium so I prepare my ingredients before I head to bed. I peel and chop the fruit and ginger and put with the half of citrus fruits (to squeeze in the morning) and mint leaves in a bowl in the fridge ready for the morning.

I have found that by blitzing the 200ml of juice with the large handful of spinach first in the blender (which I didn’t for the photo above) before adding the fresh fruit gives a better consistency and then adding the frozen strawberries last. It loses it vibrant green look with the strawberries but they make it taste a  lot nicer.

I add ginger as an extra health boost to the smoothie. I thought about adding chia seeds which seem to be popular but at 60kr for a small bag unless they are the elixir of life, I think I will give them a miss.

People often argue that fruit and veggies are expensive, especially here in Denmark, but the ingredients for a week’s worth (and more in the case of some ingredients) cost me 18kr per smoothie, which is pretty cheap for what you get, and you could half this cost by shopping smarter in places like Netto, Kiwi or Aldi (I’m lazy and use Nemlig.com).

Have you joined the green smoothie revolution yet?

*if you like my Kale sweatshirt mine is from Modcloth (currently out of stock there but available here) and apparently worn by Beyonce on a music video – I wonder if she’s into  green smoothies too?