Getting Emergency Care in the UK

After flying around the US for other assignments, I was told that I had to go to London for a 5 day assignment. Great, but I was already pretty exhausted. During the flight my sugars were slightly elevated and I usually take my normal shots and a small 2-3 unit dose later to control the highs from being in the air.

About 4am ET, not sure where I was over the Atlantic, I woke up from semi-sleep and felt sick and walked to the bathroom. That’s all I remember. Woke up with a orange juice in hand and a cut on my hand. After getting up, my knee didn’t feel so good. Now I’m in a lot of pain and think that I might need to see a doc here in the UK to look at it. If British, do you know how your US friends sought care here? Or if American, any hints on what to do?

I just watched Sicko by Michael Moore and he interviewed people in Britain about their medical system. You should be good to go to a hospital or urgent care clinic. Just tell them your story and if they make you pay (which is unlikely from what I hear), it shouldn’t be near as expensive as the U.S. and they should be able to give you an estimate before you accept treatment. Good luck!

I am lucky enough to have medical insurance. I know that I am also covered outside the US. I know if I get a receipt for overseas medical treatment, the insurance will reimburse somehing for that expense.

A public low on a airplane does not sound like much fun. I wish the best for you, Mike.

So I have the number of a local doc but my work schedule won’t let me get there so I’ve been limping around to meetings. I did find out that my insurance tells you to pay up front and they’re reimburse the expense when I return to the U.S. When they said I’d pay the first 60% or up to $600, I got a little freaked out since the exchange rate is not in my favor.

I too saw Sicko and was pretty curious about the system here. If I get back early today, I may still head over, otherwise my doc back in the states knows about my situation.

Thankfully the public low was when 98% of the plane was sleeping and it was a good thing that there were three people who actually knew what was going on (including a flight attendant) and one Brit who asked, “Are you having a hypo?” Wow, U.S. people normally just think you’re drunk.

By the way, some really interesting no sugar added and low sugar foods here. They actually had two kinds of no sugar added jelly at breakfast (orange and strawberry) and at the local Tesco, I found my old addiction, no sugar added Summer Fruits concentrate. Basically, it’s 1.5 litres of concentrated juice that you pour in a cup and add water. It’s like 1.63 here so that’s way cheaper than even the frozen juice concentrates we get in the U.S. I’ll see if I can get that into my check in bag and bring some back to the states… although that may tip me over the 50 lbs limit.